One advancement in the medical field is the combination of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). A TENS and EMS combo unit is a medical device that helps reduce pain and promote healing in muscles and nerves. Accordingly, the combo TENS and EMS works by streaming electrical impulses in the body through adhesive electrodes. As such, it functions based on the Pain Gate Theory, endorphin inducement, and improved blood flow.
Living with muscle aches, chronic pain, or acute pain conditions can significantly impact the quality of life. It can prevent individuals from enjoying daily activities and even lead to emotional distress. Primary pain control methods, such as medications and physical therapy, may provide adverse effects and inconvenience. Fortunately, there are electrotherapy devices as alternative options. This article will present more details about the device, how it works, and how to use it effectively.
What is a TENS and EMS Combo Unit
TENS and EMS combo units are portable devices that incorporate the fusion of nerve and muscle stimulation. Each type of therapy serves a different purpose, and when combined, they offer a wider range of natural pain relief and muscle strengthening benefits. As a result, it is becoming a popular tool not just for pain management professionals but also for individuals.
TENS is a type of stimulation that uses low-voltage electrical currents to relieve aches. Meanwhile, EMS is a therapy device that utilises electrical pulses to cause muscle contractions. Hence, both stimulation programs provide effective treatment for medical conditions and pain symptoms. Accordingly, the combination unit is available in the market in different models.
The most common TENS and EMS have wires and are operated with disposable batteries. On the other hand, some units are wireless and have a rechargeable battery, usually a lithium-ion battery. This allows users to control the therapy manually or with the use of a smartphone through Bluetooth. Also, some devices have preset programs which provide a more direct treatment approach.
Benefits of Using a Combination Device
- Comprehensive pain relief – TENS therapy can interfere with pain signals while EMS widen tight muscles, promoting healthy muscles.
- Muscle rehabilitation – EMS with the support of TENS can aid in muscle recovery and muscle relaxation.
- Versatile and customisable therapy – the combination unit allows users to switch between TENS and EMS modes. Subsequently, the device has adjustable frequency, adjustable intensity levels, and pulse duration.
- Time and cost-efficiency – by having both capabilities in a single device, people can save time and money compared to using separate units for each therapy.
- Portability – the tools are typically compact and lightweight, offering users the convenience of easily using the device anywhere.
How a TENS and EMS Combo Unit Works
In general, TENS and EMS combo units have two modes: the TENS and EMS modes. In TENS, it sends electrical impulses to target the nerves. Meanwhile, EMS focuses on delivering electrical current to the underlying muscles. Accordingly, TENS works based on two mechanisms. TENS therapy operates on the basis of Gate Control Theory.
When the machine stimulates the sensory nerves, it can essentially close the gate and block the transmission of pain messages. This mechanism can help reduce the perception of aches and provide temporary relief. Subsequently, TENS can also trigger the release of endorphins. These are the natural painkillers of the body.
Endorphins act as neurotransmitters that inhibit the transmission of pain signals and produce feelings of well-being. When using EMS mode, the electrical stimulation causes muscle contractions. This action can help improve blood circulation in the treatment area. Enhanced blood flow can aid in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. This promotes muscle recovery and reduces soreness.
Pain Conditions that Can Be Treated
The combination devices can treat various conditions. Firstly, it can help address chronic conditions which are long-term and persistent. This includes ailments such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and backaches. Secondly, it can manage sudden acute conditions. This may involve injuries, menstrual cramps, and postoperative aches.
Additionally, the unit can be beneficial for treating nerve-related problems such as neuropathy, sciatica, and nerve entrapment syndromes. People with musculoskeletal disorders such as joint pain, knee pain, and muscle spasms can benefit from the device. Also, the tool is valuable in managing muscle pain conditions, muscle tension, and muscle soreness.
How to Operate a TENS and EMS Combo Unit
Operating a TENS and EMS combo unit is an easy process. To start, make sure that the tool has charged or has fresh batteries. The next step involves cleaning and drying the treatment area. This is to ensure good contact of electrodes in the skin. Then, gently place the pads in the skin, following the correct pad placement.
After positioning the electrode pads, the user can turn on the unit to adjust the settings. This involves modifying the frequency, intensity, or duration of the therapy. Some machines have preset programs. Thus, users may select the appropriate treatment. Nevertheless, professionals recommend starting with the lowest setting and gradually increasing it to a comfortable level.
Once everything is set, the person can activate the unit for the stimulation to begin. During the process, the user may feel a tingling and relaxing sensation. The duration of the treatment can vary based on the condition. However, 15 to 30 minutes is advisable. Once the treatment session is complete, the user should turn off the device and gently remove the electrodes for future use.
Safety Considerations When Using the Device
When using the device, it is important to prioritise safety. Firstly, it is crucial to follow the instructions of the manufacturer and consult a medical practitioner. Secondly, it is vital to check the condition of the device and the electrodes. Thirdly, avoid placing the pads on sensitive areas of the body. These include the eyes, mouth, head, throat, chest, broken skin, or cuts.
Moreover, avoid starting the therapy with high settings,. This is to eliminate any discomfort and adverse reactions. It is also essential to avoid using the device near water, as this can increase the risk of electrical shock.
A TENS and EMS combo unit is highly beneficial for individuals seeking pain relief and muscle stimulation. This machine combines the benefits of both nerve and muscle therapy. Accordingly, it works by streaming electrical impulses to the nerves or muscles through electrode pads. Also, the unit functions based on the mechanisms of the pain gate, the release of endorphins, and improving blood flow. Users can operate the tool by placing the electrodes in the treatment area and adjusting the settings.
The combination of the therapy holds a lot of benefits. This includes comprehensive pain relief, muscle rehabilitation, versatility, customisability, cost-efficiency, and portability. With such capabilities, it can treat various conditions. Whether chronic, acute, nerve-related, musculoskeletal, or muscular aches. Nevertheless, it is crucial to know the safety measures for optimal use. The combo unit is available in the market just like in iTENS Australia. This promotes more effectiveness and maximum treatment.