Many women experience discomfort during their menstrual period. Hence, they seek ways to relieve this, such as consuming medicines. However, this can have many adverse effects. Fortunately, women may also use Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to alleviate period pain. It triggers the body to relieve pain by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain and inducing endorphin production. Using a TENS machine for period pain is a drug-free and non-invasive method of alleviating pain.
Women often feel aches in their lower abdomen, lower back, and inner thighs during their menstrual period. To help with this, people may apply TENS pads below the button and above the pubic bone. They may also attach electrodes in the lower back. However, it is best to focus on one area per session. Moreover, consulting a health professional before using TENS is recommended. This article will present what a TENS unit is, how it works, and its safety guidelines.
What is a TENS Machine for Period Pain?
A TENS machine for period pain uses low-voltage electric currents to stimulate the body to relieve aches. Menstrual pain occurs when the muscular walls of the uterus contract strenuously to help the uterus lining shed. This compresses blood vessels and results in lessened blood and oxygen supply to the womb. As a result, women feel aches in their lower abdomen, lower back, and inner thighs.
Fortunately, TENS devices for period pain can effectively provide relief. It uses externally applied electrodes to deliver electrical impulses to the body. People may buy TENS units in pharmacies, medical supply stores, and online platforms. Generally, there are two types of TENS devices available. These are the wired and wireless TENS.
Wired or handheld units are commonly seen in medical settings. They use lead cables to connect the electrodes to the power source and controller. Meanwhile, wireless units use Bluetooth technology to control the output of the adhesive electrode pads. Many value their portability and convenience. Wireless units also have advanced features and connect to smartphone applications instead of separate controllers.
Benefits of Using the Device
- Non-invasive: this pain management method does not require invasive procedures like surgery. This eliminates the risk of infections and other complications.
- Drug-free: TENS does not require the use of medicines. Women may use TENS to reduce or replace their intake of period pain medications.
- Portable: women may use this at home, at work, or in various locations. This allows for convenient relief whenever needed.
- Targeted relief: placing electrodes near or on the pain source can directly stimulate the sensory nerves in the area.
- Massage effect: using high-frequency TENS stimulation produces pleasant sensations that relieve muscle tension and increase blood flow.
How a TENS Machine for Period Pain Works
A TENS machine for period pain primarily provides natural pain relief in two ways. Using high-frequency stimulation (50-120 Hz) triggers spinal nerve cells to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Many use it for sudden and severe pain, which often occurs with acute pain conditions. It takes effect quickly, providing relief from intense period pain.
On the other hand, low-frequency stimulation (2-10 Hz) works more slowly in alleviating aches. This setting triggers the release of endogenous opioids. These natural painkillers build up and reduce the pain sensations. Many use it for chronic pain conditions because its effects last hours after the session. In addition, endorphins help improve moods and reduce stress.
Many women experience painful periods. This can range from discomfort to debilitating period pain. Many turn to drinking medicines or using hot water bottles for relief. Thankfully, TENS is an available option for effective relief. People with period pain may consult medical professionals regarding using TENS. They may advise on proper pad placement, settings, and session duration.
Proper Pad Placement
Proper electrode placement is crucial for any TENS therapy session. Generally, users attach adhesive electrode patches on muscles near or on the pain source. For period pain, women should place the pads in the lower abdomen, specifically below the belly button and above the pubic region. This is where most feel their menstrual cramps.
They may also place TENS pads in the lower back to ease discomfort there. However, they must avoid the spinal cord. Attaching pads in these areas ensures the effective delivery of electrical currents. However, when using multiple electrodes, they must be placed at least one inch apart.
Safety Guidelines When Using the Machine for Period Pain
Individuals should consult medical professionals to ensure safety before using a TENS machine for period pain. They may assess if TENS suits the current health condition. In addition, the user must read the safety guidelines provided by the product manufacturer. This will help increase the understanding of how to use the device.
When using the device, the user must stay alert. This enables them to quickly react if any adverse side effects occur. Hence, avoid sleeping during a TENS therapy session. In addition, refrain from doing activities that may pose a safety risk, like driving or operating heavy machinery while using TENS. Furthermore, be cautious against contact with water because it may cause a sudden shock.
Some may experience allergic reactions due to the materials in the adhesive or pads themselves. In this case, the person must stop the session and remove the pads. Lastly, avoid exceeding the prescribed time for the session. Overusing the machine may lead to skin irritation, mild burns, and even nerve damage.
When to Seek Medical Help?
It is crucial to remember that TENS therapy does not cause the pain to worsen. If the user experiences this during or after their session, they must seek medical help. It could be a symptom of an underlying condition that negatively reacts to electric stimulation. Medical professionals may conduct a proper assessment to diagnose it.
Furthermore, some people experience muscle twitching or tingling sensations during TENS sessions. This is common and often mild. However, people may need to seek medical attention for excessive and lasting muscle twitching. Hence, people must remain cautious while using any electrotherapy device.
Using a TENS machine for period pain is an effective method of alleviating menstrual aches for many women. It uses low-voltage electric currents delivered through electrodes to trigger endorphin production and block pain signal transmission. With proper electrode placement, users may achieve targeted relief. However, consulting a medical professional before using TENS is crucial to ensure safety. Moreover, they must remain alert during the session to promptly react if they experience any adverse effects.
There are many benefits to using TENS machines. It is a drug-free and non-invasive method of relieving various aches. Moreover, people may use them in different locations to achieve relief quickly. People may buy TENS machines in pharmacies, medical supply stores, and online platforms. There are many product options available for wired and wireless TENS machines available. One prospect they may consider is the iTENS from iTENS Australia.