Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a natural and non-invasive form of pain management. It uses mild electrical currents to relieve body aches and other pain symptoms from various conditions. A TENS machine delivers these currents through electrode pads. Therefore, individuals may manage their pain by applying the electrodes to the pain site. In particular, the iTENS from iTENS Australia and Omron TENS machine pads use different types. They vary in their connections, size, shapes, and other features.
TENS therapy is efficient for reducing nerve, muscle, or joint pains. People with chronic ailments or injuries may use an electrotherapy device to help alleviate the symptoms without relying on pain medications. Hence, it helps them avoid the adverse side effects of most oral drugs. Moreover, portable TENS units are convenient to use. In this article, we will talk about the functions of TENS, the uses and various features of the iTENS and Omron pads, and the pad care guide.
How the iTENS and Omron TENS Machine Pads Work
An integral part of a TENS unit is the quality of the electrode pads. It relies on its ability to deliver electrical currents to attain optimal results. The iTENS and Omron TENS machine pads use different technologies. However, they remain similar in relieving pain. TENS works by sending modulated currents from the electrodes to the targeted nerves through the skin. It stimulates the nervous system, causing it to override the pain signals.
In high frequency (50-120 Hz), it induces the nerve pathways in the spinal cord to close. Consequently, it hinders the pain signals from reaching the brain. On the other hand, using low frequencies (2-10 Hz) triggers the production of natural painkillers called endorphins. They are hormones that help regulate pain and stress. Its effect is similar to opioids like morphine. However, it does not have harmful side effects. Therefore, TENS lowers the overall pain perception.
Individuals may use a TENS machine without going to a clinic. To start treatment, place the iTENS or Omron TENS machine pads near the pain point and turn on the device. Start with a low frequency and intensity and increase gradually. The settings will depend on the type and severity of the pain. For sharp or intense pain, high-frequency is most suitable. After the session, turn off the machine and remove the pads.
Benefits of TENS Devices
- lessen aches and swelling for overuse of muscles
- reduce the severity of arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, bursitis, period pain, and more
- increase blood circulation over injured areas and accelerate healing
- relieve pain and discomfort from post-surgery
- relieve muscle spasms
- restore the range of motion and mobility issues
Guide to iTENS and Omron TENS Machine Pads
The iTENS and Omron TENS machine pads differ in many ways. Firstly, iTENS utilises wireless electrode gel pads. Instead of cords, the electrode is Bluetooth-capable that can sync to an iOS and Android device through a smartphone app. You may be able to manipulate the settings or choose a pre-set program through the app. In contrast, the standard Omron devices use lead cables to connect the electrodes to a remote control.
TENS machines are non-invasive. The pads adhere to the skin without leaving permanent marks. However, some may develop minimal side effects like rash or redness. Fortunately, iTENS utilises gel pads that are hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. Thus, it minimises the likelihood of skin irritation or allergic reactions. Moreover, the iTENS pads are wing-shaped to help fit in movable parts like joints. In addition, it comes in three sizes – small, large, and long-strip, for various body regions.
Similarly, the Omron TENS machine pads are made of a medical-grade gel material and are compatible with several Omron TENS units. It comes in standard and large sizes, fitting small to large areas. TENS gel pads are durable and reusable for several applications before needing replacement. Both the iTENS and Omron TENS gel pads can contour to body areas with curves, making them less likely to loosen while being active.
Gel Pads and Accessories at iTENS Australia
iTENS Australia offers the following wireless TENS device and accessories:
- Small wing kit
- Large wing kit
- Long strip wings for elongated pain area
- Interchangeable spare wings (no gel)
- Refill gel pads in three sizes. One packet contains three pieces. Each pad is reusable for up to 20 uses.
iTENS Gel Pads and Omron TENS Machine Pads: Care and Maintenance Guide
It is vital to note that all TENS pads will wear and tear after several uses. It varies with how frequently you use the machine and how well you care for the pads. The iTENS and Omron TENS machine pads are the same. Proper care and regular maintenance will help extend the lifespan of the electrodes. As you use a TENS unit, the adhesive gel builds up on the pads. Remove the residue by wiping them with a moist cloth.
If the electrode pads do not stick well, you may restore their adhesiveness by dabbing them with a few drops of water. However, with continuous usage, the pads will eventually need replacement. Fortunately, refill pads and other TENS accessories are low-cost, making them more cost-efficient than other treatment methods. It is advisable to get brand-specific replacements to ensure effective performance and prevent damage to the device.
After each session, remove the pads from the skin by peeling them from the tip. Do not grab the wires of the Omron TENS machine pads or the centre disc of the iTENS device. Afterwards, place the protective film cover back on the sticky side of the electrodes and store them properly. The iTENS kit comes with a zip-lock poly bag. Additionally, proper storage ensures that the gel pads do not dry out.
Places to Avoid
TENS machines are applicable in most body areas. However, it is not advisable for the following parts:
- Face, temples, or across the head
- Front and sides of the neck
- Directly over the backbone and joints
- Near a blood clot
- On cuts and open wounds
- On infected or irritated skin
- Near an electrical implanted device
TENS therapy is a safe, convenient, and cost-efficient method of relieving pain. It is an excellent alternative to oral medications as it does not produce adverse side effects. Therefore, you may safely use TENS as many times as needed. The efficacy of pain management depends on several factors, including the quality of the device. The iTENS gel pads and Omron TENS machine pads have many similarities and distinct features. However, they vary in connections, like the wireless electrodes of iTENS.
Furthermore, when choosing a TENS device, consider the durability and availability of the replacement pads. The TENS electrode pads are reusable and last for several months, depending on the frequency of use. Conveniently, it requires simple maintenance. This includes periodic cleaning to preserve the adhesiveness of the electrodes. Additionally, you may dab a few drops of water into the pads to maintain their stickiness. Also, you may purchase TENS units online, like iTENS Australia, without a prescription.