Posts Tagged ‘tens machine unit’

Tens Unit Helps Provide Relief From Pain

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Pain is the bodys natural signal to let you know when you have gone too far and need rest. But sometimes, pain becomes so acute and chronic, that it must be controlled. People who suffer from chronic pain will empathize that it can be really unbearable. Constant and acute pain can take a toll on your daily life and curb restful sleep as well. Instead of suffering from the pain day in and day out, it is better to go for a safe pain relief method like Tens unit therapy.

“TENS” is the short form for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A “TENS unit” is a small, portable, battery-operated machine that sends electrical impulses to certain parts of the body to curb pain signals. The mild electrical currents produced by a Tens unit is strong enough to prevent 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 is typically connected to the skin using two or more electrodes.

TENS is safe nerve stimulation which aims to decrease pain, both severe and chronic. A good number of systematic reviews or meta-analyses have established its effectiveness for postoperative pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic musculoskeletal pain. A number of tens units have high and low currents. The high current closes the pain gate and the low frequency current excites the nerve which sets off the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.

There are essentially two types of Tens units to relieve back pain and more on offer in the market: a basic version is marketed to customers, typically offering LCD screens and digital control with a range of preset programs; the more intricate units are planned for use by healthcare professionals.

Pain shoots from electroechemical impulses communicating the pain message. A TENS unit interrupts this pathway. Tens unit physical therapy is frequently used to take care of low back pain and neck pain. The exact nerves targeted will decide the area of pain relief. While using these, the patient should make sure to apply a cream that is intended particularly to help conduct electricity from the unit through his skin. This will amplify the effectiveness of the cure.

In addition to Tens therapy, your doctor may, depending on your diagnosis, prescribe some blend of surgical, pharmaceutical and other treatments. Do talk to your doctor before using any of these. Tens unit, if prescribed to you by a good doctor, can definitely help you get relief from chronic and sever pain.


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.


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


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.


TENS Vs Muscle Stimulator - What’s the Difference?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

You’ve probably heard a lot about muscle stimulators recently and chances are, you’ve heard TENS being mentioned, as well. They are both commonly advertised machines that you can get easily for home use. But what is the difference between these two treatments? If you aren’t sure about this then you won’t be able to make the best purchase decision.

The main difference between the two is that a muscle stimulator is used to cause muscle contraction, while TENS focuses on nerve stimulation and tries to avoid contracting the muscles. Both use electrical pulses to do their job, but have different purposes.

The main use of a TENS machine is for pain relief, particularly in the case of chronic pain. It is most often used for joint or muscle pain that won’t go away, but can also be used to help treat nerve problems without resorting to drugs. It isn’t uniformly effective, that is, different people will have different results. For some, TENS electrical pulses interrupt the pain signals so effectively that they are literally without pain. For others, the relief is nearly non-existent, but most commonly, this treatment provides considerable relief from the chronic pain that haunts the user.

On occasion, with medical consent, the TENS can be used at the end of pregnancy, to help alleviate the pains associated with early labor. Since this is only recommended with a doctor’s permission, it’s not a good idea to try this without checking first.

TENS can be used for up to 12 hours and consists of two small electrodes that are placed on either side of the area where the pain originates. The higher frequencies tend to block the pain signals, while much lower frequencies will stimulate the body to produce endorphins which naturally reduce pain.

Muscle Stimulation
This is a very similar machine to the TENS, also using two electrodes to send electrical pulses through the body. However, the purpose is quite different. Here, the purpose is to cause the muscles to contract and the reason has nothing to do with pain relief.

Muscle stimulation has been found to be an effective method of training the muscles. The electrical impulses mimic those of the brain to tell muscles to move. There are two main reasons to use a muscle stimulator.

Training: Using electrical stimulation for training purposes is very useful. It allows the person to focus on specific muscle groups by choosing the right frequency and will work just those muscles, working them and conditioning them. This is particularly useful for aesthetic purposes.

Medical: When it comes to therapeutic use, electrical pulses can be used to stimulate muscles that are not being used. This can keep them conditioned and prevents atrophying. It’s a useful measure in medical situations.

Both TENS machines and muscle stimulators have their uses, but they are very different in their reasons for being used. If you are looking for an alternative to standard pain relief, then the TENS machine is what you should be looking at. However, for the prevention of atrophied muscles and to define specific muscle groups, the muscle stimulator is the way to go.

Now that you know the difference between these two different types of therapies, you’ll be able to choose the correct one. These machines can be bought for home use and you can safely use them yourself, as long as you follow the directions and take care not to use them if you have heart problems or a pacemaker.

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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.