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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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Low TENS – What Is It Used For?

A newscaster reporting about TENS as a new pain relief

In the world of pain management and physical therapy, there are many options available. However, not all of them have the benefits that low TENS can offer. It can reduce pain and inflammation, as well as provide relaxation. This innovative therapy provides relief for a wide range of conditions. Thus, it is a valuable tool for both patients and healthcare professionals. It is used for chronic conditions like low back pain, neck pain, phantom pain, and arthritis.

TENS therapy uses electrical stimulation to send gentle pulses through the skin that stimulate underlying sensory nerves. It triggers the production of natural painkillers in the body. Consequently, people feel more at ease. This method has the potential to revolutionise the way patients approach pain management and rehabilitation. The following sections will allow them to understand it, how it works, and how to effectively administer the treatment option.

Understanding Low TENS and its Benefits

Low TENS is also known as low-frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is a widely used therapy for pain relief. It involves the application of electrical pulses to the skin through electrode pads. People can carefully adjust the pulse amplitude, pulse duration, and pulse frequency to target specific pain signals. In addition, it can manage many kinds of chronic pains.

One of the main benefits of TENS is its ability to modulate pain in patients. Stimulating the peripheral nerves and spinal cords can help disrupt and reduce pain signal transmission. Moreover, it can stimulate the natural pain-inhibitory mechanisms of the body, which are endorphins. This leads to a decrease in pain perception.

Another advantage of the treatment is its non-invasive nature. It does not require any surgical procedures or medications. Instead, it is completely painless and drug-free. People do not have to experience the side effects they typically get from regular painkillers. This is particularly beneficial for those who cannot tolerate or do not respond well to traditional pain management techniques.

Types of Pain that Can Be Treated

The various conditions TENS can help with are as follows:

  • Neuropathic pain – This type of pain results from nerve damage. It can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including burning, tingling, numbness, pins and needles, and shooting pains.
  • Postoperative pain – TENS can alleviate pain following surgical procedures, reducing the need for opioids or other pain medications.
  • Period pain – There can be relief of pain from primary dysmenorrhea. Thus, menstrual pain in women is reduced without the need for painkillers.
  • Cancer pain – The therapy can be beneficial in managing pain associated with cancer, enhancing the overall quality of life for patients.

A sitting elderly woman using TENS on her wrist

How Low TENS Works

Low TENS works by delivering electrical pulses to targeted areas of the body. The transmission of the electric pulses to the body happens by placing the pads on the skin. It can be directly on the pain site, but it can also be above, below, or beside it. People can alternate the patterns of the pad placement and see which one works best at reducing pain.

The low frequencies of TENS are typically set at less than 10 Hz. This activates endorphins that act as natural analgesics. They are effective in providing pain relief without causing any discomfort or tissue irritation. Hence, they are suitable for people suffering from chronic conditions. This non-pharmacological pain reliever with minimal side effects is a viable option for managing pain in adults.

TENS is versatile in relation settings. Individuals can modify pulse parameters to meet their needs, ensuring optimal pain management. They can operate it by pressing the buttons of the machine or accessing a mobile app for wireless units. This flexibility makes TENS customisable and adaptable for those experiencing different types and characteristics of pain.

Comparing it with High-Frequency TENS

Using low-frequency TENS is common for chronic pain conditions. Low TENS operate in a lower pulse frequency, usually between 1 to 10 Hz, and longer pulse durations. This allows for deeper penetration into the tissues, providing effective relief for the treatment of pain conditions like arthritis pain.

In contrast, high-frequency TENS utilises a higher pulse frequency, typically between 50 to 100 Hz. Also, there are shorter pulse durations. It is commonly suitable for acute pain, such as labour pain. The quick and repetitive stimulation of high TENS works by temporarily inhibiting the transmission of pain signals to the brain.

A pack of refillable gel pads for TENS with necessary information

Practical Considerations for Using Low TENS Therapy

Low TENS therapy is a pain relief with its own set of practical considerations. To effectively utilise it, people must understand its characteristics. It is common to use low frequencies at around 10 Hz. However, it is best to start every treatment with the lowest to avoid sudden shocks. Additionally, they should move the electrodes around often to avoid skin irritation.

A session should last for no longer than 30 minutes at a time. Also, it is essential to follow the instructions of the manufacturer for proper safety and effectiveness. It is important to note that using low frequencies means that it may take a longer time for people to feel its effect, but the effects tend to last longer on the body as well. Thus, they should manage their expectations regarding low-level TENS.

Choosing and managing pads is another vital consideration. Usually, they come in sets. Hence, it is essential to ensure their quality and adherence. Regular cleaning and replacement can maintain their conductivity and ensure therapy is effective. Moreover, individuals with sensitive skin or allergies to adhesives should buy hypoallergenic pads for optimal results.

When to Seek Medical Help

When using TENS, it is important to know when to seek medical help. If the pain people are experiencing worsens or becomes unbearable, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. This is to rule out any underlying health conditions or to ensure proper electrode placement and treatment intensity.

Furthermore, if there are any signs of discomfort or adverse reactions to the therapy, individuals should ask for medical assistance. It is important to remember that doctors have the expertise to provide specific guidance and support throughout the process. Also, they can offer alternative treatments if TENS is not suitable for the patient.

Conclusion

Low TENS is a form of electrical stimulation therapy that can relieve pain. It works by sending electrical pulses through the skin and into the underlying nerves, which can help reduce pain levels by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. Moreover, it offers a versatile and customisable approach to treating a wide range of chronic pain conditions. It effectively provides relief and improves the quality of life for individuals while being 100% drug-free and non-invasive.

Furthermore, TENS therapy requires careful consideration of pulse frequency, pulse duration, and electrode pad placement to achieve optimal pain relief. By following guidelines and consulting with doctors, individuals can effectively manage their pain. Since there are many choices available in the market, people should research well. They must buy a personal unit that is FDA-cleared and trusted by professionals like physical therapists. One example is iTENS from ITENS Australia.

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