Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machines are electrotherapy devices for pain relief. It uses electrode pads to deliver electrical currents to the skin, which trigger the body to alleviate pain. People must check for features when looking for the best TENS machines. They must consider the device type and adjustable programs it has. Additionally, it should provide a wide range of pain relief. Finally, it should be cost-effective and easy to use.
TENS units have grown in popularity as people with acute and chronic pain seek drug-free alternatives. It uses adjustable settings to trigger spinal nerve cells to block pain signals. In addition, it induces the production of endorphins. There are many wired and wireless options for TENS devices. This article will present some features that people must check, such as the ability to provide a wide range of pain relief, device type, adjustable programs, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use.
Best TENS – Can Provide a Wide Range of Pain Relief
A crucial feature to search for when looking for the best TENS unit is its ability to relieve various chronic and acute conditions. Typically, TENS machines have a frequency range of 1-150 Hz and an intensity range of 0-80 mAmp. These adjustable settings allow users to address different pain conditions. The optimal pain relief settings may vary from person to person, depending on their tolerance and health conditions.
High-frequency stimulation (50-120 Hz) triggers the spinal nerve cells to block pain signals from reaching the brain. This is the mechanism suggested in the Gate Control Theory of Pain. This setting may take effect immediately or within 30 minutes of the session. It is helpful for acute pain conditions like sports injuries and labour pain.
Meanwhile, low-frequency stimulation (2-10 Hz) triggers the production and release of endorphins. These are natural painkillers that build up and relieve pain in the area. This is suitable for chronic pain because the effects last hours after the session. Some examples of chronic pain conditions are fibromyalgia, arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy.
Proper Pad Placement for Various Pain Conditions
Proper electrode placement is crucial for the effective delivery of electrical stimulation. Different types of pain may require different placements. Generally, pads are placed near or on the source of pain. Here are some guidelines:
- Sciatic pain: place the electrodes on the painful side of the lower back and behind the leg.
- Migraines: place electrodes on either side of the cervical spine or the base of the neck.
- Foot pain: place the electrodes over the back of the lower calf muscle and above the toes in the front.
- Period pain: place the pads below the belly button and above the pubic region.
Best TENS – Device Type and Adjustable Programs
Another factor to consider when looking for the best TENS units is the device type and the adjustable programs. Generally, there are two types of TENS units available on the market. These are the wired and wireless TENS machines. Some doctors and physical therapists use handheld or wired TENS in hospitals and therapy centres. These are powerful devices that may control up to eight electrodes. They use electrode cables to connect the controller and the pads.
Meanwhile, many people use wireless TENS machines because they are convenient and easy to use. There are many advantages to using wireless units. These devices use Bluetooth technology to connect their controller to the electrode pads. Some devices have user-friendly smartphone applications to adjust the settings and select preset modes for treatment.
Some devices offer preset modes tailored for specific conditions and body parts to help relieve pain. There are various program modes to target different types of pain. Burst mode delivers short bursts of electrical impulses. Meanwhile, the continuous mode provides a constant stream of pulses. Lastly, the modulation mode provides varying intensity and frequency of electrical pulses.
Advantages of Using a Wireless Unit
Many people opt for wireless units because they are convenient but effective machines for pain relief. Wireless TENS units remove the restriction of lead cables using Bluetooth technology. This allows people to do simple activities during their therapy sessions.
Moreover, wireless electrode pads are discreet and easy to hide under clothing. They also come in various specialised shapes and sizes for enhanced alleviation from aches. Many wireless units also feature rechargeable batteries instead of replaceable ones. This helps ensure the machine does not run out of power during the session. It also removes the hassle of buying batteries.
Best TENS – Cost-Effective and Easy to Use
Many look for the best TENS machines because they are cost-effective and easy to use. Owning a personal TENS device may reduce trips to the hospital or therapy centres for treatment. This saves both time and effort. Moreover, there are many affordable options for TENS machines. It is crucial to buy FDA-cleared devices to ensure the product has undergone rigorous testing.
Furthermore, customers should factor in the accessories. Lead cables used in handheld units require replacement once breaks appear to prevent sudden shocks. Some may find investing in slightly more expensive wireless TENS more cost-effective.
TENS machines should also be convenient and easy to use. Using a TENS machine is relatively easy when the user follows the guidelines. To summarise, they need to place the pads in the correct areas. Then, turn the machine on its lowest settings and gradually increase until optimal pain relief is achieved. After, they may turn off the machine and remove the pads. It is ideal if the machine has a user-friendly interface to adjust the settings and select programs.
Portability and Convenience
Many can use TENS machines to reduce or replace their intake of oral pain medications because there are portable and convenient options available. In particular, wireless TENS offer better portability and convenience than handheld units. Removing wires allows users to wear the pads underneath clothing and use the device anytime.
These machines are easy to use at home without medical supervision. Furthermore, wireless TENS are easy to use in different settings since they do not require much set-up. With wired units, users must ensure the wires are connected to the controller power source and the pads.
TENS machines are effective pain relief devices. Many use these medical devices to address chronic and acute pain conditions. It is an alternative pain management method that many use during physical therapy. This is why they have grown in popularity. Many look for the best TENS device for personal use. Before buying a device, they must consider factors like cost-effectiveness, ease of use, device type, adjustable program modes, and ability to relieve various pain conditions.
Modern TENS machines are designed to be convenient and easy to use. Many also provide preset modes tailored for different conditions. However, people should consult medical professionals to ensure their safety. Moreover, they should use reliable FDA-certified devices. One option is the iTENS from iTENS Australia. It is a wireless TENS machine with wing-shaped electrodes. Furthermore, it uses a user-friendly smartphone app to control the electrodes.