Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) are forms of treatment used by physical therapists to treat pain, inflammation, and lack of mobility with electrical impulses. Despite having very similar devices and modes of electrical stimulation, their effects and purposes for the body differ drastically. One thing they have in common, though; is that both forms of treatment can help reduce pain and improve the comfort of one’s recovery. With more TENS and EMS machines available, like the iTENS unit; it is essential to take note of an EMS and TENS pain relief guide to help for more effective home and personal treatments.
TENS Pain Relief
A TENS machine sends electrical impulses to the nerves to stimulate and block sensory neural pain signals from reaching the brain; reducing an individual’s pain. Like the compact iTENS machine, TENS devices effectively help treat people who mainly have acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) pain; pain after a recent surgery, sports injuries causing chronic discomfort, arthritis, sciatica, and low back pain, and labor pain. TENS are mainly a form of pain management that can be done about 2-3 times a day and can help improve the quality of life of an injured individual by negating the pain felt during recovery. Knowing that TENS machines mainly affect nerves and the sensory aspect of the body is essential to the EMS and TENS pain relief guide.
On the other hand, an EMS machine sends electrical impulses to the muscles themselves, facilitating muscle contraction. Many physical therapists prescribe EMS as a form of muscular pain relief. They are mainly used to reduce muscle edema and muscle spasms; which are the leading causes of muscle pain and discomfort. EMS treatments also include being able to prevent muscle atrophy and weakening. Pain relief in most EMS treatments is a secondary effect done by constant muscle contraction, unlike in TENS machines; which directly affects the sensory aspect of the body. In this EMS and TENS pain relief guide, it is essential to note that the EMS directly affects muscle tone and the motor aspect of the body.
With EMS and TENS machines being more available, it is essential to identify when they should be used using an EMS and TENS pain relief guide. Innovative devices, like the iTENS unit, are now made more portable; making pain management treatments more available and would prove to be an invaluable investment for an individual. Given that they fully understand the purpose of the machine.