Posts Tagged ‘tens unit’

Whiplash Treatment Tips

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Many people experience some form of neck injury and its very painful. Often the injury, if it involves a car crash from behind, is referred to as whiplash. This type injury usually involves a sudden jolt of movement forward and the muscles immediately become inflamed and swell, guarding starts as part of the inflammatory process. The first 12 to 24 hours are generally not as severely painful as the time period following the acute onset. It is after the initial trauma the pain can become unbearable. During the first acute episode, following the trauma, its best to ice, cool the neck area because the body has responded to the trauma and initiated a series of chemical reactions to stop the harmful effects. The problem is inflammation, swelling, which began with the influx of new chemical reactions. Because the excess fluid is captured in the tissue area there is an expansion of cells and eventually a rupture in the cell walls themselves which will later require repair to gain full function. After the swelling has stopped then warm moist heat is a very good option to begin dealing with the inevitable pain that follows. Here are some practical remedies in 3 simple steps…

Step 1 - Ice Down/ Chill

The initial step to be taken is ice, cool down the neck injury area. You will need to do this because the muscles will start swelling and there will be a build up of cellular fluids resulting in cell/tissue destruction. Some of the destruction will be the result of the traumatic injury but there will also be additional damage due to the inflammatory response of the immune system. You will need to carefully avoid treating with heat during the acute phase, as the heat will increase blood flow and increase the swelling and tissue damage..

You will need to do the chill initial step promptly. If you do it promptly, then the swelling will subside and there will be less damage and less pain.

Step 2 - Apply Warm Moist Heat

Your second step is going to be after the first 12 - 24 hours, when the swelling has subsided, then begin warm moist heat for the pain. If you don’t have a moist heat pad then simply use warm water on a towel and apply to the neck area. If possible in order to extend the heat of the towel you can put a piece of reflective aluminum foil over the top to contain the heat and not allow it to evaporate. Things you’ll want to avoid here are be careful of using pain medications that may leave you sleepy or groggy. To heal its not necessary to basically “drug oneself” out of awareness. You should stay away from driving a car or getting in any situation where a quick movement, or the need for a quick movement reaction, can harm you. Many chronic injuries are merely acute injuries recurring over and over.

Step 3 - Use Electrotherapy, preferably Interferential therapy, with moist heat if possible.

The 3rd step is if possible use a portable interferential pain machine in conjunction with the moist heat packs or if interferential is not available then use a standard TENS unit. This will be significant because moist heat provides carryover pain relief until the area treated loses the heat. After the thermal heat effects are lost, the pain often returns. The interferential treatment is known as the therapy of choice for extending the residual or carryover pain relief time period, however TENS, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulators, can be worn continuously minimizing pain. This is important because if the carryover period is extended the muscles can be rehabilitated sooner, the pain upon stretching and doing the rehab. is minimized, and full range of motion is restored.

The exact steps outlined above should help the whiplash patient experience less pain, gain mobility quicker, and tissue repair conclude sooner. Just stick to the steps in order, for the reasons as explained, while carefully avoiding the traps, problems and potential mistakes mentioned. Then pat yourself on the back and enjoy the benefits and rewards of having lost the pain, restored the function and lessened the rehabilitation time.

Will Interferential Units Replace TENS Machines?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulators ( TENS unit - TNS unit - Pain Machine) are small, battery powered devices that are worn on the body and emit up to 150 electrical impulses per second to control pain. The devices were widely prescribed during the 1980’s by physical therapists and medical doctors as a last means of helping the chronic pain patient. There was generally a trial period for each patient to determine if the tens unit would provide relief sufficient to justify daily, continuous use and/or purchase by an insurance company.

The big drawback was the unit was only effective if the patient was wearing it and upon turning the pain machine off the pain quickly returned. It was used for symptomatic relief, not curative relief. Constant usage also meant constant need for the electrodes which were/are a continuing cost.

Today interferential pain machines are supplanting tens unit for one simple reason, carryover pain relief. An interferential unit only requires a patient to do a 20 - 40 minute treatment possibly going from 2x daily to as little an once per month to stop the pain transmission. The machine emit up to 8,150 impulses per second, which is considerably more than a simple tens unit. This is changing the way chronic pain patients are being treated.

interferential therapy unit

The carryover, or residual, pain relief is lasting for days/weeks and apparently is changing the underlying chemical composition of pain stimulus so the treatment is becoming curative, not treating the symptom of pain. Interferential patients are needing only 4 - 8 electrodes per month due to the infrequent use and this is saving pain patients and insurance companies enough to justify the higher cost of the interferential unit up front, but not as costly as continuous operation of a tens unit.

What’s the Difference Between Chronic & Acute Pain?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

The difference between acute and chronic pain is that acute pain happens when the body receives some kind of physical trauma (you stub your toe for example) and it sends a message from the brain that there is a problem that needs to be taken care of. The pain is called nociceptive pain and it usually subsides once you have taken care of the immediate problem and healing has started to occur.

If the physical shock to the body is really intense (for example, a person who is attacked and brutally beaten) the body will actually protect the person from an extreme level of pain by creating chemicals that block the pain sensation. A person who has survived a brutal attack or accident, for instance, often states that they felt numb during the experience itself and the pain sensations didn’t come until later.

In contrast, chronic pain has a strong emotional component to it. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for longer than six months. While it is usually brought on by an initial physical trauma, the pain lasts a lot longer than the trauma that induced it. In fact chronic pain can continue for years! I liken it to an alarm bell that went off to send a warning message and has gotten stuck in the “on” position, even though the warning no longer needs to be sent.

When I first bought my car, the alarm system was set slightly wrongly to a very sensitive position, so that the least little thing would set off the alarm and it would continue going off for hours and hours. That resembles the experience of a person with chronic pain. Their body is sending an intense alarm message that is no longer appropriate to the actual situation.

Perhaps because of the fact that there is now a disconnect between the physical trauma and the body’s somatic experience, chronic pain becomes a disorder all on its own, now known as Chronic Pain Syndrome or Disorder. As explained earlier, the difference between acute and chronic pain is that there is a strong emotional component to a person’s experience of chronic pain.

A person with chronic pain may have thoughts such as: “Why is this happening to me?”; “Will this pain ever stop?” or “What did I do to deserve this pain?” They may feel intensely angry or sad or afraid. Their physical pain starts to become linked to all of these aspects of psychological pain, and now we really have a problem!

I genuinely believe that chronic pain cannot be tackled just by medical interventions that rely on the physical aspects, such as surgeries, injections, TENS units or pain-relieving drugs. At best, these can supply a temporary band-aid but the pain always returns. The only way to really rid somebody of this disabling pain, once it has become chronic, is to tackle the emotional aspects underlying the physical sensation of pain. There are many ways to do this, including hypnotherapy, biofeedback, psychotherapy, guided imagery, yoga and spiritual practices, relaxation etc. etc.

The main message that a chronic pain sufferer needs to hear is that their pain experience is within their control. That will empower them to find and use the tools that work for them in relieving their pain. Consider using a TENS Machine Hire for relieve chronic and acute pain.

Home use of TENS units

Monday, October 24th, 2011

TENS unit therapy is easily one of the best ways to help ease pain. They are great because of their ease of use and portability; you can relieve your chronic pain at home. Most commonly, TENS units are used to treat injuries, osteoarthritis and chronic pain. You may have used a TENS machine if you have ever had physical therapy or been treated for pain relief at a chiropractors office. Home TENS use is a relatively new adaptation of technology. They are a safe and non-invasive way to relieve pain. I suggest getting approval as well as advice from a licensed physician.

Let’s look at the basics behind TENS. A TENS Unit relieves pain by sending electrical impulses by way of small electrodes placed on the skin. When used properly, it doesn’t hurt, if it does or muscles get to twitching, then the settings are too high. These electrical impulses send signals to nerve endings under the skin and on to the brain. The signal that gets sent to the brain reduces the feeling of pain and creates a tingling sensation. Many people use home tens units to reduce consumption of pain medication. Pain killers have multiple side effects, whereas, TENS units have none, so this makes them a healthier way to manage pain.

If you’re like me and are against using pain medicine, a home tens unit works great. My portable tens unit is small enough that you can use it in the car, on breaks at work, and pretty much anywhere. The portability of TENS pain relief is a huge advantage over traditional pain relief measures.

You can also choose a combination  with electrical muscle stimulation. TENS and muscle stimulators (EMS) are similar in that they both use electrical nerve stimulation to treat various injuries and conditions. Muscle stimulators work mostly for healing and rebuilding muscle. TENS is a way to temporarily ease pain. A TENS machine stimulates nerve endings and the muscle stimulator stimulates the muscle motor nerves. The combination of the two can’t be beat as far as cost and health; convenience and pain management are concerned.

Brands of Home TENS Units

Home TENS units are cost effective and can be used every day several times a day as needed. You will get plenty of use out of them and this one thing alone makes them cost effective. Prices start under $100 and go up to several hundred depending on features.

Lg Med Supply has a portable tens unit for $105 that combines both TENS and EMS. It comes with both battery and AC adapter, carrying case, belt clip, 8 programs, intensity control, pulse rate, adjustable pulse width and 3 year warranty. The warranty is 100% money back satisfaction and you can’t beat that. Rated 5 stars on Amazon with all positive reviews.

Lg Med Supply also has a home TENS unit- EMS combo for $80 that isn’t as strong in intensity as the one above with less features. It too, has all positive reviews with a 5 star rating, so if you want to compare the two just check them out on Amazon for more details.

Home TENS unit therapy is an excellent non-invasive method of pain management as long as you invest in a quality unit and use them as instructed.

TENS Units For Back Pain Relief

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

There is a new answer for pain relief (specifically for back pain), and it doesn’t include taking pills. For lots of people, swallowing tablets can be difficult, painful, or just plain bothersome. They can be a bit hassle, and they’re easy to forget when you’re in a hurry. So, a TENS unit may be the answer. And what exactly is a TENS unit? TENS or TNS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is an electric current that passes through the body by electrodes that are taped to the skin. The TENS unit is a little box, operated by batteries, and about the size of an MP3 player. A TENS unit has been compared to acupuncture and the pain relief it offers can last from a few hours up to a couple days. Having a TENS unit for back pain can be life changing, and is worth a shot for anyone who suffers with the discomfort of back trouble.

So, how does a TENS unit for back pain work? Since a TENS unit is an electrical current, it is easy to understand how it the pain relief functions. Once the current enters your body, it stimulates your nerves. This stimulation is able to confuse the brain into thinking that the pain is gone. Another way the TENS unit for back pain works is through endorphins. Once nerves in the body are stimulated, the endorphins release natural pain relief throughout the body. After having your body treated to a ‘charge’ from a TENS unit your pain can vanish for a few hours or days of comfort.

TENS Units Aide in Relieving Back Pain

TENS Units Aide in Relieving Back Pain

Using a TENS unit for back pain is worth a shot. No matter if you suffer from mild pain to severe, crippling agony, a TENS unit can help. It may not be a permanent answer, and it may not help for weeks at a time, but it will give you some relief. Even pills don’t keep the pain away for long. And if there is a chance that a TENS unit for back pain can last for hours or days, you should definitely try it. There’s nothing to lose, but the pain.