Posts Tagged ‘portable tens unit’

Are TENS Machines Effective For Pain Relief?

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

One of the more popular drug free methods to control pain is the use of a TENS machine. TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) are available without prescription and safe and easy to to use. There are a wide range of machines available for home use ranging from a simple machine for pain at around $20 to more than $300 for a dual channel machines that also includes muscle stimulation functionality.

How Does a TENS Machine Work?

Electrodes are placed on the skin (hence the name transcutaneous) and the nerves stimulated by a small electrical pulse. At a high pulse rate this has the effect of blocking the impulses that transmit pain messages to the brain. In addition a low pulse rate can be used which stimulates the production of the body’s own pain suppressing hormones, endorphins. The hand held TENS unit is used to control the intensity of the impulses, the pulse rate and the time the stimulation is applied. It is usually recommended that the unit is used for twenty minutes to thirty minutes during which time the pain is blocked by the electrical impulses. pain relief however persists after switching off the unit due to the production of endorphins.

What Type of Pain Does a TENS Machine Block?

The most effective use of these machines is for the relief of chronic pain from joints, muscles or nerves and is not recommended for pain from other conditions such as appendicitis, hepatitis etc. For those with chronic pain that require strong drugs for relief TENS can be very effective and is a good alternative to increasing the level of painkillers required.

Can You Use TENS During Labor?

TENS is becoming increasingly popular as a non drug method to help control labor pain. The electrodes are placed on the back and the intensity controlled by the woman in labor. As the level of pain during labor increases the intensity of the stimulation can be increased accordingly giving her complete control. During labor the machine is often used in two ways. During a contraction a high pulse rate is used to block the pain and between contractions a lower pulse rate is used to stimulate endorphin production which in turn helps to lower the pain of contractions. TENS can be used right from the beginning of labor, before the pain has increased in order to stimulate endorphin production. This is more effective than waiting until labor is more advanced. One caution we should mention here is that the use of TENS machines before the 37th week of pregnancy has not been shown to be safe for the developing foetus so should not be used.

How Safe is TENS?

Using a TENS machine is safe provided you follow the safety guidelines. You should not use this method if you have epilepsy or have a heart pacemaker as the electrical stimulation can disrupt it. If you have pain then you should always consult a physician to diagnose the cause before you use TENS. It should not be used for pain from underlying medical conditions such as appendicitis or for anyone who has heart disease unless recommended by your physician.

Never use the electrodes:

  • In the mouth
  • on the groin
  • on broken skin or wounds
  • on each temple
  • close to the eyes or on the head
  • on areas of skin that are numb or desensitised

Conclusion

The use of a TENS machine is a safe, effective, non drug method of relief from chronic pain. Always make sure your pain has been diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner before you use TENS and follow the safety guidelines that are issued with your machine.

Source: ezinearticles.com

Metal Implants and Tens Units For Pain

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Is there or should there be a concern for patient who have had metal implants inserted and then start using a tens or interferential unit?

This is a question that has been asked many times over the past half century as both the field of implant technology improved as did the field of electrotherapy for pain, rehab., and non union fractures. The question is a fair one to ask not only from a safety perspective but also from the other angle of does an implant enhance the efficacy of an external tens stimulator or interferential machine.

Basically the implant is outside the electrical field of a tens unit so there is no effect generally. Also many new composites for implants do not have metal or electrically conductive materials in them so over the next few years the question may become moot. Tens units are powered by a 9 volt battery and lack enough energy to penetrate deeply into the tissues but with the advent of Interferential for home use the chances of interference become more pragmatic.

A tens/tns unit emits no more than 150 pulses per second ( how many times the unit goes off and on per second - pps/rate/freqeuncy ) however an interferential unit has a pps between 8,000 and 8,150 pps with greater penetration. The higher frequency and greater output bring into play the depth of penetration issue and does an underlying metal object help or hurt the treatment.

Most tens and interferential devices are used principally for the control, or elimination, of chronic pain such as sciatica, RSD, neuralgia, phantom limb pain etc. The treatment with interferential though is for short periods of time due to the interferential unit providing ” carryover pain relief ” or residual pain relief. The interferential unit is not generally worn by a chronic pain patient, unlike tens which only provides relief while being used.

To date there are not any true safety issues brought on by the use of interferential or tens units with patients having implanted metal devices. The single issue has been does the stimulation cause any degree of discomfort to the patient while being treated and if so the practical answer is to move the electrodes so the implant will not interfere with the sensory relief provided by the interferential or tens unit. It’s possible if the pain area is near the implant that the conductivity of the materials used may actually enhance the pain relief.

When an interferential unit is used for home use it is generally assumed the short treatment period versus the continual treatment with tens lessens the potential of implant interference with an interferential unit.

Source:ezinearticles.com

TENS Pain Relief - What is Involved in TENS Pain Relief?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

What is TENS pain relief and how does it relate to someone in pain? TENS is an acronym for a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit. A TENS unit is a portable, pocket-sized, battery-powered device that uses mild, safe electrical signals to help control pain. One of these units can treat many kinds of pain. A modern TENS pain unit is easy to use and compact enough to provide quick and dependable pain relief at work, home or play.

The electrical signals travel from the TENS unit through wires to the electrodes which are attached to your body. The electrode wires are then plugged into the unit. The unit is then hooked to your belt or placed in a pocket. For some chronic pain patients, TENS pain relief can last for several hours. For others, a TENS pain unit may help reduce the amount of pain medications needed.

A TENS pain unit is one of several kinds of electrotherapy devices that use very small doses of electric current to promote natural pain relief. A typical battery-operated TENS unit is able to modulate pulse width, frequency and intensity. When the unit is turned on, it delivers a light current through the electrodes to the skin and tissues just beneath it.

The unit emits low - voltage electrical pulses through electrodes attached to the body. The TENS unit works by preventing pain signals from reaching your brain. Depending on the frequency the unit delivers, the electrical stimulation can also trigger the body to release endorphins, which are natural pain killers. A physical therapist can help you determine the most appropriate settings for your unit.

Do not turn your TENS unit up too high as this can cause over-stimulation which may make pain worse. Do not get into water or sleep with the electrodes on your skin and the TENS unit turned on. If you wear a pacemaker check with your physician before using a TENS unit as this may interfere with the pacemaker’s function.

TENS units can be purchased or rented. The cost of a unit can range from about $100 to several hundred dollars. A TENS pain unit should only be used under the direction of a doctor, physical therapist, or occupational therapist.

If you suffer from chronic back pain, arthritis, tendinitis, aches and pain, poor circulation, sciatic nerve pains, headaches, migraines and other discomforts a TENS unit may help relieve some of your pain. TENS pain relief is not a cure, it simply gives the impression of experiencing less pain. These units are widely used in the physical therapy field to help patients control their pain while they rehabilitate their muscles. TENS pain relief units are considered safe when used properly and have helped many people.

Source:ezinearticles.com

Using A Tens Machine For Pain Relief

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

As more and more alternative medicine is becoming popular, it’s not surprising that people would shy away from drugs to ease their pain and look for something that isn’t as likely to have side effects. The TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine is one of the more popular methods for easing pain and can now be found easily on the market.

While TENS can aid with all types of pain relief, it is particularly popular among those who suffer from chronic pain and who are usually becoming resistant to pharmaceutical painkillers. Using stronger and stronger drugs in order to make it through the day doesn’t mesh with everyone’s philosophy and that’s why they start looking for alternatives like TENS.

How It Works
Essentially, TENS machines work by shooting electrical pulses through electrodes that are attached to the skin. These pulses interrupt the electrical signals that are sent to the brain to let it know that your body is hurting. By interrupting them, the pain is eased or even eliminated.

There are two ways the TENS machine is thought to work:

Low Frequency: The lower frequencies, 2-5 Hz, are believed to cause the body to react. The reaction creates natural painkillers, or endorphins. The endorphins block the pain naturally and while popular, this isn’t the usual method of using TENS.

High Frequency: For more intense pain, higher frequencies, 90-130 Hz, work to actually interrupt those pain signals being sent to the brain. This is the most common use for the machine and while you start slow, it’s not uncommon to need to up the frequency to find the best block.

How to Use It
Your machine should come with detailed instructions, which should be followed. However, there are some general use instructions that we can list here. Make sure the machine is off before applying the electrodes. You can test to ensure that it’s working by turning it on while holding the pads in your fingers. If it tingles, it’s working.

When putting the electrode pads on, be sure to avoid any sensitive or irritated areas and only apply to clean skin on either side of the pain. Electrodes need to be covered in conductive gel and must be placed at least an inch apart, preferably a little further. Tape them down if you plan to be moving around much. Turn the machine on at its lowest setting and gradually turn it up until you can feel the tingle.

You will need to feel a fairly strong sensation, but not painful. If the current causes muscles to contract, turn it down. The length of the session is up to you. It will need to be at least 45-60 min. but you can safely use the machine for up to 12 hours. At the end of the session, turn it off and remove the pads.

Who Can Use TENS
This technology isn’t best for everyone. Some people get more of a benefit than others and some won’t notice much of a difference in pain levels at all when using TENS. Also, if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, epilepsy or a heart disease, you should stay away from this type of treatment. In some cases, TENS is used during labor, but in this case, you would need to consult a doctor.

As an alternative pain treatment, you’ll find that this works best on muscle pains, or those in the joints or caused by nerves. The electrical pulses are far less effective on things like headaches, chest pains or stomachaches and intestinal issues. That being said, there aren’t any real side effects from the use of this machine, so you can certainly experiment to find out whether or not it works for you. TENS can be a useful alternative to drugs. It’s worth trying if you suffer from chronic pain.

Source: articlesnatch.com

TENS Machine For Back Pain Relief

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Back pain can be tackled in many ways. You can not depend upon the merit of any one type of treatment, to get rid of back pain. When you have back pain and when it does not subside for days together, you are so confused you are willing to follow any type of therapy that offers you hope of relief.

Well, it is the machine again that has come to the rescue of the humanity. For taking care of the lower back pain TENS machine (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is used with much benefit. Powered by the batteries that send mild electric pulse through the nerves, to block the pain signals is transmitted to the brain. The pressure felt in the affected area where the pain was located is relaxed. But the cost of such treatments is on the high side, which bars many from availing the treatment.

It is not that the TENS machine is the panacea for your back pain and once you have availed the services of this machine, you are free from your back pain for ever. Proper lifestyle and taking care of little things, which you consider as insignificant, is the indirect part of your treatment.

Be disciplined when you sit, stand or lift things. Don’t do things casually, without paying proper attention. If you sit on a properly non-aligned chair that could itself be the cause of your back pain. While picking up anything from the ground, bend from the knees in a relaxed manner, and not the stiff bend by just using the back. Do not put stress on the lower muscles of your back.

If the popularity of the machine is any indication, the TENS machine has done well. To many it has given total relief, to some partial. And as it is a case with all other therapies to treat back pain, to some there is no relief at all. Nevertheless, this TENS treatment has caught the imagination of the sufferers.

Even if one man is treated, it is one less patient of back pain! Further research is being carried out to judge the effectiveness of the machine, as part of the modern day medicine. At the existing level, the relief in pain provided by the machine varies from person to person.

The TENS machine works in two ways. The machine will trigger the pain gate to close when it is set on a high pulse rate of 90-130 Hz which it is believed, will block the pain nerve path to the brain. This can be said to be its normal functioning. When the machine is set on a low pulse rate, 2-5 Hz, it will cause the body to make its own pain easing chemicals called endorphins.

The main advantage of using the TENS machine is thatFree Reprint Articles, that there are no side effects. But this treatment is strictly to be taken under the guidance and supervision of the physician only.

Source: articlesfactory.com