Posts Tagged ‘tens machine unit’

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

Using A Tens Machine For Pain Relief

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

As more and more alternative medicine is becoming popular, it’s not surprising that people would shy away from drugs to ease their pain and look for something that isn’t as likely to have side effects. The TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine is one of the more popular methods for easing pain and can now be found easily on the market.

While TENS can aid with all types of pain relief, it is particularly popular among those who suffer from chronic pain and who are usually becoming resistant to pharmaceutical painkillers. Using stronger and stronger drugs in order to make it through the day doesn’t mesh with everyone’s philosophy and that’s why they start looking for alternatives like TENS.

How It Works
Essentially, TENS machines work by shooting electrical pulses through electrodes that are attached to the skin. These pulses interrupt the electrical signals that are sent to the brain to let it know that your body is hurting. By interrupting them, the pain is eased or even eliminated.

There are two ways the TENS machine is thought to work:

Low Frequency: The lower frequencies, 2-5 Hz, are believed to cause the body to react. The reaction creates natural painkillers, or endorphins. The endorphins block the pain naturally and while popular, this isn’t the usual method of using TENS.

High Frequency: For more intense pain, higher frequencies, 90-130 Hz, work to actually interrupt those pain signals being sent to the brain. This is the most common use for the machine and while you start slow, it’s not uncommon to need to up the frequency to find the best block.

How to Use It
Your machine should come with detailed instructions, which should be followed. However, there are some general use instructions that we can list here. Make sure the machine is off before applying the electrodes. You can test to ensure that it’s working by turning it on while holding the pads in your fingers. If it tingles, it’s working.

When putting the electrode pads on, be sure to avoid any sensitive or irritated areas and only apply to clean skin on either side of the pain. Electrodes need to be covered in conductive gel and must be placed at least an inch apart, preferably a little further. Tape them down if you plan to be moving around much. Turn the machine on at its lowest setting and gradually turn it up until you can feel the tingle.

You will need to feel a fairly strong sensation, but not painful. If the current causes muscles to contract, turn it down. The length of the session is up to you. It will need to be at least 45-60 min. but you can safely use the machine for up to 12 hours. At the end of the session, turn it off and remove the pads.

Who Can Use TENS
This technology isn’t best for everyone. Some people get more of a benefit than others and some won’t notice much of a difference in pain levels at all when using TENS. Also, if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, epilepsy or a heart disease, you should stay away from this type of treatment. In some cases, TENS is used during labor, but in this case, you would need to consult a doctor.

As an alternative pain treatment, you’ll find that this works best on muscle pains, or those in the joints or caused by nerves. The electrical pulses are far less effective on things like headaches, chest pains or stomachaches and intestinal issues. That being said, there aren’t any real side effects from the use of this machine, so you can certainly experiment to find out whether or not it works for you. TENS can be a useful alternative to drugs. It’s worth trying if you suffer from chronic pain.

Source: articlesnatch.com

TENS Machine For Back Pain Relief

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Back pain can be tackled in many ways. You can not depend upon the merit of any one type of treatment, to get rid of back pain. When you have back pain and when it does not subside for days together, you are so confused you are willing to follow any type of therapy that offers you hope of relief.

Well, it is the machine again that has come to the rescue of the humanity. For taking care of the lower back pain TENS machine (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is used with much benefit. Powered by the batteries that send mild electric pulse through the nerves, to block the pain signals is transmitted to the brain. The pressure felt in the affected area where the pain was located is relaxed. But the cost of such treatments is on the high side, which bars many from availing the treatment.

It is not that the TENS machine is the panacea for your back pain and once you have availed the services of this machine, you are free from your back pain for ever. Proper lifestyle and taking care of little things, which you consider as insignificant, is the indirect part of your treatment.

Be disciplined when you sit, stand or lift things. Don’t do things casually, without paying proper attention. If you sit on a properly non-aligned chair that could itself be the cause of your back pain. While picking up anything from the ground, bend from the knees in a relaxed manner, and not the stiff bend by just using the back. Do not put stress on the lower muscles of your back.

If the popularity of the machine is any indication, the TENS machine has done well. To many it has given total relief, to some partial. And as it is a case with all other therapies to treat back pain, to some there is no relief at all. Nevertheless, this TENS treatment has caught the imagination of the sufferers.

Even if one man is treated, it is one less patient of back pain! Further research is being carried out to judge the effectiveness of the machine, as part of the modern day medicine. At the existing level, the relief in pain provided by the machine varies from person to person.

The TENS machine works in two ways. The machine will trigger the pain gate to close when it is set on a high pulse rate of 90-130 Hz which it is believed, will block the pain nerve path to the brain. This can be said to be its normal functioning. When the machine is set on a low pulse rate, 2-5 Hz, it will cause the body to make its own pain easing chemicals called endorphins.

The main advantage of using the TENS machine is thatFree Reprint Articles, that there are no side effects. But this treatment is strictly to be taken under the guidance and supervision of the physician only.

Source: articlesfactory.com

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.

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

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.

Source: ezinearticles.com