Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS is a therapy used by people with acute and chronic pain. TENS uses electrical stimulation to relieve most body pain, especially the neck, arms, shoulders, knees, and feet. The correct TENS settings and parameters can help achieve optimal pain relief. Some discomfort is relieved using low frequency, while some conditions require a high frequency TENS setting to be effective.
Machines like the wireless iTENS consist of electrodes with sticky gel pads that are attachable to the skin. The TENS pads deliver modulated electrical impulses stimulating the nerves to block pain signals from reaching the brain. The most common parameters use low-frequency and high frequency TENS. Health experts recommend starting pain treatment from the lowest frequency and gradually increasing the intensity. This method allows the body to adapt to the electrical stimulation while finding the optimal settings for pain relief.
TENS is a non-invasive way of managing pain without oral medications. At low frequency, it stimulates and relaxes the muscles and nerves. Since each person has different thresholds to pain, increasing to high frequency TENS is necessary to find the most effective pain relief. As you increase the intensity, you will feel a tingling sensation on the body, but it is not overpowering. The iTENS has pre-set settings which are ready treatments with set pulse rate, pulse width, duration, and frequency in place. It also has a manual mode, which allows you to customize the settings. You can try out different frequencies until you feel firm but comfortable.
High Frequency TENS: Is it Safe?
TENS is generally safe and effective for pain alleviation. Using a TENS machine often does not develop any adverse side effects. However, be careful in using high frequency TENS as this may over-stimulate the affected area and cause irritation. Place TENS pads around the site of pain and monitor at what intensity level works best for you. Different body pains or conditions also need different levels of stimulation. You may check the iTENS recommended settings through the app as a guide.
Using high frequency TENS is okay as long as it does not give you discomfort. Varying the intensity and frequency is also recommendable, so you don’t develop a tolerance to it. Ensure proper use of your TENS device by checking with your doctor regarding the parameters for your self-treatment. iTENS is the leading wireless TENS device for pain relief that most pain specialists and therapists in Australia recommend. The iTENS is available over the counter and online through the official iTENS Australia website.