Posts Tagged ‘t.e.n.s’

Pain Relieving Gels - Post Workout

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

With everyone starting to become more health conscious, people are beginning to flock to the gym. However, if you’re new to the exercise game, you might jump in too quickly and end up hurting yourself rather than helping yourself. With the help of pain relieving gels, you can alleviate some of that pain and ease into a great workout.

After taking the leap into a workout regime, you might find yourself overwhelmed. You’re attempting to create a proper workout for the first time and to stick with it. But add to that muscle soreness and it’s easy to see why many people become discouraged and fall off the track. Luckily, it’s perfectly normal to feel soreness after working out! You are putting your muscles through physical stress and they’re moving in ways they are not used to. You may feel great after your first workout, but 24-48 hours later is when you can feel delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

DOMS is a result of small microscopic muscle tears. Couple that with inflammation from the tears and you have pain. However these aches and pains should be mild as your body becomes used to the new workout. Even trained athletes and bodybuilders will still suffer from soreness, so you can’t let it deter you from continuing your exercise. Many aren’t sure if this normal. They fear the pain and they stop exercising. People new to the game need to be educated that the pain is not damaging and will go away.

In order to alleviate the pain, there are several remedies. Obviously rest is important. Stretching is actually very underrated and is extremely important. You need to stretch before and after a workout. Although you may be sore, continue to do light exercises to keep the muscles in motion, but never strain yourself or do anything that puts you in agony. Using pain relieving gels can be a great help. Gels like Biofreeze and Sombra can be rubbed onto all your muscles and provide you with relief. Sombra will also provide a nice cooling effect and is perfect immediately after your workout. What’s great about pain relieving gels is that they eliminate the need for constantly taking medication.

Both ice and heat can help too. Heat increases blood flow and brings fresh nutrients and oxygen to the muscles. Coolness will numb the pain. A little massage never hurt either. Even if you can’t afford to have a personal masseuse, massaging your legs and arms yourself can still help.

Exercise is a process of muscle conditioning. The longer you exercise, the less and less pain you will feel over time. It’s important not to give up and to utilize helpful products like Biofreeze and Sombra to keep you going strong.

For other pain relief, use TENS therapy machines from LG Med Supply.com.

Can TENS Machines Fight Depression?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

First of all, I’m not a doctor or therapist. I just have spent most of my life learning from them, to undo the effects of major depression that I’ve had from childhood. If you suffer from depression, first talk to your medical professional to see what approach is best for you. That is what I’ve done, but I add to what I’ve learned by trying a few other things on my own. Don’t do anything to yourself that is potentially self-injurious, it pays to research any new technique or approach thoroughly, just to be safe. Whatever works for me may not work for you, we all have our own ways of responding to different treatments. I just know that not all my recovery has come from what was learned at the doctor’s office. Being exceptionally strong-willed, my mission has mainly been to boost self-esteem, and fight those inner feelings of sadness that never go away (effects of depression.) Here are some ways that have helped me live a productive and successful life, despite mental challenges.

Six months ago, it was necessary for me to go for physical therapy for a slipped disk in my back. The therapist hooked me up to a small machine called a TENS unit, for one of my treatments. They put small, non-invasive sticky circles (electrodes) on the part of my body needing therapy and then turned the machine on. It felt really good, sort of like a massage. Depending upon how the therapist adjusted the dials, the machine would make knocking or pinging sensations on my back. There are also knobs to adjust the intensity of each sensation. After researching the TENS unit on the internet, I ordered a small one, about the size of a deck of playing cards.

According to what I read about them, TENS machines are not only good for distracting your body into feeling good sensations rather than pain, but they can make your body produce endorphins, or feel-good chemicals, too. This intrigued me, since having depression, I’ll take all the feel-good anything I can get (as long as it is both moral and legal.) So, I set up to test this on myself and see if there was any merit to the theory. After years of taking various anti-depressants, some work more than others but none completely take away depression, in my experience. Not being a scientist or doctor, I read up on everything about the TENS machine. There are rules that come along with the machine, like not putting the electrodes on the head, neck or the heart areas. Make sure to follow all of them thoroughly. People with pacemakers should not use TENS units, because it can interfere with the way they work. As with medicines, ask your doctor before using one.

By placing the electrodes along my spine, and setting the TENS settings to the recommended low frequency (pulse) levels. You want low muscle contraction, and to use the TENS for approximately 20 to 40 minutes. If you set it for higher muscle contractions, your muscles may ache later, so I rely on what the experts say, to use it at low settings. For more detailed information, I found these sites helpful:
LG Med Supply
TENS-Machine.org
TENS Machines for Sale

Using the TENS unit has helped my overall mood, it seems, as after using it, my demeanor is calm and relaxed. Though I don’t know if this is due to the machine itself or not, but I believe that using it has helped me. Combined with other treatments, this TENS therapy is assisting me (along with other techniques for reducing depression) in making a more enjoyable life. Go ahead and research TENS units online, and see if this is something suitable for you. In my point of view, it is a viable way to help combat depression.

TENS unit kit

TENS unit kit

Lower Back Pain Studies

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

I thought I would share some interesting news from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This organization is a division of the National Institute of Health and they said some really interesting things that I have been saying for years. If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. It has been said that nearly everyone in the US at some point in their life will have back pain that will interfere with work, our normal daily activities or recreation. Studies have shown that Americans spend at least $50 Billion (yes that is Billion with a B) each year to try and help with low back pain problems. Did you know that low back pain is the most common cause of job related disability and is the leading contributor to missed days at work? When looking at neurological ailments in the United States, back pain is the second most common finding. The only one to be more debilitating is headaches.

For years we have known that low back pain can be caused by different factors. As people age, their bone strength and muscle elasticity and tone will decrease. Then this leads to loss of fluid and flexibility in our discs and the vertebra become vulnerable because the cushioning is gone.

Most people first hurt their backs when they do something dumb like lifting things that are too heavy for them. Bending out and overstretching and lifting causing a sprain or strain type injury. If a spine becomes overly strained, a disc may rupture or bulge outward. This rupture may put pressure on one of the more than 50 nerves rooted to the spinal cord. When these nerve roots become compressed or irritated, back pain is the result.

Wilkey ET AL. reported in 2008 that the portion of the population that suffers from chronic low back pain (meaning for 3 or more months) is somewhere between 8% and 33%. They continued to report about 13% have pain that never goes away. Their studies continued and via a randomized trial comparing chiropractic care to medical care in a pain clinic. The treatments used by the pain clinic on the medical side of things consisted of standard drug therapies, facet joint injections, soft tissue injections as well as utilizing TENS units to aid with the pain. The chiropractic group used various chiropractic manipulation techniques, many similar to other manual therapy professions. The results were nothing but astounding. After 8 weeks of treatment, the raw score of improvement was 1.99 for medicine and 9.03 for chiropractic. This research indicates that chiropractic care is 457% more effective than medicine for Chronic Low Back Pain. To say that medicine doesn’t have a place in healthcare would be inaccurate and irresponsible, but based upon the evidence based outcome studies, research would conclude that the path is chiropractic first and then drugs as a second resort.

Info On TENS Units

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

A TENS Unit can offer non-pharmaceutical control for pain which could lower dependency on medicinal drugs. These are very easy for all patients to handle and could be worn while doing daily activities at the office and also during fun exercises. They are non-addictive and inexpensive.

They are simple and safe to use with no risks connected to surgical treatment or strong narcotic drugs. Patients will be able to think clearly because they are living with a narcotic fog, in doing so it is possible to live a more active and productive lifestyle. The stimulation from the TENS unit electrodes eliminates pain by arousing the peripheral nerves using what is called a gate control system. This gate control concept of pain indicates that a control mechanism serving as a gate can be found within the spinal cord.

According to this particular theory, the electrical signals from TENS units signify a non-noxious feedback. This input inhibits pain by shutting the gate from incoming poisonous input, like back pain felt from arthritic. When the gate is sealed using non-noxious stimuli, for instance like what is supplied by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimuli or TENS, then the body won’t be able to process this noxious stimulus and so the pain is going to be reduced. The following is a more in depth clarification.

There are actually two kinds of cells within the spinal cord that receives signals. One is called transmission and the other is inhibitory. The transmission cells can be stimulated by incoming impulses and once a crucial tolerance level is achieved, pain begins since the gate opens up and the brain will receive those signals and then process them as pain. Inhibitory cells are responsible for inhibiting the activation of transmission cells, in that way will close the gate and keep it closed. TENS unit will work to stimulate the inhibitory cells and shut the gate.

The TENS devices generate two distinct current wavelengths under the threshold for the amount of pain that patients are able to tolerate. By doing this, they close up the gate instead of opening it.

Whiplash Treatment Tips

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Many people experience some form of neck injury and its very painful. Often the injury, if it involves a car crash from behind, is referred to as whiplash. This type injury usually involves a sudden jolt of movement forward and the muscles immediately become inflamed and swell, guarding starts as part of the inflammatory process. The first 12 to 24 hours are generally not as severely painful as the time period following the acute onset. It is after the initial trauma the pain can become unbearable. During the first acute episode, following the trauma, its best to ice, cool the neck area because the body has responded to the trauma and initiated a series of chemical reactions to stop the harmful effects. The problem is inflammation, swelling, which began with the influx of new chemical reactions. Because the excess fluid is captured in the tissue area there is an expansion of cells and eventually a rupture in the cell walls themselves which will later require repair to gain full function. After the swelling has stopped then warm moist heat is a very good option to begin dealing with the inevitable pain that follows. Here are some practical remedies in 3 simple steps…

Step 1 - Ice Down/ Chill

The initial step to be taken is ice, cool down the neck injury area. You will need to do this because the muscles will start swelling and there will be a build up of cellular fluids resulting in cell/tissue destruction. Some of the destruction will be the result of the traumatic injury but there will also be additional damage due to the inflammatory response of the immune system. You will need to carefully avoid treating with heat during the acute phase, as the heat will increase blood flow and increase the swelling and tissue damage..

You will need to do the chill initial step promptly. If you do it promptly, then the swelling will subside and there will be less damage and less pain.

Step 2 - Apply Warm Moist Heat

Your second step is going to be after the first 12 - 24 hours, when the swelling has subsided, then begin warm moist heat for the pain. If you don’t have a moist heat pad then simply use warm water on a towel and apply to the neck area. If possible in order to extend the heat of the towel you can put a piece of reflective aluminum foil over the top to contain the heat and not allow it to evaporate. Things you’ll want to avoid here are be careful of using pain medications that may leave you sleepy or groggy. To heal its not necessary to basically “drug oneself” out of awareness. You should stay away from driving a car or getting in any situation where a quick movement, or the need for a quick movement reaction, can harm you. Many chronic injuries are merely acute injuries recurring over and over.

Step 3 - Use Electrotherapy, preferably Interferential therapy, with moist heat if possible.

The 3rd step is if possible use a portable interferential pain machine in conjunction with the moist heat packs or if interferential is not available then use a standard TENS unit. This will be significant because moist heat provides carryover pain relief until the area treated loses the heat. After the thermal heat effects are lost, the pain often returns. The interferential treatment is known as the therapy of choice for extending the residual or carryover pain relief time period, however TENS, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulators, can be worn continuously minimizing pain. This is important because if the carryover period is extended the muscles can be rehabilitated sooner, the pain upon stretching and doing the rehab. is minimized, and full range of motion is restored.

The exact steps outlined above should help the whiplash patient experience less pain, gain mobility quicker, and tissue repair conclude sooner. Just stick to the steps in order, for the reasons as explained, while carefully avoiding the traps, problems and potential mistakes mentioned. Then pat yourself on the back and enjoy the benefits and rewards of having lost the pain, restored the function and lessened the rehabilitation time.