Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) offers individuals with chronic pain a cost-efficient way to manage their condition. It is a therapy that uses electrical pulses using adhesive electrodes to stimulate the nerves for pain relief. Due to its benefits, many people want to purchase TENS units for use on their own time. In getting a device, it is vital to consider the programs, electrode type, additional features, and ease of use.
TENS therapy is a non-invasive method to relieve pain without medications and surgery. Devices are available for purchase for personal use without requiring a prescription. However, choosing a device can be overwhelming due to the vast choices available. Therefore, this guide aims to provide the information you need to know about TENS and key factors to consider when purchasing a unit. At the end of this article, you will know how to use the device and the safety guidelines.
Purchase TENS Unit: What is TENS and How Does It Work?
A TENS machine is a portable, battery-operated device that uses low electrical pulses. The electrodes deliver the pulses through the skin to target the sensory nerves. This process elicits feedback from the nervous system to activate the body’s natural mechanisms against pain. After a few minutes, a person may feel pain alleviation. However, the effects can vary between individuals.
The electrical stimulation brings two main results: pain-gating and endorphin release. The first is the ability to block pain signals from reaching the brain. It uses high-frequency (50-120 Hz) to induce the large nerve fibres in the spinal cord to close, where pain signals pass. This approach gives fast results. However, the effects tend to diminish quickly after removing the device.
The second is the release of natural painkillers, like endorphins, to reduce discomfort. These hormones inhibit the nerve cells from sending pain messages. It also helps increase blood circulation, promoting the healing of injured muscles and tissues. Knowing how TENS works is essential before you purchase a TENS unit.
Benefits and Advantages of TENS Units
- Reduce acute pain from period cramps, sudden injuries, fractures, or post-surgery
- Treat symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease
- Boost blood circulation and speed up the healing of damaged nerves, tissues, or muscles
- Alleviate pain while minimising the intake of oral medicines
- Restore the range of motion
- An inexpensive and non-invasive form of treatment
- They can be used while working, doing chores, or on the go
- Discreet and easy to use
- Safe and does not cause adverse side effects
- Help with muscle tension and stiffness due to daily activities, sports, or work
- Minimise the need for surgery
Purchase TENS Unit: Factors to Consider When Buying a Device
There are key factors to consider when looking to purchase a TENS unit. Firstly, it is vital to check the intensity levels and modes. A TENS device with adjustable settings can provide more personalised pain relief. Moreover, pre-set modes allow you to choose a program designed according to pain location or health condition.
Secondly, choose between the type of electrode pads. TENS machines have two kinds: wired and wireless pads. They also come in various shapes and sizes. A traditional TENS device uses lead cables that attach to a handheld remote control. Meanwhile, a wireless unit utilises Bluetooth technology to connect to a smartphone app. These devices enable faster pad placement and a more comfortable experience.
Thirdly, consider the ease of use. Various devices have different controls. Being able to operate the device quickly is important when pain symptoms start. Moreover, check whether the unit is rechargeable or requires replacement batteries. A sufficient power supply is essential for uninterrupted use. Lastly, check the included accessories and compatible attachments of the device.
Some TENS devices may offer advanced features to help with more types of pain. For instance, some units may combine EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) to help with muscle toning and relaxation. EMS works on the muscles to help improve their functions and promote healing. Additionally, some may use heat to increase blood flow.
App-controlled devices, like the iTENS, can track treatment sessions. It also contains more pre-set programs than most standard TENS machines. Furthermore, it enables customisation and a memory function for quick access for subsequent uses. Other features may include a timer and a lock function.
Purchase TENS Unit: How to Operate the Device
One of the reasons why many people purchase TENS units is they can be self-administered. This means they do not need to go to a clinic or seek medical supervision to facilitate the therapy. The guidelines include correct pad placement, settings adjustment, and following safety measures. Generally, position the electrodes on either side or around the pain area.
To use TENS, adhere the gel pads on clean, dry skin and turn on the device. Set the intensity and frequency using the remote control or app. For safety, start from a low level and increase it gradually. The frequency is the number of pulses per second. The intensity is the strength of the pulses, from mild to intense.
High intensities are ideal for severe pain. However, it should not be so high that it causes discomfort. Once the treatment ends, switch off the device and remove the pads. After use, clean the sticky surface of the electrodes with a damp cloth and store them properly.
A TENS machine is generally safe for individual use, following safety guidelines. It includes avoiding sensitive areas like the head, eyes, throat, chest, and spinal column. Also, avoid using TENS for over one hour to prevent overstimulation and skin irritation. People with heart conditions, epilepsy, metal implants, and pregnant women are advised against using the device.
People with allergic reactions to TENS pads may opt for hypoallergenic gel pads. Monitor the area for redness while using the device. If irritation occurs, remove the pads and clean the surface with mild soap and water. However, if symptoms persist, speak to a medical provider.
TENS therapy is a non-invasive and drug-free pain control method for relieving a wide range of conditions. It is beneficial for mild to intense pain that does not need invasive procedures like surgery. Therefore, you may use TENS daily and as often as necessary. Nevertheless, there are various factors to consider before you purchase a TENS unit. When choosing a device, check the programs and treatment modes, electrode connection, and ease of use.
Having a reliable therapy device is vital for safe and effective pain relief. You may use it anytime without worrying about adverse side effects. By following these guidelines, you can find the most suitable device for your needs. Remember to always consult a doctor before starting a new treatment. For hassle-free pain management, you may get wireless iTENS kits, bundles, and interchangeable accessories at iTENS Australia online.