Living with hip arthritic pain can be incredibly debilitating. Fortunately, there is a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS machine for arthritis in the hip. It is a small, battery-operated device that works by delivering electrical currents to provide pain relief. Accordingly, this method of pain relief is the best treatment option as it is non-invasive, drug-free, and customisable. Also, it has the ability to block pain signals from reaching the brain and can trigger the release of endorphins.
Hip arthritis pain compromises the quality of life. This causes inflammation, stiffness, and constant pain in the hip joint. Traditional treatment approaches such as pain medication and hip surgery often come with unwanted side effects. Also, heat packs, ice packs, stretching exercises, and regular exercise may not always provide relief. This is where TENS comes into play as an effective method. The following sections will present TENS for hip arthritis, how it alleviates the condition, and how to operate it.
What is a TENS Machine for Arthritis in the Hip?
A TENS machine for arthritis in the hip is a compact device that uses low-voltage electrical currents to provide relief. Accordingly, healthcare professionals, pain clinics, and pain specialists often recommend TENS to patients with hip arthritic conditions. Also, there are TENS devices that are suitable for home use. Hence, it allows individuals to have an accessible relief from hip pain.
There are two main types of TENS units: wired and wireless. Wired TENS machines require the use of electrodes that are connected to the device with lead cables. Meanwhile, wireless TENS units eliminate the use of wires, providing greater freedom of movement. Nevertheless, users can control the therapy session manually or with the use of a smartphone via Bluetooth technology.
Furthermore, TENS machines come with various features. One of which may include customisable settings. This allows individuals to modify the frequency, intensity, and duration of electrical stimulation. Moreover, it may involve different stimulation modes and pre-set programs to directly manage hip arthritis. Some TENS also have timers and rechargeable batteries for convenience.
Benefits of Electrotherapy
- Non-invasive: TENS therapy provides relief without the need for surgical interventions. This makes it suitable for people who prefer non-invasive approaches.
- Drug-free: TENS offer a non-pharmacological method for reducing hip discomfort.
- Customisable: the device comes with adjustable settings, allowing individuals to customise the frequency, intensity, and duration of electrical pulses.
- Portable: TENS units are compact and portable. This enables people to use them at home or on the go.
- Cost-effective method of pain management: it potentially reduces the need for frequent visits to healthcare providers or the cost of purchasing medications.
- Support for physical therapy: it can complement other forms of treatment.
How Does a TENS Machine for Arthritis in the Hip Alleviate the Condition?
TENS machine for arthritis in the hip alleviates the condition by utilising several physiological mechanisms. Accordingly, TENS therapy encourages the body to release endorphins. These are the natural chemicals of the body known for their pain-relieving properties. Endorphins can bind to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, promoting a sense of well-being.
Moreover, TENS units operate on the principle of the Pain Gate Theory. This suggests that non-painful input can override and reduce the perception of painful stimuli. When an electric current travels along the nerve fibres, it may reach the spinal cord before pain messages. Hence, it effectively closes the gate and prevents the transmission of pain signals, resulting in a reduction in pain.
The electrical stimulation can also promote improved blood circulation in the painful region. By causing rhythmic contractions of the muscles, TENS therapy may enhance blood flow. This delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the tissues while aiding in the removal of metabolic by-products. As a result, this contributes to the reduction of inflammation and the alleviation of hip arthritis.
Frequencies and Intensities
TENS units offer a variety of frequencies and intensities to suit specific needs for managing hip arthritis. Accordingly, TENS emits electrical pulses at different frequencies, measured in Hertz (Hz). Lower frequencies (below 10 Hz) are often beneficial for stimulating sensory nerves. Meanwhile, higher frequencies (above 50 Hz) are more likely to activate motor nerves, producing a stronger, tingling sensation.
In addition, TENS devices provide a range of intensity levels that determine the strength of the electrical impulses. It is typically measured in Milliamps (mA). Hence, individuals can choose low, moderate, or high levels of intensity.
How to Operate a TENS Machine for Arthritis in the Hip
Operating a TENS machine for arthritis in the hip involves several straightforward steps. Begin by attaching the electrodes to the central unit using lead cables or connect it to a smartphone via Bluetooth for wireless. Then, identify and prepare the area of the hip experiencing arthritis. After that, apply the adhesive pads to the skin, following the proper pad placement.
After the electrode pads are in position, turn on the TENS unit. This typically involves pressing the power button. With the TENS machine powered on, individuals can adjust the settings to customise the electrical stimulation according to their preferences. Also, some models may allow users to directly select a pre-set program for managing hip arthritis. Start with low settings and gradually increase it to a comfortable level.
Determine the duration of the TENS therapy session based on guidelines or recommendations by medical professionals. However, the advisable duration is between 15 to 30 minutes. During the TENS treatment, individuals should monitor their comfort level and any sensations. Upon completion of the TENS therapy, power off the machine and carefully remove the pads from the skin.
Before placing the electrode pads, it is important to prepare the treatment area. Ensure that the skin is clean and free from oils, lotions, or other substances. Accordingly, identify the precise location of the hip where the arthritis-related discomfort is concentrated. This may be near the hip joint, the upper thigh, or the surrounding muscles.
Carefully remove the protective backing from the adhesive pads and apply them in the treatment region. It is essential to ensure the pads adhere firmly and evenly. Also, when using multiple electrodes, consider the spacing between them. Avoid placing the pads over bony prominences and broken skins.
Overall, the use of a TENS machine for arthritis in the hip can be highly beneficial for individuals seeking pain relief. TENS is a compact device that utilises electrical currents to provide relief. Accordingly, it is available in wired and wireless functionalities with various features. Moreover, it works by interfering with pain signals, triggering the release of endorphins, and improving blood flow. Also, the frequency and intensity of the electrical pulses are adjustable to conform to specific needs.
Furthermore, TENS devices offer numerous benefits to users. It is non-invasive, drug-free, customisable, portable, cost-effective, and can complement other treatment programs. TENS is also popular due to its intuitive controls and users can operate the device easily. Hence, individuals identify the treatment area, position the electrodes, and adjust the settings. Users can position the pads near the hip joint, the upper thigh, or the surrounding muscles. TENS is available in stores, including the online retailer iTENS Australia.