Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a type of electrotherapy. People commonly find a TENS device inside hospitals, clinics, or rehab centres. However, there are units available for personal use nowadays. Moreover, there are 3-in-1 TENS machines. They not only relieve pain, but they can also stimulate the muscles and provide relaxation. In addition, the devices are compact, so everyone can quickly bring them wherever they go.
TENS therapy is 100% drug-free and non-invasive. It works by sending electrical currents to the nervous system. As a result, it can reduce many kinds of pain. Many treat it as an alternative or supplementary to medication. Some units, like the iTENS from iTENS Australia, are wireless and have all three functions in one device. To learn more about this kind of TENS, the article will present how it works as a pain relief, muscle stimulator, and massager.
3 in 1 TENS Machine: Pain Relief
The main function of TENS is to relieve pain. It can manage acute and chronic pains. TENS comes with electrode pads, which people attach to painful body parts. 3-in-1 TENS machines do this by two methods. One way is through stimulating the nerves using low frequencies (less than 10 Hz). The low-frequency setting produces endorphins, the natural painkiller in the body.
Another way is using high frequencies (greater than 50 Hz). It does pain gating. When this happens, the electrical impulses block the pain signals from reaching the brain. Consequently, the brain finds it more difficult to register pain. High frequencies act faster than low, but its effects also leave the body faster than lower frequencies.
A session may last for around 30 minutes. Patients can use it for around four times a day. For optimum performance, they must place the electrode pads directly on the area of pain or anywhere near it. Furthermore, they alternate the patterns in which they place the pads. They can settle with what alleviates pain the best and the fastest.
What Areas Can It Relieve?
Many medical conditions can affect different body parts. Fortunately, TENS can improve acute and chronic pain conditions. The most common areas in which people use TENS are the following:
- Back – From those who have an improper posture to those who have illnesses like fibromyalgia and sciatica, target this area.
- Neck – Migraine may cause neckaches. They can place the pads here as long as it is not in front of the neck.
- Abdomen – Women with period pains typically attach the electrodes to this part of the body.
- Feet – Athletes with sprains use TENS for these areas. TENS can help blood circulation, hence less pain.
3 in 1 TENS Machine: Muscle Stimulation
Another function of 3-in-1 TENS machines is to stimulate the muscles. This process is called the Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). It uses slightly stronger currents so that the muscles will contract. The purpose of this function is to improve or tone the muscles without doing physical activities. It is a good addition to post-operative pain as well as injuries.
Athletes find it a useful tool to help them recover faster after training or a workout. Moreover, bodybuilders appreciate that it can support the enhancement of their performance. With that, many people are looking to try it for themselves.
It is also helpful for people with sedentary lifestyles. The muscles can weaken without regular physical exercise. A TENS machine can prevent that by improving blood circulation and causing the muscles to grow. It is beneficial to have these functions in one device. People do not need to buy several tools to target different aspects of their lives. TENS can both relieve pain and improve muscle action.
There are many benefits to using a TENS machine. Firstly, it relieves pain naturally. The side effects a person may get are minimal compared to other alternatives. Moreover, regular use of TENS can reduce medication intake. They do not have to rely on drugs as much anymore.
Secondly, it is portable. Those who want to find relief can get it immediately. Going to the hospital or therapy centres is no longer a necessity. Individuals can bring their small devices anywhere or use them at home. Lastly, it is convenient. Wireless units like the iTENS are hassle-free and can connect to Bluetooth.
3 in 1 TENS Machine: Relaxation
A 3-in-1 TENS machine is also capable of doing massages. Some devices are programmed with massage modes. It works through lower frequencies. People with body aches and muscle tension can feel relaxation through the low-voltage impulses of TENS. The tingling sensation a unit provides can help ease their anxiety.
The release of endorphins is one reason why people feel more relaxed during and after using TENS. It also serves as a distraction from pain. The sensation can help people drown the pain out. Hence, it is also a useful tool for women going through labour pains. It temporarily diverts their attention to the device and the buzzing they get.
Furthermore, using TENS for massage can relieve stress. The pulse patterns mimic manual massage strokes like kneading, rubbing, and gliding to help relax the muscles. It helps increase blood flow, which soothes muscle aches. Modern devices incorporate pre-set modes for more convenience. It is easy to use them without manual adjustments.
Are There Risks?
People can use TENS on their own. They do not need medical supervision because it is a generally safe device. However, as with everything, they must proceed with caution. The risks are low, but those who have sensitive skin may experience irritation. There might be itchiness or redness. To lessen the potential side effects, opting for hypoallergenic pads is recommended.
Additionally, they must avoid placing the pads on the spine and eyes. Otherwise, they might have injuries or spasms. If the area of the spine hurts, they can place the pads on either side of the spine.
People can get many benefits from using a 3-in-1 TENS machine. It can relieve their pain, stimulate their muscles, and relax them. The risks are minimal as long as they follow the guidelines and keep the units clean. Having three useful functions makes TENS a cost-effective purchase. However, getting your device from trusted and FDA-approved brands like iTENS is necessary. It assures the consumers their units are effective and safe.
Individuals can buy TENS units online or in physical stores. There is no need for a prescription. However, it would help to speak to doctors first, especially for pregnant women as well as people with epilepsy or heart diseases. Talking to professionals can let them understand TENS more, and it can guide them on what to do best. However, the potential health benefits outweigh the potential risks. Thus, many continue to use it.