If you are living with acute or chronic pain, you know how difficult it can make your life. That dull, constant ache or that sharp, shooting pain can be debilitating.
You’ve probably tried a variety of techniques to reduce your pain, but if none of them have worked, you are probably wondering if there is any way that you will ever find relief. A physical therapist can diagnose the cause of your pain, and provide you with effective treatment options to reduce that pain.
One of the treatment options that a physical therapy glen head office may recommend is TENS.
What is TENS?
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It is a form of physical therapy that utilizes a low-voltage electrical current to reduce pain, therefore, it should not be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner.
The electrical current is delivered via a small, portable mini massager that is no bigger than a pocket-sized radio. Typically, the electrostimulation is delivered to the pain sight via two electrodes that run from the TENS device, which are attached to your body. Once the electrodes are in place, the device is turned on, sending out an electronic pulse. Many users report that they feel a reduction in the amount of pain they experience.
How does TENS Work?
There are two theories behind the way the portable TENS unit works: One is that the electrical pulses the TENS massager delivers sends signals back to the brain, which block the pain signals, thus reducing the amount of pain that is experienced; the other is that the electrical stimulation helps the body produce endorphins, natural painkillers, which block the feeling of pain.
There is a control switch that you can use to adjust the frequency of the electronic wavelengths that the unit sends out, allowing you to control the amount of electrical current the TENS unit delivers. For example, you can set the device so that it sends out a constant flow of current, or you can set it so that it delivers a quick burst of current. While you operate the device, your physical therapist will ultimately determine the settings that will work best for your specific needs.
Who can Benefit from TENS?
There are a variety of muscle, bone and joint conditions that the TENS unit can be used to treat. Some of the most common conditions that TENS east hills physical therapy is used to treat include:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
This is just a short sampling of the conditions TENS is used for. A physical therapist will determine whether or not it would be a treatment option for you. Varicose veins, however, may not be treatable with TENS. You should make an appointment with a specialist for that.
How to Get the TENS Massager
Your physical therapist will assess your condition and determine if TENS would be an effective treatment option for you. If it is determined that this form of therapy would be beneficial, your therapist will provide you with the unit, and will teach you how to properly use the device.
Who Shouldn’t Use TENS
While TENS has been proven to be an effective form of pain management for countless people, it should be mentioned that there are certain individuals who should not use this form of therapy. There is a slight risk that the electrical stimulation could complicate some medical conditions. People who should not use TENS include:
- Those who have a Cardiac Pacemaker in place
- Individuals who have been diagnosed with a malignancy of any kind
- People who have a heart condition
- Anyone who has epilepsy
- Women are pregnant, unless otherwise directed by a doctor
If you are suffering from acute or chronic pain, the first step to treating your pain is to consult a physical therapist. The therapist will determine if TENS will be an effective treatment option for you.