Many people suffer from lower back pain. They find relief in medication or home remedies. However, these methods might not always work, and some might cause adverse effects. Thus, they may try Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS therapy. TENS for lower back pain is a safe and effective alternative to reducing pain. Physiotherapists advise TENS treatment for their patients who are looking for natural and fast pain relief. One of the important safety guidelines is proper pad placement.
TENS is a portable device that people can bring with them everywhere. Moreover, they can safely operate it without professional help. They can buy it even if there is no prescription. Since this is the case, they must strictly follow the instructions and guidelines for TENS to take effect properly. The article below will present the common causes of lower back pain, how TENS can help, and how to correctly apply the pads.
Understanding the Causes of Discomfort Before Using TENS for Lower Back Pain
The lower back plays an important role in the body. It handles the weight of the upper body. Muscles and nerves located in the area allow people to move freely and rotate their hips. Thus, it can be difficult when pain arises in the area. There are many possible causes of this condition. Fortunately, patients may use TENS for lower back pain.
Period and labour pain are some of the reasons why there is an ache in the lower back of women. The period cramps can spread from the lower to the upper back. As for labour pain, the increase in body weight stresses the spine, which leads to pain. Acute pain is also a contributor to lower back pains. People who suffer from injuries or pulled muscles can experience lower back pain.
Chronic pain is another cause of the condition. It is more intense and lasts the longest. The pain typically lasts for more than three months. There may be issues in the disc, joint, and nerve when this happens. Lumbar herniated discs, osteoarthritis, and deformity are diagnoses that can lead to the lower back of people.
The symptoms people feel can vary depending on the cause of the lower back pain. It is commonly characterised by the following:
- Muscle spasms – The muscles tense up and then contract. It is specific to the lower back but can spread to the hips and legs.
- Burning sensation – There might be a shooting or stinging pain. This may also spread to the thighs and cause numbness.
- Pain when moving around – People find it difficult to move when they have lower back pain. The state of standing, then sitting down, walking, and lifting things can be painful.
How TENS for Lower Back Pain Can Help
People who experience pain in the back go through therapy, where they do exercises. Meanwhile, TENS is a type of electrotherapy. Thus, it is also helpful in treating their problems. TENS for lower back pain effectively transmits low-voltage electrical currents to the skin through the electrode pads. The pads have adhesives, which make them stick to the body. People can adjust the frequency based on their preferences.
Professionals recommend using low frequency initially. It ranges from 2-5 Hz. This process activates the production of endorphins. They are the natural painkillers in the body. When they are released, people get a feeling of relief. Hence, they become less stressed and anxious during this state.
Once they are more comfortable with TENS, they can increase the frequency to high. The pulse rate is usually greater than 50 Hz. At this frequency, the electrical impulses target the spinal cord to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Thus, people will experience reduced pain perception.
TENS is a generally safe device for everyone. However, there are risks for certain groups of people. Epileptic people or those with pacemakers should avoid using it as it may cause side effects. Pregnant women can use TENS for labour pain in the back. However, they should not place the pads on their abdomen. If they still want to use TENS, it is better to consult their doctors first.
To ensure safety, they must not attach the pads to broken skin because it may cause infections. In addition, they should never use TENS with water as it will damage the device.
TENS for Lower Back Pain: Pad Placement
The optimum performance of TENS relies on correct usage. Proper placement of pads is necessary to ensure the safety of people and its effectiveness. Generally, it is best to apply the pads on or near the pain area. TENS for lower back pain specifically works when the pads are attached to either side of the spine, right above the buttocks.
For more relief, they can put another set of pads on top of the first. With that in mind, people might have to use up their pads faster than normal. It is also because professionals recommend using TENS around four times a day. The good thing is there are replaceable pads like the ones from iTENS Australia. They can reuse one set for 2-3 months.
As a reminder, people should avoid placing the pads directly on the spine. Furthermore, they must take care of their electrode pads so they will last long and work well. Dust and dirt might affect their stickiness. Hence, they should store them in a clean and dry area until the next session.
Painkillers on the market may damage body organs in the long run. Hence, one major benefit of using TENS for pain is that people no longer need to rely on them. A study stated that those who use TENS regularly reduced the number of times they experienced pain in a month.
Another benefit is that TENS is discreet when worn under clothing. Individuals may use them anytime, anywhere. For example, working professionals have to be at their desks for a long time, leading to lower back pains. Hence, they can relieve pain immediately with wireless TENS units, like the iTENS.
TENS machine for lower back pain is growing in popularity as people realize what it can do for them. It is a drug-free device that safely and effectively relieves pain. There are plenty of causes for lower back pain. Fortunately, TENS can treat the majority of them. It stops the symptoms from manifesting. They can freely move around, even if it is only for a short time.
FDA already approved TENS to cater to many medical conditions. Therefore, people should not worry about side effects. However, they must still practice caution, especially for people who are at risk. Speaking to healthcare professionals can give people a sense of security. For those who want to see more options, they can visit iTENS Australia for the units they offer. They have devices that will fit the lifestyle of people as they are technologically advanced.