Posts Tagged ‘portable tens unit’

Tens Units – An Alternative Therapy For Pain Relief

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Pain management is a growing and changing industry. A safe, effective, non-addictive treatment seems like the unreachable Holy Grail, but many patients feel they have found it through the use of TENS units. Treatments which were once thought to be quack medicine is now proving to be as effective and safer than many of the current drug therapies. There is an increasing need for managing pain as the baby boomer generation begins to age and chronic, age related aches and pains begin to arise. Rather than turning to costly and potentially dangerous pain medications, many patients are looking for other ways to alleviate their pains, such as can be found in the use of TENS and portable TENS units.

T.E.N.S. units stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Transcutaneous literally means across the skin. These units work to alleviate pain by sending a mild electrical pulse through the skin to stimulate the nerves beneath. The specific nerves targeted will determine the area of pain relief. When using these, the patient should be sure to use a cream that is designed especially to help conduct electricity from the unit through his skin. This will increase the effectiveness of the treatment. While the treatment must be repeated every few hours for continual pain management, there are portable devices to make this more convenient for the patient. Portable TENS units should be lightweight and easy to carry. In many cases they can be worn next to the skin. If this is the case, the units need to either be battery operated or rechargeable.

Pain easement in almost any part of the body can come from using a TENS unit. There are certain body parts where a physician should supervise the use of the unit in order to prevent injury. In cases of pain in the neck and head, the patient should first consult with his physician. The doctor might even have a unit for the patient to use in his office. In any case, patients should never use a TENS or portable TENS unit on their face, head, or neck without discussing it with a physician. All of the nerves in your body converge on the brain in your head. Many nerves that control the heart and other vital body operations run through the head, and without a doctor’s supervision, the patient might stimulate the wrong nerve, which could lead to injury. Additionally, patients who are equipped with pace makers should not use electrical nerve stimulation since the charge could interfere with the pace maker’s operation. Those who are pregnant, nursing, have diabetes, metallic body part replacements or plates, have heart conditions or high blood pressure should talk to their physician before using electrical stimulation of the nerves.

TENS units are not a permanent solution for chronic pain and may result in gradually decreasing benefits when used over a prolonged period of time. TENS units may also mask the pain while having minimum impact of the treatment of the injury. TENS units are not recommended as a substitute for regimented physical rehabilitation therapy programs, but may be used in parallel with physical therapy. Most stationary TENS or portable TENS units require a doctor’s prescription. Since settings and options vary from unit to unit, always consult with a doctor or a chiropractor about the proper use of your TENS unit.


Inexpensive TENS Unit Can Ease Labor Pain

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

There are many ways to deal with the pain of giving birth, but women and their obstetricians can always benefit from having another choice. A Cochrane review has concluded that women in labor should have the option of using transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) a non-drug method of pain management.

“There is only limited evidence that TENS reduces pain in labor and it does not seem to have any negative or positive impact on other outcomes for mothers and babies. However the majority of women in the reported studies have indicated that they would be willing to use TENS for a subsequent pregnancy,” said Tina Lavender, a review co-author and a professor of midwifery at the University of Manchester, in England.

Widely used in other areas of medicine, the TENS unit is a small device that emits low- voltage electrical pulses through electrodes attached to the body. The exact way the pulses work is unknown, but they are thought to block pain transmission by stimulating nerve pathways in the spinal cord. During labor, clinicians usually place the electrodes on the lower back, but they can also attach them at acupuncture points or to the head.

For the review, researchers analyzed 19 randomized controlled studies that examined the use of TENS during labor. The studies involved 1,671 women and occurred in 11 countries, with three studies in the United States. Fifteen studies examined TENS applied to the back, two to acupuncture points and two to the head. Studies compared TENS use to routine care, to the use of a sham TENS unit or to other types of pain management, either medications or other techniques.

Women in labor who received TENS were less likely to say they had severe pain compared to the other women. However, this difference was not great and was not consistent across the studies, nor did the studies show that women receiving TENS were more satisfied with their pain relief than those who did not use TENS.

The new review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews like this one draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Lavender and her colleagues noted that it is possible that using TENS gave the women a feeling of control over their pain and served as a distraction. They concluded that women should have the option of using it during labor, with or without other forms of pain management.

No one has data on how widespread the use of TENS in obstetrics is, Lavender said, noting that one British study found that about 16 percent of low-risk women having their first baby used TENS during their labor. Generally, TENS works with other forms of pain management during labor, such as epidural anesthetics.

“TENS is not widely used in the U.S., largely because the pain relief offered is modest and TENS units are not frequently available on labor and delivery units,” said Laura Goetzl, M.D., an associate professor of obstetrics and oncology at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston.

“There is no barrier to patients arranging for a TENS unit for themselves and using it in labor; however, the cost to the patient may not be worth the benefit over other treatments that are more likely to be covered by her insurance,” she said. Obstetricians usually support any method of pain relief a woman wants to use as long as it is not harmful to the mother or her baby and as long as it does not conflict with the policies of the admitting hospital, Goetzl said.

TENS units are not expensive, about 30 British pounds to rent and 50 pounds to buy in the United Kingdom, according to Lavender, and about $50 to $80 to rent for a week in the United States, according to an Internet search.


The Parts of a Basic Ultrasound Machine

Monday, September 7th, 2009

An ultrasound machine uses high frequency sound waves and their resulting echoes to help determine the size, shape and depth of an abnormality. It allow various organs in the body to be examined right in the doctor’s office or clinic.
A basic ultrasound machine has the following parts:

* The Display - it is the most recognizable part of any unit. As the operator manipulates the transducer probe (we’ll talk about that next), it send out and receives data that is processed by the CPU and it’s software. That data is translated into visual information that displayed on the monitor or display. The clarity of the images depends on the age and resolution of the display.
* Transducer Probe - The probe is the eyes and ears of the ultrasound. The probe sends sound waves into the patient and receives the reflected vibrations. As the vibrations travel into the patient, they bounce back at different intervals depending on what the bounce off of. The transducer probe collects this information and moves it along to the CPU.
* Central Processing Unit (CPU) - The CPU is a computer that uses specialized software that interprets the sound waves that are returned to the transducer probe. It translated the data into an image or a series of images, allowing doctors and technicians to view the affected body part or parts.
* The Keyboard - Since it is a specialized computer, ultrasound machines have a keyboard much like a regular computer. It allows the operator to enter patient information or particular findings during the procedure.
* Hard Drive Storage - Like a regular computer, an ultrasound is capable of storing information for later retrieval. The information can be stored on the internal hard drive or on a CD or a DVD. the information can also be stored digitally and uploaded to the internet, so that it can be accessed from the office or anywhere you have an Internet connection.
* Printer - During the ultrasound procedure, the operator can print images for later study or that can be taken home by the patient, usually by expecting parents.
* Video Recorder - some ultrasound have the capability to record the procedure as it happens. This type of  recorder is specifically designed for medical applications. Its digital frame memory provides a noiseless, crystal clear “freeze” and is fully compatible with other S-VHS (or VHS) tape recordings. Like the printer, it allows expecting parents to take home a record of the development of their child.
Depending on the make and model of the ultrasound, there may be additional parts or options. Some suppliers offer options, like an endovaginal and endorectal transducers, that offer higher resolution than that of a traditional abdominal transducer. Because they can produce a scan close to the affected area, they can produce more accurate results. More features have been added to smaller, portable ultrasound machines, making them a versatile, powerful, lower-cost alternative for many doctors and clinics.
We should also mention the most important part of an ultrasound machine: the operator or sonographer. Sonographers are medical professionals who perform ultrasonic scans for diagnostic purposes. At times, the doctor and the sonographer are one in the same. The accuracy of the ultrasound exam and it’s results are dependent on the operator’s education, training, skill and experience. The more accurate the information from the exam, the more accurate the doctor’s diagnosis can be. The best ultrasound equipment that money can buy isn’t of much use unless you have the best qualified people operating it.
Do you have questions about a part of your ultrasound machine? Wave Imaging Solutions is a great place to turn to for questions and answers.
We are an OEM certified remanufacturer of used ultrasound equipment with cross-trained service professionals that are certified in multi-vendor capacities.
By adding the value of EOM Certification to our used ultrasound machines, our clients benefits from a very dependable ultrasound machine at a fraction of the price of a new one.


Electronic Muscle Stimulation As An Effective Workout

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Electronic muscle stimulation is a technique that is widely used by elite athletes all over the world. It has been shown to be effective and successful toward toning and building muscle mass. This is why devices have been developed to accomplish this type of workout.
The way it works is fairly straight forward. The electrical impulses control the muscles via the motor nerves. Programming these impulses allows users to target their workouts for power, endurance, or resistance. Here, powerful contractions can be received without the pain of a traditional workout.
A microprocessor controls the work of the muscles, while adhering to the principles of traditional training physiology. Not only does electrical muscle stimulation help build muscles, but it also encompasses the toning and shaping that improves overall physical fitness. While it is not meant to take the place of a traditional workout, it can help supplement it and add to the benefits it can offer. It can also be a viable means of exercise for those who are unable to participate in the more traditional methods of exercise due to health problems or joint and muscle restrictions. It is advisable to consult a doctor before using an electronic muscle stimulation machine if this is the case.
Electronic muscle stimulation is effective for fitness training, as well as for muscle rehabilitation. It helps build endurance so that the muscles may be used for a longer period of time. The resistance it also provides, will assist in expanding the range of muscle movement and help to promote strength. The recovery process is also shortened by this method, as the patient is able to exercise in a non-restricted environment without too much strain or tension being place on the body.
This type of equipment has been successfully used in the physical therapy and sports medicine fields for many years, and has nothing to do with the various other pieces of exercise equipment that are commonly found on the market. As with any other workout, there are stages that must be accomplished in order to reap the full benefits of this type of program. Many machines also come with DVD-based training material that is designed to walk the user through the various steps involved in the process. Here, users will also be able to create an individualized training program that will best fit their individual needs. Before trying electronic muscle stimulation, it is advisable to check with a physician to make sure this is right for you.