Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that uses mild electrical currents to manage pain. Athletes with injuries and people with chronic pain commonly use TENS to manage their pain. TENS therapy is a popular method for alleviating various kinds of acute and chronic pain. People hearing TENS for the first time may be intimidated because it applies electricity to the body. However, even self-treatment devices are already proven to be extremely safe. To maximize the benefits of TENS therapy, follow the guidelines on how to properly use a TENS unit.
It is easy to follow how to properly use a TENS unit. A standard TENS unit comes with wires and electrodes that are attachable to the skin. The electrodes transmit mild electrical currents targeting nearby nerves to stimulate the production and release of endorphins and block pain signals from reaching the brain. Endorphins are known as the body’s natural painkillers. Combining the power of electrical stimulation and wireless technology, the iTENS is a Bluetooth-capable TENS device extremely effective for pain management.
How to Properly Use a TENS Unit: Using the iTENS
You can operate the iTENS unit on the device itself or via the iTENS app. In general, these are the guidelines on how to properly use a TENS unit:
- Place the sticky electrode pads on clean, dry skin.
- Switch the device on by pressing the center button on the unit until the LED lights blink
- Launch the app from the smartphone and select your desired treatment. Set your parameters by setting the pulse rate, pulse width, and duration in manual mode.
- You will feel a tingly sensation as the device starts working. Start from low frequency and gradually increase it until you reach the intensity level that is strong but not uncomfortable.
- After the session ends, turn the machine off before carefully removing the electrode pads from your skin.
- Store the TENS device and electrode pads in a clean, dry space.
The TENS device is not suitable to use on or near a body of water. It is also not advisable to use it on open wounds or broken skin. If skin irritation occurs, remove the gel pads, and wash the skin thoroughly with mild soap and pat dry. You may reapply the TENS pads in another area. Do not place the electrode pads on the temples, head, throat, or upper neck. Check the iTENS placement guide and manual for the correct pad positioning and how to properly use a TENS unit. Do check with a doctor or physiotherapist for proper guidance and instructions on the use of your TENS machine for your condition.