Posts Tagged ‘tens electrode pads’

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.


Using a TENS Unit for Your Athletic Training Program

Monday, September 14th, 2009

If you are looking for a way to reduce the pain you feel from a sports injury when you are working out, consider investing in a TENS unit. These devices can help you control your pain so that you can get the most out of your workout. TENS units are widely used in the physical therapy field to help patients control their pain while they rehabilitate their muscles. With the proper training, you can benefit from this same technology at home or at your favorite gym.
What Is a TENS Unit?
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A TENS unit uses electrical shocks to block pain signals that are being sent to the brain. It can also stimulate the body to create endorphins, which can increase the body’s ability to perform physical exercise.
How TENS Units Work
TENS units come with small electrode pads that already have gel on them. These are placed on the area that is experiencing pain. The small electrical shock delivered by the device will trigger the nerves in the area. Most users will feel a tingling sensation when they turn the device on. This can block the signal of pain to the brain when used at high dosages. Lower dosages are what trigger endorphin creation.
Who Can Use TENS Units?
Anyone can use a TENS unit with the proper training. However, since these do involve the use of electrical current, you should not use them without medical oversight. If you are recovering from a sports related injury, however, consider asking your physical therapist if you can be trained to use a TENS unit as you return to your sports training program. The device is going to be the most effective for athletes who are suffering from pain due to nerve damage. The common aches and pains that come from a rigorous workout are not what this device is intended to help.
Some people should not use a TENS unit, however. Children should not use the device, as its safety on growing bodies has not yet been tested. Any people with pacemakers or other similar electrical devices inside their bodies should never use a TENS unit. It can interfere with the proper functioning of the device, which can be life threatening.
Safety Concerns When Using a TENS Unit
TENS units are considered safe when used properly. However, there are certain places on the body where they should not be used. The electrodes should never be placed near the eyes or mouth. They also should not be placed on the temples. In fact, it is best not to use them on the face at all, as they could easily be placed too close to one of these sensitive areas.
The front of the neck is another place that the device should not be used. If you have any open wounds, do not put the electrode on them. Never place the device over the belly of a pregnant woman. In fact, pregnant women should not use a TENS device without first consulting with their obstetrician.
Once you have been trained by your doctor or physical therapist as to the best way to use the TENS device in your training program, make sure you resist the temptation to turn the frequency up too high. Remember, there is a limit to the pain relief you can experience with at TENS unit. Putting the frequency too high will actually cause you to have more pain. If you notice your muscles contracting near the electrodes, it is set too high. Otherwise, as long as you are properly trained and have followed these safety rules, you can use a TENS unit to reduce the pain from a past injury as you continue your workout routine.


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.


The History of Electronic Muscle Stimulators

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

The history of Electronic Muscle Stimulators is quite interesting because it goes all the way back to 2500B.C. which was the time of the Egyptian Fifth Dynasty. Although electricity as we know it was thousands of years from existence, the Egyptians discovered an electric fish that could be used in the treatment of pain. It wasn’t until 1965 when “Pain Mechanism: A New Theory,” a paper by Melzack and Wall that was written after a tremendous amount of research, revealed the benefits of electricity used as therapy to the people of today.
It was in the 1970s that Electronic Muscle Stimulators (EMS) found their place in salons. Over twenty years later in the early 1990s, units used in home treatment gained popularity. It was in the mid-1990s that wearable units gained popularity. They are worn like a belt with electrodes that connect to the skin with adhesive pads. Other Electronic Muscle Stimulators come in the form of shorts made of neoprene and other clothing items such as shirts. Since these variations of EMS devices were created, there has been a large growth in the EMS market. Most of the items are acquired by mail order and now come in different colors and prints such as leopard, cow print, and even zebra stripes. This is so the devices will appeal to some of the younger customers.
However, with the growing popularity of these devices, the FDA had to step in to regulate them as far as what reasons they should be used. In the 1970’s when EMS devices were popular in salons, a device called the Relaxacisor, which was a vest that administered high voltage shocks, was developed. The FDA had to step in and notify post offices to look for these mail order devices because the vest was a hazard. Other reasons why the FDA had to step in were, first of all, that EMS devices are not recommended for young children and those in their early teens. The more appealing styles and prints that have come out in the last decade are for those in their mid teens to their early to mid twenties. Children do not need to be using these devices for the reasons in which many people use them for, which is bodybuilding. Children are growing and usually get adequate exercise from running and playing. What the EMS devices do is help strengthen, tone, and build muscular endurance.
But since the inception of EMS devices, doctors have used them for a variety of reasons. They are especially helpful in those who are paralyzed, in pain relief, and improving blood flow in those with poor circulation. Chiropractors also use them on back injuries in order to relax the muscles, which results in faster healing times for patients.
As the use of Electronic Muscle Stimulation devices has increased, other variations of them have hit the market for those using them during intense sport training. They are available in different strengths such as maximum strength that feels comparable to weight training, endurance and recovery that decreases the chances of delayed onset of muscle soreness, and explosive strength that is used for those participating in sports that involve fast movements.
It is obvious that EMS devices have come a long way from the days of the Egyptians using an electric fish to relieve pain to the 1960’s discovery that EMS devices were great for medical uses. Since then, bodybuilders have found beneficial uses that help them in their weight training and more and more people are benefiting from the low voltage shocks of EMS devices to relieve ailments and to help strengthen and tone their bodies.