The TENS device (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) uses a low-level electrical current to stimulate the muscles or nerves to relieve pain. The electrical impulses are transmitted directly to the muscle to cause contractions that increase blood flow through that particular muscle. The amount of current used depends on the patient’s requirements, the amount of current needed, and the tolerance of that particular muscle. Some people can handle moderate amounts of TENS treatment without any adverse effects. Others will experience a huge improvement in their symptoms after only one session of this treatment.
The TENS machine uses low electrical currents to confuse the pain signals from the body into non-existent signals. Once these signals are misrouted, the brain doesn’t receive the message and thus does not feel the unpleasant sensation. These electrical currents run up to 30 feet or so. They can be used directly on the skin, neck, or face (tended to use a skin bridge). The gentle electrical currents applied directly to the skin have a soothing effect on many people, thus being the preferred method.
Patients suffering from severe forms of chronic pain such as back or leg pain or nerve root injuries often prefer using the TENS device for pain relief. The electrical stimulation increases the effectiveness of other treatments since it bypasses the nerves. The tens device for pain relief for these kinds of conditions helps to alleviate the associated symptoms. Patients also enjoy a feeling of comfort because the low-level electrical stimulation provides consistent relief. This is unlike low-intensity electrical stimulation used during labour pain relief, where patients may not feel the effects of the treatment.
TENS devices are not the only way to treat chronic pain. There are many other ways to help relieve symptoms. For example, ultrasound and light stimulation can effectively provide relief from severe pain for some patients. In addition, these methods are often used to treat conditions associated with long term health problems (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). Finally, even when the pain is caused by nerve damage, a laser can be used for temporary relief.
Before using a TENS device or any transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device for the first time, it’s important to know the procedure details. A patient must understand the different areas where the electrodes will be placed, and the procedure must be performed correctly. In addition to reading through brochures and providing any required information at the hospital, patients should also seek additional information on the procedure from their general physician or dentist.
Research has shown that TENS devices do have beneficial uses for patients suffering from chronic pain. However, patients should be informed about the process and learn about all of its possible side effects. TENS machines have been approved for use by the FDA. Although there have not been any concrete clinical studies assessing the safety and effectiveness of TENS treatments, these devices remain an attractive option for people who need relief from pain. For chronic pain sufferers and their doctors, the use of a TENS device remains a strong possibility.