Posts Tagged ‘tens electrode pads’

Tens Unit Electrodes For Relief From Pain

Monday, March 8th, 2010

When pain is severe and constant then it has to be restricted. Chronic pain can become really unbearable if not treated at the right time and with the most effective techniques. It can affect your daily life, work efficiency, sleep and wreak havoc on your peace of mind. Instead of living with the pain and being miserable, it is best to control the pain. Tens unit therapy can help in this regard. Tens unit electrodes are apparatus which go a long way in relieving pain. This method has proved to be effective.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or “TENS” is portable, battery-operated machine that produces electrical impulses which stimulate nerves. The signals are mild and harmless, yet they are effective enough stop pain messages from being put out to the brain and possibly will increase the level of endorphins (natural pain killers produced by the brain). The unit uses two or more Tens unit electrodes to make contact with the skin.

In a TENS units, small Tens unit electrode pads attached to leads are placed at the spot of the pain with at least one inch (2.5 centimeters) between them. The TENS unit is switched on, producing a small electrical shock which stimulates the nerves in the area. The intensity, frequency, and duration of the shock can be controlled at the base TENS unit, which can be designed to be worn through the day or be a bulkier device for use in a medical office. Studies have suggested that at a high frequency, TENS units block pain signals to the brain, while lower frequencies may stimulate the creation of endorphins. The use of a TENS unit is accompanied with a mild tingling sensation, but should not involve muscle contraction.

TENS is safe nerve stimulation which decreases pain, both severe and chronic, and gives relief to the patient. It is very effective for postoperative pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Tens unit electrodes are commonly used to take care of low back pain and neck pain. The exact nerves targeted will decide the area of pain relief.

TENS machines electrode pads seem to be well-liked for various painful conditions. Their popularity would mean that they may well have some effect to reduce pain. However, the amount that the pain is eased is likely to vary from person to person with the same condition. TENS unit electrodes should only be used on the advice of a doctor or other health professional.

Source: articlesnatch.com

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

Using Electronic Muscle Stimulation Systems to Prevent Muscle Atrophy

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Electronic muscle stimulators, or EMS devices, are electronic devices that stimulate the muscles. Many bodybuilders use them to speed up muscle repair after a strenuous workout. When they have worked out hard, they get microscopic tears in their muscles and it is the healing of those tears that allows their muscle mass to grow. This would explain why EMS systems are commonly used in preventing muscle atrophy in those who are physically disabled.

For a person who has a disease or has been in an accident that prohibits them from using certain muscles, those muscles will begin to deteriorate over time. You may notice someone with atrophy in their legs have legs that are smaller than they should be. This is because the muscle is deteriorating away. Along with that muscle mass goes the strength. Although they may not be able to use the atrophied muscles anyway, it is healthier to prolong or altogether prevent the atrophy from occurring.

Other reasons to prevent atrophy

Another reason in which EMS systems are used to prevent muscle atrophy is the fact that there have been medical breakthroughs that have enabled individuals who have not been able to use their muscles for years to suddenly use them. People who could not so much as stand are standing, so it was important to keep the muscles stimulated. Even if there is no hope of a person being able to utilize those muscles, they still need to be stimulated since medical breakthroughs are happening every single day. One just never knows when they’re going to be notified of a new development, so their muscles have to be primed and ready to go.

How an EMS system works

EMS systems involve having more than one electrode placed upon the skin. From there, small electronic pulses are emitted, usually by the push of a button. These pulses cause the muscles to contract. The contraction is similar to what is received when exercising. This is the very contraction that is needed to keep the muscles stimulated. It is true that an EMS system can’t be connected all of the time, but it is great to have that available at a certain point or at points during the day to make sure the muscles get that bit of “exercise” that they need.

As for the effectiveness, EMS systems are quite effective, which is why so many individuals own them for various different reasons. As stated before, bodybuilders own them to help them in their bodybuilding routines. There are even some who use them to relieve muscle pain. The best way to relieve pain is by stimulating the muscle so that it can heal. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “Work it out,” then you understand how an EMS system can do this. These are all reasons why doctors prescribe them to be used for those with such conditions as Muscular Dystrophy, for paraplegics, and for those who have encountered severe injuries that have resulted in severe muscle damage.

Luckily, EMS systems are not an incredibly high investment. Many individuals are able to afford them and every individual can invest in the device that fits their particular needs. Certain ones give off a certain voltage, are different colors, different sizes, come with more or less electrodes, etc. Some may come with one type of electrode while others come with electrodes specially designed for different areas of the body. But again, they are not very expensive, making EMS systems an easily accessible treatment method for anyone. Anyone with a muscle disorder or injury should invest in an EMS system to improve the quality of their life and to keep up a healthy appearance.

Source:content4reprint.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