Patients suffering from acute and chronic pain seek various kinds of pain relief. One of the standard and readily available pain management options is electrotherapy. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy is a non-invasive method that effectively relieves discomfort. The iTENS and Dr Ho TENS machines differ in several ways, like their features and types. iTENS is wireless while Dr Ho TENS devices are traditional wired type. They also have different numbers of pre-set modes and operations.
The demand for TENS is growing as it is also non-addictive. It takes away the need for oral medications and intrusive procedures like surgery unless prescribed by doctors. TENS devices send out low-voltage electrical currents that stimulate the nerves. They block the pain signals from reaching the brain. Thus, individuals feel less pain and discomfort. The succeeding sections will outline the comparison between iTENS and Dr Ho TENS units and safety precautions when using TENS.
iTENS vs Dr Ho TENS Machine: Type
People may opt for TENS devices because of their ease of use and convenience. They can use them anytime and in their own homes. Patients can also operate a TENS device independently without professional supervision. Moreover, there are two types of TENS units – traditional or wired and wireless. The Dr Ho TENS machine uses electrode pads that are connected with wires. However, the device itself is portable. Individuals can use it even while doing other activities.
On the other hand, iTENS, from iTENS Australia, is wireless. It removes the hassle of dealing with tangled wires. The gel pads are connected directly to the TENS unit. Furthermore, iTENS has Bluetooth connectivity. It syncs to the free iTENS smartphone app for patients to control. Thus, it can be used anywhere at any time necessary. Moreover, it is discreet when worn under clothes. With this, people may use iTENS continuously without disrupting daily activities.
Dr Ho TENS units and iTENS may differ when it comes to their types, but they serve the same purpose. They are designed to provide pain relief without interfering with the range of motion. In addition, their gel pads efficiently transmit electrical impulses enough to stimulate sensory nerves. Electrotherapy uses these devices to help reduce pain from sore muscles, general body aches and various acute or chronic pain symptoms.
Types of Gel Pads
Dr Ho TENS devices offer gel pads that are square in shape. They come in the following sizes:
- Small gel pads
- Large FlexTone pads
- Foot therapy pads
Meanwhile, iTENS offers wing-shaped electrodes to target various body parts that may be difficult to reach:
- Small Wing Size
- Large Wing Size
- Long Wing Strip
iTENS vs Dr Ho TENS Machine: Features
Most people also choose TENS devices based on features like pre-set modes. This enables them to use the unit without going to clinics. Also, the pre-set programs allow patients to target specific body parts or address discomfort from different conditions. The Dr Ho TENS machine offers 12 different massage settings. Moreover, these can be customised according to a person’s needs. Massage modes include sensations like thumb and palm kneading, pounding, cupping, and lightly or firmly squeezing of the muscles.
Furthermore, Dr Ho TENS units feature auto-modulating wave technology that helps relieve pain from various conditions. The frequencies work together and create a waveform that is transmitted throughout the body. In addition, Dr Ho TENS devices offer dual therapy. Similar to iTENS, TENS and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) are combined in one machine. The units do not only target the nerves but also have modes to reach the muscles and improve healing.
Compared with Dr Ho TENS devices, the iTENS offers various modes to treat pain in different body parts or from different conditions. When connected to the smartphone app, patients may select the treatment they need based on the aforementioned options. This makes it easier for individuals to set up the iTENS. The iTENS connects seamlessly to their smartphone without the need to set it up for each use.
What TENS Can Treat
TENS therapy can treat various acute and chronic pain symptoms, including:
- back pain
- hip and knee pain
- bulging discs
- arm or leg pain
- neck and shoulder pain
- period cramps
- labour pain
- trouble sleeping due to pain
- pain related to arthritis
- pain related to sports injuries (strains and sprains)
iTENS vs Dr Ho TENS Machine: Safety Precautions
TENS units like the iTENS and Dr Ho TENS machines have guidelines for safe and effective use. As results may vary among patients, so do the side effects. Some individuals report skin irritation. However, this may go away several minutes after removing the gel pads. Thus, experts advise checking periodically for redness on the skin where the electrodes are attached. In addition, it is not recommended to use TENS on infected skin or open wounds.
Moreover, TENS may not be ideal for some people with specific conditions. For instance, patients with pacemakers or other electric implants may not use TENS or should consult their doctors before using one. The device may interfere with the implants, which could cause more complications. Similarly, pregnant women should not use TENS during the early stages of pregnancy or to induce labour.
Furthermore, individuals should not use TENS devices like the iTENS and Dr Ho TENS units near water or while bathing. These electrical devices can cause harm when exposed to water. Patients may also not use TENS while sleeping. Leaving the device on the body for a longer period of time than recommended may cause overstimulation. In addition, individuals must refrain from using TENS while driving or operating heavy machinery. Lastly, always consult with a healthcare professional before using TENS.
Where Not to Place TENS
TENS is generally safe for most people. However, avoid placing it on the following areas:
- eyes and mouth
- front and sides of the neck
- chest and back at the same time
- belly when pregnant
- directly over the spinal cord
- directly over the joints and the bones
In comparison, the Dr Ho TENS machine is a traditional or wired type, while iTENS is wireless. Moreover, they are both portable, convenient, and easy to use. Patients may use the devices in their own homes without expert supervision. Furthermore, their gel pads vary in size and shape as iTENS offers wing-shaped electrodes. Meanwhile, Dr Ho TENS features square-sized gel pads. Additionally, iTENS has pre-set modes to treat pain in different body parts or from different conditions.
On the contrary, Dr Ho TENS units have pre-set massage modes to address discomfort from different sources. Moreover, both combine TENS and EMS in one device. Also, there are safety guidelines for the safe and effective use of TENS devices. In conclusion, Dr Ho TENS units and iTENS vary in type and features. However, they serve the same purpose of relieving pain from various sources.