You must be aware of variety of tens units and devices available in the market. Let us get to know how they work.
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation which may sound scarier to you but is a wonderful discovery for pain relief treatments. TENS units consist of sticky electrodes that are placed on the skin of pain affected area. When TENS unit is turned on, it generates a low current through the electrodes to skin and tissue beneath it. Therefore, use of tens devices like Ultima 20 TENS unit may give you tingling sensation.
How A TENS unit actually work?
There are different theories regarding the pain relieving method of TENS unit. One such theory is Gate Control Theory which suggests that there is a neutral mechanism in spinal cord which functions as a gate for the flow of signals to the periphery of brain. The signal is used to change the perception of the pain in patient’s body. The frequencies generated by TENS unit alters the transmission of pain messages at spinal cord level and help the block their transmission to the brain.
Another theory called Endorphin release suggests that electrical impulses stimulate the generation of good hormones endorphin and enkephalin in the body. These natural hormone acts like painkillers by blocking the pain messages reaching the brain.
TENS for chronic pain
It has not been yet confirmed whether TENS relieve chronic pain or not. Several research works have confirmed that TENS can help controlling chronic pain. However, TENS is not effective for everyone. The best part about TENS is the minimal side effects. Unlike heavy doses of painkillers, it will not make you drowsy. It is easy to apply and can be worn anytime anywhere during activities.
Cons of using TENS
Although there is little negative associated with TENS devices, for example, the treatment is should not be used by a pregnant woman, an individual with poor sensation or a cancer patient or an individual having pacemaker. TENS devices should never be used around heart, chest, breast or head. There may be slight skin irritation with TENS, but only in rare cases.
You can easily purchase TENS unit from an online store, and it is very easy to use. Still, you should consult your physician about using it; s/he may refer you to a physical therapist who can help you decide the right device of TENS unit supplies for you.