Labour pain can be intense. Thus, expectant mums require pain relief to eliminate the discomfort they feel. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy is a treatment method to reduce pain. It is safe for both the mother and the baby. The two popular options for them are the Elle TENS 2 and the iTENS wireless. The former is specially made for maternity use, while the latter is a device that caters to different kinds of pain alongside labour pain.
TENS machines help alleviate various pains during pregnancy, especially labour pain. It has little to no risks and reduces the intake of medications. However, it is essential to speak to doctors before buying or hiring a TENS unit. It will help women understand how TENS could help them, and they will know the possible risks depending on their state. The following sections will also aid in knowing how the two choices differ in device type, operation, and precautions.
Elle TENS 2 vs iTENS Wireless: Device Type and Features
Elle TENS 2 and iTENS are proven successful in reducing labour pain, hence their popularity. However, they have their differences. The former is a traditional handheld device. It has lead wires that people need to attach to the machine and the electrode pads. Moreover, it has additional features such as a contraction timer, backlit display, and neck cord for the benefit of pregnant women and their support system.
On the other hand, iTENS is completely wireless. Hence, women can adjust the settings through their mobile phones, but they can also do it manually. There are preset modes that are suitable for various pains and body parts. The mobile application that comes with it is user-friendly. They can easily navigate through it. The pad placement guide is accessible through the app.
Furthermore, the pads are different. Elle TENS has rectangular, almost cloth-like pads. Contrarily, iTENS has wing-shaped gel pads that are reusable and replaceable. In conclusion, the former is more traditional with features specifically for pregnancy, while the latter is more modern and has features for the general convenience of anyone who uses it.
TENS has many benefits. Here are some of them:
- Drug-free – People do not have to rely as much on medication that can cause adverse side effects anymore.
- Low risks – It is generally safe for everyone to use. Nevertheless, it is recommended to speak to a healthcare professional before use.
- Relaxation – The pulses can provide soothing and massage-like sensations. Thus, they can feel more at ease.
- Convenient – The units are typically small, regardless of their type. Hence, they are easy to bring anywhere and use anytime. This is especially true for wireless devices because they are discreet.
Elle TENS 2 vs iTENS Wireless: Operation
Operating the Elle TENS 2 and iTENS is straightforward. Since one is wired and the other is wireless, the operation of the machine varies slightly. Elle TENS requires pregnant women to connect the device and the pads using a wire. They should also manually turn it on and off using the buttons. Moreover, they adjust the settings with the machine itself. The unit operates with burst and boost modes for more help.
The modes of Elle TENS work by amplifying the sensations of relief. Pregnant women should use the burst mode between contractions. It helps produce endorphins that make them less anxious. The boost mode works best during contractions as it provides an extra flood of pain-fighting power.
Consequently, iTENS units are wireless. Thus, people can directly place the pads on the pain area to begin the therapy. They can operate it using the buttons on the wings or the mobile application. In addition, they can manually adjust the frequency depending on their level of comfort. There is an option to utilise both low and high frequencies to prevent the body from building up resistance to the treatment.
How It Works
TENS is a type of electrotherapy. There are generally two methods to manage the pain. One of which is by enhancing endorphin production. This happens at low frequencies set at less than 10 Hz. The mild stimulation causes the body to feel better. Hence, this is suitable for people who have chronic conditions.
Another way is by pain gating. The electric currents stop the pain signals from reaching the brain. As a result, individuals feel little to no pain. TENS operate at high frequencies set at greater than 50 Hz. This is more appropriate for those who have acute pains.
Elle TENS 2 vs iTENS Wireless: Safety Precautions
Pregnancy is a journey where women are vulnerable. Thus, potential risks are heightened. They must then take necessary measures like speaking to doctors first and knowing how to operate TENS properly. Once they are cleared, the risks are minimal. Nevertheless, they must use it with safety precautions in mind. Elle TENS 2 is specifically made for soon-to-be mums. However, they should not place the pads on the abdomen.
Moreover, TENS is advisable to use during the latter stages of the pregnancy. Hence, many women use it to combat lower back pain during labour. They can attach one or more pads directly to the area of pain or anywhere near it. If they opt to use iTENS instead of a labour TENS unit, there are large wing kits that are suitable for larger areas like the back.
Furthermore, all TENS machines are electronic devices. Thus, people should not use it with water. Pregnant women who do water birth can use TENS before or after they submerge in the pool. This prevents any issues such as short circuits, pads losing their stickiness, and potentially injuring themselves.
There are some more general guidelines to follow for maximum protection. Firstly, people with pacemakers and epilepsy should be more cautious than others. The electric impulses that TENS produces may interfere with metal. Moreover, the currents, no matter how mild they are, can cause seizures.
Secondly, proper maintenance of the device is necessary for longevity. It should be kept in a clean and dry place to avoid dirt and dust. Lastly, there are body parts that people should generally avoid. These include the eyes, the front of the neck, and the spine. Otherwise, they can get hurt.
It is important to have drug-free pain relievers in the market, especially ones that cater to pregnant women. Research shows that women who used TENS did not experience any adverse side effects. Elle TENS 2 and iTENS are two of the most suitable TENS machine options for labour pain. Professionals trust them because they have proven to be effective. The difference between the two lies in the features they offer and how to operate them.
People must weigh the pros and cons of both devices to know how they can fully utilise a unit in their lives. Those who want to opt for wireless units because of their convenience can visit iTENS Australia online. They have different packages that will make TENS therapy easy for everyone. All in all, they are both safe and non-invasive. However, they should remember to visit a doctor and follow guidelines for the best results.