2.) High-Tech TENS Unit
A TENS unit (short for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a battery-operated device that emits electrical currents to treat pain.
This device utilizes a low voltage electric current to get rid of pain signals in your body. You can hook the device to your belt and it’s connected to two electrodes. These electrodes carry current from the device to your skin.
TENS units might help treat a couple of symptoms. This includes:
- Back and neck pain
- Joint pain
- Postoperative pain
- Labor pain
- Period pain
They can also lower the pain that results from particular conditions. This includes:
- Spinal cord injury
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Sports injuries
However, TENS Units are not safe for everyone. Seek medical advice before using if you have :
- A heart problem, pacemaker, or other electrical or metal implant
- Pregnant or any chance you might be pregnant
How TENS Units Work?
A TENS unit works by sending minor electrical impulses via electrodes. These electrodes have adhesive pads to attach to the skin of an individual.
These electrical impulses will flood the person’s nervous system. Because of this, it lowers the ability of the nervous system to send pain signals to the brain and spinal cord.
A TENS unit has controls that enable individuals to manage the suitable level of pain relief. They can do this by changing the duration, frequency, and intensity of the electrical current.
Duration is the number of microseconds that the electrical impulses enter the skin for during every pulse.
The frequency refers to the number of electrical pulses every second. Low-frequency (LF) pulses rangers from 1-20 cycles per second. They’re appropriate for treating chronic pain. On the other hand, high-frequency (HF) pulses range from 80-120 cycles per second. They might help control acute pain.
Intensity is a dial that enables the person to change the intensity of the electrical stimulation.
Knowing how to properly use your TENS machine will help you avoid hurting yourself.
TENS is a non-invasive approach for getting rid of the pain. If you’re experiencing pain relief with the help of TENS, you might be able to lower your intake of pain medications. A couple of these pain medications cause negative side effects or can be addictive.
Also, a TENS unit is extremely convenient since they’re discrete, portable, and small. You can clip the unit onto your belt or carry it inside your pocket. Thus, you can have immediate access to pain relief.
Do TENS Units Work?
There is not an abundance of high-quality medical research and/or clinical trials that support TENS unit therapy in a major way. In fact, many studies are inconclusive with some saying it does not work, some saying the study was inconclusive, and some studies saying it does work.
A 2011 study, showed that TENS and Interferential current (IFC) showed reductions in pain compared to the control group, but found no statistically significant reduction between TENS and IFC.
Another review showed that low frequency TENS therapy did a better job of treating pain than low frequency TENS therapy.
Further research is needed.
While medical literature does not conclusively determine TENS Unit efficacy, many users report positive results. This could be attributed to a placebo effect, or you may find a real benefit.
Need help choosing? See our top TENS Unit picks by.