Since the invention of electricity, it has changed the world and made our lives a lot better. Among the effects of electric current, the use of transcutaneous stimulating current to relieve pain (known as TENS) is one of the most wonderful.
This is fairly common electrotherapy among many other physical therapies. Using stimulation from electrical impulses has been widely used to treat various brain and nerve-related diseases.
TENS therapy works similarly to the use of electrical impulses to stimulate the brain or spinal cord. So it is quickly recognized as an effective pain and discomfort relief remedy (even for acute pain). For the newer about the TENS machine, this article will show you What should I look for when buying a TENS Machine?
What are TENS and its effects?
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and is a way to treat physical pain. The theory of this method is to apply electricity to the nerves that send pain signals to the brain, thus disrupting the process of sending pain signals to the brain, thereby reducing pain.
TENS can help the body produce the hormone endorphin, a natural painkiller, and change the way the brain responds to pain signals. This method uses a small, low-intensity power source to provide electricity along the nerve fibers in the area where the body is hurt, disrupting the process of transferring pain signals to the brain and reducing pain.
Generators are usually the size of a small radio and often have two electrodes that attach to the skin. The user of this machine can adjust the machine with different intensity and current to increase or decrease the obstructing effect of electric current
What is the TENS machine used for?
TENS is used to treat pain and discomfort caused by many different medical conditions, including arthritis, back pain, neck pain, muscle aches, knee pain, menstrual pain, etc.
Use this method to reduce the acute pain caused by sports injuries, even the pain of labor. Many cancer patients also use this method to reduce the chronic pain caused by cancer.
How to use the TENS machine?
The electric pulse generator is compact and can be carried with you. To use, two pieces of the electrode will be placed on the sore skin, after which an electric current will be generated from the electric impulse generator.
Where to place the 2 electrode pieces is extremely important to get the most benefit from the TENS method. The best place to place 2 pieces of the electrode is to put it on the painful or uncomfortable areas. You should make sure that the machine is turned off while you adjust the position of the electrode pads.
The intensity and frequency will vary depending on the person, so make sure you increase the electric pulse level that is enough to feel a slight tingling sensation, but not painful or annoying to you. Adjusting the pulse individually to each person is also an important step to gain maximum benefit from this machine.
Safety level and side effects of the TENS machine
Electrical nerve stimulation – the name makes many people nervous, but don’t worry, this stimulus is very different from when you get an electric shock. The electric TENS machine doesn’t contain any water inside it to be dangerous for users.
The worst situation that can occur when using the TENS method is a slight shock due to equipment failure or improper use of the device. Unlike prescription drugs, the TENS method can be used at any time for you without risk or overdose.
Doctors often consider TENS therapy safer than pain relief with medication, because it always comes with undesirable effects. TENS therapy can significantly reduce unwanted effects compared to the use of pain medications.
A small number of people report that their skin is slightly irritated after TENS treatment, but it is very rare. For most people, TENS therapy does not cause serious side effects, even without any unwanted side effects.
The effectiveness of electric therapy has not been proved by any scientific evidence, but mainly based on personal experience and reporting. Sometimes, this method will not work for some people. This method may be slightly different from conventional treatments, but many people find that TENS therapy may help them.
Who should not be treated with TENS?
If the cause of your pain is unclear, then you should not use TENS treatments, but should consult a doctor first. TENS should not be applied to pregnant women, for those who have been implanted with electrical devices containing metal, such as pacemakers or defibrillators. TENS therapy should also not be used for people with dermatological problems, epilepsy or cardiovascular problems.
Are all kinds of TENS machines the same?
There are many types and brands of pulse generators used in TENS therapy and not all of them are the same. The most common type of pulse generator (TENS) is a machine with 2 electrode pads.
In addition, there are machines with 4 or 6 electrode pads, or machines that instead of electrode pads will have small needles, when the current flows through it will behave like normal acupuncture. Please consult with your physician or physiotherapist to select the right TENS machine to suit your medical condition.
What to look out for when using TENS?
Regardless of the device, you should remember that it is a device that uses electricity, so, be careful when using it. Two electrodes should not be placed on exposed or damaged skin, as the current can exacerbate existing injuries.
Do not place the electrode pads near the eye, mouth or neck area. The machine should be stored in a dry place, away from wet areas or water. Do not use the device while showering, while driving, or operating large machinery.
Lastly, thank you for reading. Stay tuned! the next blogs are coming soon.