Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy is a highly effective pain management method that relieves pain through our body’s natural response to electric stimulation. A TENS device uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate our nerves. Pain relief through electrical nerve stimulation falls under the “Gate Control Theory” of pain management. This theory states that the constant nerve stimulation from a TENS device can cause our gating channels to close. These gating mechanisms act as pathways for our body’s pain signals. Closure of these channels can block away pain signals, thus, reducing the pain sensations we would typically feel from a health condition, body ache, or injury. Highly effective personal devices like the iTENS or the Neurotrac TENS machine can effectively help provide pain relief through this pain theory.
Additionally, these TENS devices can also help induce endorphin release. These hormones are our body’s natural painkillers. Aside from pain relief, these hormones can also have other positive effects. Therefore, professionals often refer to endorphins as the “happy” or “feel-good” hormone. Endorphins can also help induce relaxation, muscle tension relief, stress relief, improved mood, and better sleeping patterns (thanks to their relaxation effects). The iTENS and Neurotrac TENS also share the same effectivity for endorphin release. Since these are very similar devices, many ask: Which one should I get?
iTENS vs Neurotrac TENS: What You Need to Know First
Before comparing TENS devices and buying one, it is crucial to know how they can benefit you first. Personal TENS devices like the iTENS and the Neurotrac TENS are highly effective and versatile pain management options. These devices can help treat various pain-related issues all around the body. In some cases, these devices are used during periods and in the early stages of labour. Furthermore, it is essential to note that TENS therapy can help with pain in the following areas:
- Arm (elbow joint)
- Back (pain typically on the lower back)
- Hips (TENS is typical for people recovering from hip surgery)
Additionally, TENS therapy can also help deal with pain from certain health conditions. Moreover, it is essential to note that even healthcare professionals, like physiotherapists, use TENS therapy to help treat patients with these conditions. The iTENS and Neurotrac TENS can help users that are struggling with the following conditions:
- Arthritis (more commonly osteoarthritis)
- Frozen Shoulder (AKA adhesive capsulitis)
- Fibromyalgia (typically from fatigue)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
- Tennis Elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
The iTENS and Neurotrac TENS can help treat these conditions via electrotherapy. Electrotherapy at home can be a viable alternative to traditional home remedies like hot and cold packs. Moreover, it is also worth noting that the temporary pain relief of TENS therapy may last longer (4 -10 hours) when compared to the traditional methods (2-4 hours).
iTENS vs Neurotrac TENS: Controls
These devices have the same effects; however, they have different controls. The iTENS from iTENS Australia is an entirely wireless device capable of Bluetooth connectivity. This connectivity allows users to pair this device with their smartphones seamlessly. Users can then conveniently activate and control the iTENS through their smartphone. This feature can drastically help users looking to treat hard to reach areas like the lower back. Users would no longer need to reach out of the device every time adjustments to treatment parameters are required. Additionally, it is worth noting that the iTENS does have physical controls on the device itself. Therefore, users can choose whatever form of control they prefer when using this device. As for the Neurotrac TENS, its controls are on the device itself.
In addition to the iTENS’ convenient controls, the iTENS app has 15 pre-set programs optimised to treat specific pain-related health conditions. Furthermore, the iTENS also has an additional 13 pre-set modes for particular body parts. For example, users can conveniently select the “sciatica” option from the iTENS app to begin treatment when treating sciatic pain. On the other hand, the Neurotrac TENS features 13 pre-set settings available within the device itself. These features can drastically help users who are new to TENS therapy. Users can now effectively treat themselves without professional help. This can help users save money by not needing to go to specialists every time pain arises constantly. Effective pain management treatments are now possible in the comfort of one’s home.
iTENS vs Neurotrac TENS: Electrode Pads
The iTENS from iTENS Australia features wireless electrode pads connected directly to the device. This feature enables users to be more mobile during treatment. Users can now move more freely during TENS therapy, allowing them to do other activities simultaneously. Users can do work, household chores, and even exercise during their TENS sessions. This feature can drastically help users who have busier schedules. On the other hand, the Neurotrac TENS has wires with their electrode. This is a more traditional approach to TENS therapy, and it can still be effective. However, it is worth noting that treatment disruptions are more likely to happen with wires. Furthermore, wires can deteriorate in time, which may cause inefficient nerve stimulation.
The iTENS and Neurotrac TENS do have different sizes of electrode pads available. Interchangeable pads enable TENS devices to treat specific areas better and effectively. For example, users should use small pads when treating areas like the hands. The following are the available pad sizes: (iTENS users can find all the accessories on iTENS Australia)
- iTENS Small Wing Pads: These pads are perfect for small and flexible areas like joints. Users can use this to treat areas like the wrist and ankle.
- iTENS Large Wing Pads: These pads work best for broad treatment areas like the back.
- iTENS Long Wing Pads: Users can use these pads to treat elongated treatment areas, like the lower back going towards the posterior leg. These pads can effectively help treat conditions like sciatica.
Neurotrac TENS Pads
- Adhesive Skin electrodes 50x50mm: for smaller treatment areas
- Adhesive Skin electrodes 90x50mm: for large treatment areas
Is Electrotherapy Safe?
Electrotherapy with the iTENS or the Neurotrac TENS device is a non-toxic, safe, and all-natural pain relief method. Unlike some oral pain medications, TENS therapy devices do not have adverse side effects. Moreover, the mild electrical currents produced during TENS therapy cannot cause any harm. Therefore, using a personal TENS is machine entirely safe. Additionally, you can also use them throughout the day when pain symptoms begin to show. However, it is essential to remember to take 20-minute breaks in between sessions. Furthermore, users can confidently use iTENS from iTENS Australia because it has FDA clearance to be an effective and safe pain relief device. FDA clearance ensures users that these devices have been tested before public release. Despite being safe for use, people with cancer, epilepsy, history of seizures, heart problems, and cardiac pacemakers should avoid using TENS devices.