Posts Tagged ‘tens electrodes’

Why Quality TENS Electrodes Are Crucial To TENS Use

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

A TENS unit is a medical equipment that is used as part of pain management by helping block pain signals to the brain. TENS is an abbreviation of the longer term, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation that is primarily used to help ease pain after a medical operation, control joint and muscle pains and even manage chronic pain. The therapy involves utilizing a TENS unit electrode that are attached unto the skin which then emits a very weak electrical current. The current then passes unto the skin and into the nerve endings underneath.

TENS Electrodes placed on a body

TENS Electrodes placed on a body

The TENS electrodes are then attached to a TENS Unit which is a small battery powered devise wherein the weak electrical signals are generated. The intensity of the small electrical shock can be controlled on the TENS unit as well as the duration and the frequency of the shock. The electrical current generated by the TENS unit replaces the pain signals that is being sent by the nerve endings unto the brain in a way blocking them. Depending on the degree of the electrical current, a high frequency helps to block pain signals while a low frequency helps in the release of endorphins.  A TENS unit cannot be used by everyone. For instance, those who happen to have pacemakers are not allowed to use TENS therapy since the electrical signal can interrupt the pacemakers function. Those who are sensitive to even the slightest electrical shock are also not allowed.

A TENS unit electrode should be of high quality to get the most out of the electrical charge generated from a TENS unit. The efficacy and effectiveness of the TENS therapy highly depends on the quality of the TENS electrodes since these are the components that are attached unto the skin in pads. The electrodes should be able to transmit the electrical signals being generated by the unit effectively unto the pad ends attached on the skin and down under the nerves for effective stimulation and pain management. Using electrodes of dubious quality might pose unnecessary risks to an individual receiving the treatment and can even damage a TENS unit altogether.

Information on Electrodes

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

TENS electrodes or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Electrodes are generally one of the most important parts of the TENS machine. These electrodes are attached to a TENS machine by wire. Most of the machines are usually battery operated and a mild current that travels to the thin wire from the machine to the patients would help improve the condition of the patients. TENS can be used for pain management for those who experience muscle and joint pain. More to that, for patients who just undergone surgery, the effect of the therapy will help alleviate discomfort.

Generally, TENS electrodes are attached to the patients skin for stimulation. They are always held intact on the skin with the use of a sticky patch placed at the end of the electrodes. When electrical impulses pass from the machine to the patients’ nerve, it blocks the pain signal before reaching the brain.

It is very vital to consider the proper placement of the TENS pads over the patients. If during the treatment, the pads are improperly placed, patients’ pain scale will heighten. Following surgery, pads are placed around the surgical wound. Moreover, electrodes are also recommended to settle it on the skin just between the brain and the affected area for long term pain management.

For physical therapists, they usually place the electrodes just above the muscles that need to be aided. This method is safe and effective especially for muscle and joint pain. The duration of this treatment depends upon the condition of the patients. On the other hand, patients who had undergone surgical operation receive the therapy for three to five days in the hospital. For home pain management, this therapy can also be possible with the guidance of a trained caregiver.

When patients experience constant pain scale of 8/10 -10/10, it needs to be addressed immediately because severe pain can jeopardize the condition of the patients especially those with heart problems. Heart rate, blood pressure and breathing will hike up. Moreover, with the advent of TENS, patients will experience soothing and relaxing effects without the use of drugs. On the hand, these machines that are available in the market are proven to promote comfort.

TENS therapy is safe and effective because it offers total relief for patients who experience chronic and acute pain. Without TENS electrodes, it is impossible for the mild electrical current to run through the wire going to the patients nerve for stimulation. These electrodes are responsible for maintaining the patients’ optimum wellness during the entire treatment.

TENS Electrodes / Pads

Accupuncture & TENS units, an alternative to pills

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Effective pain relief using a tens or an interferential device only happens when the electrodes are placed to inundate the actual painful area with a pleasant, tingling, rubbing type stimulus. The actual stimulus is making nerve firings of NON PAIN FIBERS, physical fibers, which makes those sensory nerves overcome the PAIN NERVES ( C-FIBERS), which are transmitting the pain stimulation. There is no magic, it’s simply a process of being aware of what is the purpose of putting the tens electrodes, usually self adhering multiple-use electrodes, in the proper location.

Unlike acupuncture in which the needle is very little, a tens or even interferential electrode has a much larger stimulation area and specificity of placement is not as critical. Needles in acupuncture often usually are meant to interrupt an electrical energy pain path, while electrical stimulation will probably be offensive and attack the area thusly interrupting and altering the electrical energy. The surface of an electrode might be 2 inch x 2 inch or even 4 square inches of surface area for each electrode equaling a total of 8 sq. inches, where the acupuncture needles surface is that of the hook itself times the depth the needle is inserted.

Acupuncture is a process of discovering and insertion in to an area a hook(s) whereas electrical stimulation (e-stim) is a process of hovering over as well as transmitting electrical energy in an area. Interferential has a much greater frequency ( rate-how many times machine goes off as well as on per second). The higher the rate, the less the resistance is, and the greater the penetration of the electrical stimulus. Traditional chinese medicine needles have to be placed past the point of the majority of resistance ( skin or scar tissue ) to get into the region of electrical energy to destroy the flow.

The dispersion of the energy with estim and reusable electrodes covers a much larger area and boosts the chances of pain stimulus interruption.

Electrode placement is actually solely about passing electricity between 2 or four electrodes through the painful area. As the pain moves, which is very common for persistent pain conditions such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, RSD, back pain, radiating sciatica, foot pain, knee pain, joint pain, shoulder pain, RLS -Restless Lower-leg Syndrome, etc., then your electrodes can be repositioned to pass the stimulus through the pain area(s).

Electrodes are available in many varied sizes and shapes, from butterfly to oval to rectangular to circular and many more. How big the electrode chosen is done to cover the area receiving treatment. If the pain emanates within the spine and the unpleasant area is Six inches or so long then often a 1″ by 6″ electrode will be used, or perhaps an Oval electrode, and staggered positioning, so the 6 in . per electrode of excitement surface area (SSA) can be placed to totally stimulate the painful spine area. When the patient has leg pain then a smaller 2″ Round electrode may be used to include the popliteal space at the rear of the knee, that is much smaller, but the excitement will cover the knee pain area.

Usually the two electrodes per channel can be of differing shape and size depending on the severity of the pain in a particular area. This process allows the electrical stimulus to be targeted by intensity, especially when utilizing interferential therapy. Interferential therapy requires larger electrodes due to what is called “current density”.

Current density is comparable to one standing in a shower that delivers 10 gallons per minute of water through only one small hole. When the patient is position a few feet away under that polished brass shower head then the single flow of water would be unpleasant due to the pressure at the rear of the flow. Showering would be a painful procedure. That is overcome, through rather than one small hole add One hundred more to the polished brass shower head, and now the sensation of showering is comfortable and possible without pain. Along with interferential the same principles apply to electrodes. Electrodes larger than typical tens electrodes are used to reduce the current density by increasing the stimulation surface area.

With interferential therapy, due to the 8,000+ rate, electrodes used are generally larger than a typical tens electrode of 2″ x 2″. Since there is considerable more energy then the dispersement area has to be greater than 4 sq. inches. Interferential therapy also prolongs the life associated with electrodes because, unlike tens therapy, the brief 20 - 45 minute interferential treatments produce carryover pain relief, and do not need an electrode to be worn continuously. Fewer electrodes are essential for interferential therefore additionally less cost.