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Comparison Guide: iTENS vs Elle TENS Machine

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is efficient for managing a wide range of pain conditions. Physiotherapists recommend using TENS for patients with acute or chronic pain. Additionally, people can avail natural and drug-free pain relief through a TENS machine. It is common to see a standard wired TENS machine in physical therapy clinics or treatment centres. Apart from physiotherapy, TENS is also beneficial for relieving labour pain. A device from iTENS Australia or an Elle TENS machine can help reduce pain and discomfort during the early stages of labour. 

TENS Machine for Labour Pain

TENS therapy effectively reduces labour pain when the regular contractions start. However, not all e-stim or TENS devices are suitable for labour pain relief. In particular, labour pain can be intense. During labour, the muscles in the uterus contract, creating pressure on the cervix. This sensation feels like strong cramping in the abdomen, groin, and lower back. The pain may also radiate down to the thighs or legs. Therefore, finding the right pain relief techniques can help ease the strong dull, achy, and cramping sensations. The iTENS and an Elle TENS machine are excellent devices to relieve labour pain. 

A TENS machine is a portable battery-operated device using low-voltage electrical impulses. The currents pass through the skin to stimulate the sensory nerves to lessen the pain perception. In particular, the Elle TENS machine is a pain relief device specifically intended for maternity. Similarly, the iTENS is an innovative device for managing acute and chronic conditions, including pain during labour. TENS relieves pain by intercepting the pain signals from reaching the brain. According to the Gate Control Theory of pain, a mechanism in the spinal cord acts as a gate that facilitates the transmission of pain messages to the brain. It induces the gate to close during electrical stimulation, blocking the pain signals. Another function of TENS is to activate the release of endorphins, which act as the body’s natural painkillers. 

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iTENS vs Elle TENS Machine: Relieving Pain through Different Frequencies

TENS uses a set of electrodes to deliver electrical stimulation for pain alleviation. However, each TENS unit, like the iTENS or Elle TENS machine, has distinct features to help relieve pain efficiently. Elle TENS machine specialises in an obstetric TENS unit. The device has burst and boost mode functions which helps lessen pain from contractions. The steady periodic pulses help release endorphins, while the extra power surge through the boost button helps block painful contractions. Meanwhile, the iTENS also offers swift pain relief through modulated TENS frequency. Therefore, you may set the TENS intensity from low to high, depending on the severity of pain. Additionally, the tingling sensation from the device acts as a distraction during contractions or when throbbing pain hits. 

Features of the Wireless iTENS 

iTENS Australia offers robust pain reduction through wireless iTENS. Unlike the wired Elle TENS machine, the wireless iTENS gives more flexibility for movement and easier use. The wireless electrodes of iTENS are Bluetooth-capable and seamlessly connect to a smartphone app. Additionally, it provides multiple pain treatments through the iTENS companion app. The wireless iTENS offers the following functions:

  • Pre-set modes – The iTENS carries automatic programs for body areas and health conditions. For instance, you may quickly choose the therapy for specific body aches like the wrist, elbow, knee, shoulder, and back pains. Likewise, you may select the treatment for chronic conditions like arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, bursitis, and period pain
  • Manual operation – TENS therapy enables you to control pain relief through adjustable settings. The iTENS app allows you to set the parameters to find the most effective results. 
  • Wireless electrodes – The wireless electrode pads are easy to place on the pain area. Simply peel off the protective cover from the gel pads and adhere on pain site. There are no complicated set-up of connecting lead cables with the electrodes or untangling messy wires.
  • Bluetooth technology – iTENS replaces wires with Bluetooth electrodes to facilitate fast and convenient pain relief. You can access the programs directly from your smartphone through the free downloadable iTENS app.  
  • Long-lasting battery – iTENS uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for efficient and long-standing use. The iTENS has a total run time of 24 to 36 hours from a full charge. 
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TENS Electrode Pads

A prominent feature of a TENS machine is the kinds of electrode pads used. Some units like the Elle TENS machine use wired electrodes. Cables connect the pads to the control. In addition, all TENS pads need replacement after several uses. However, wired TENS are more prone to wear and tear than wireless ones. The cables are susceptible to breakage, which may cause minor shocks or burns. The iTENS eliminates this problem by combining digital technology with TENS therapy. It is also easy to keep and maintain. Therefore, the iTENS gel pads take a longer time before needing replacement. Moreover, you may purchase spare accessory wings when using specific body parts. iTENS Australia offers the following TENS pads and accessories:

  • Small Wings – Suitable for joint body parts like elbows, knees, or ankles
  • Large Wings – Ideal for broad areas like the shoulder, back, and hips for maximum coverage. Large wings are appropriate for easing lower back pain during labour. 
  • Long Strip Wings – The wings are suitable for long-length pains in areas such as wrist, arms, and legs. 
  • Gel pads Refill – iTENS Australia offers affordable gel pads that come in three sets each and are good for up to 60 applications. 

Getting a TENS Machine for Personal Use

TENS therapy is undoubtedly a safe and effective pain management method. You can use TENS to treat various conditions or body aches. Elle TENS machine also offers pain relief to help improve incontinence or pelvic floor dysfunction. People with chronic pain can use a TENS machine like the iTENS as a drug-free alternative to oral painkillers. TENS does not produce adverse side effects despite frequent or prolonged use. Therefore, you may use a TENS machine many times a day as needed. However, ensure that you take at least a twenty-minute break between sessions.

Like any device, TENS comes with general precautions. TENS therapy is not suitable for people with cancer, epilepsy, heart diseases, cardiac pacemakers and other electrical implants in the body. Likewise, the iTENS or Elle TENS machine is not advisable during pregnancy (first 37 weeks), except in the early stages of labour. Ensure that you have medical supervision in using the device if you have the said conditions. Furthermore, do not use TENS on the temples, eyes, or near the head. Avoid placing the electrode pads on broken skin or open wounds to prevent causing further damage. It is important to note that a wireless TENS like the iTENS can provide more efficiency and convenience in managing pain than a standard wired TENS.