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TENS Machine for Physiotherapy

Healthcare professionals have long used TENS machines to help them treat their patient’s pain. Many rely on physiotherapists’ modalities and exercises for effective injury and health condition treatments. Physiotherapy treatment can have a variety of uses. These treatments can help improve strength, coordination, and muscle control. Moreover, physiotherapy can also help improve a patient’s functionality and posture. A critical factor that can help therapists perform their exercises and treatments is pain management. Reducing a patient’s pain from an injury or condition before treatment can allow for more intensive workouts. Furthermore, more intense exercise treatments and modalities can improve and quicken a patient’s recovery. Therapists mainly rely on a TENS machine for physiotherapy during treatments to help with pain management.

A TENS machine for physiotherapy is a form of electrotherapy. Electrotherapy treatments use electrical currents to stimulate the nerves or muscles. Two of the most common forms of electrotherapy are Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). A physiotherapist applies both TENS and EMS treatments during sessions. A therapist would typically use a TENS device for pain management. On the other hand, therapists would use an EMS machine to help induce muscle contractions for neuromuscular conditions like stroke. An EMS machine’s primary function is to prevent muscle atrophy and help maintain muscle control. Nowadays, physiotherapists can also use convenient wireless devices like the iTENS from iTENS Australia during their treatments. 

TENS Machine for Physiotherapy: What is TENS?

TENS is a form of electrotherapy that uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate our nerves. This form of electrical stimulation falls under the “Gate Control Theory” of pain management. This theory states that the electricals nerve stimulation you would get when using a TENS machine for physiotherapy can cause closure of our sensory pathways. Our pain signals pass through these sensory pathways to reach our brain. Closing these pathways blocks the pain signals, thus, reducing pain sensations. Physiotherapists apply the Gate Control Theory to their treatments to help them decrease their patient’s pain sensations. Moreover, this can allow their patients to exercise or stretch with less pain. Additionally, nerve stimulation can also help improve patients’ comfort when dealing with pain from their injury or health condition. Physiotherapy can help improve a patient’s condition and provide comfort during recovery. 

When using a TENS machine for physiotherapy, endorphin release occurs. Endorphins are our body’s natural painkillers. Increased endorphin release can drastically help improve comfort during therapy. These hormones can help reduce body pain and headaches. Furthermore, endorphins can also help improve your mood, induce relaxation, and improve your sleep due to their relaxation effects. Moreover, people also refer to endorphins as our “happy hormone”. Therefore, there are no adverse effects when inducing endorphin release during TENS therapy. Effective TENS devices like the iTENS from iTENS Australia can implement the Gate Control Theory and cause endorphin release during TENS therapy.

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TENS Machine for Physiotherapy: Why do people go to Physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy treatments can help treat a variety of injuries and health conditions. Therapists are trained to treat musculoskeletal (issues with muscle and bones) and neuromuscular (issues with the brain and its connection to muscles) problems. In line with this, a therapist would use a TENS machine for physiotherapy treatments when a specific condition has painful symptoms. Electrotherapy can help reduce the painful symptoms and make the physiotherapy session feel more comfortable. Physiotherapists can use TENS therapy when treating health conditions like:

  • Stoke
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
  • Sciatica

Aside from these health conditions, therapists can also use a TENS machine for physiotherapy to treat painful body areas recovering from an injury or surgery. It is essential to reduce pain during recovery. Reducing pain during injury recovery can allow therapists to provide more rigorous and practical exercises. Furthermore, having a better range of motion during these exercises can induce better blood circulation. Improved blood circulation can help enhance muscle, bone, and nerve regeneration, allowing for a faster recovery. A physiotherapist can use a device from iTENS Australia to reduce pain in areas like the following:

  • Neck
  • Back (more commonly the lower back)
  • Shoulder 
  • Elbow 
  • Wrist
  • Ankle (for common injuries like ankle sprains)
  • Knee (for common injuries like ACL)

TENS Machine for Physiotherapy: Using Devices like the iTENS

Plenty of critical features makes using the iTENS the best option for physiotherapists and individuals alike. The iTENS can be used in a professional setting and even at home. Firstly, the iTENS is an entirely wireless device capable of Bluetooth connection. This connection allows the iTENS to pair with smartphones seamlessly. Through your smartphone, you can access the iTENS app, which will enable you to activate and control the iTENS wirelessly. Wireless controls can drastically help improve the convenience of a TENS machine for physiotherapy treatments. To help patients accommodate the electrotherapy, physiotherapists can also manually set the iTENS on its “manual mode”. This mode allows users to manually change the intensity, frequency, pulse width, and duration during treatments.

Using an entirely wireless device during a TENS machine for physiotherapy treatments can also have many benefits. A wireless device can allow users to do activities during TENS therapy simultaneously. Physiotherapy patients can even exercise during their TENS therapy treatments. This feature can help conserve treatment times. Furthermore, doing more during TENS therapy can help patients or users who have busy schedules.

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Using the iTENS Pads during TENS Therapy

During a TENS machine for physiotherapy treatment, therapists may use different electrode pad sizes to treat different areas. The iTENS has three different pad sizes available. Interchangeable electrode pads allow TENS devices to treat specific areas and health conditions more effectively. When using the iTENS, therapists can use the large electrode wing pads for regions like the back. Furthermore, small and flexible areas like the wrist and ankle can benefit from the iTENS’ small wing pads. Moreover, therapists can also use the long electrode pads to treat elongated treatment areas like the back down to the leg (for conditions like sciatica).

Is TENS Therapy Safe?

Electrotherapy with TENS devices like the iTENS from iTENS Australia is a non-toxic, safe, and all-natural pain and stress relief method. Unlike some oral pain medications, TENS devices do not have any adverse side effects. This allows TENS machines for physiotherapy treatments to remain safe and comfortable. Moreover, you can also use a personal TENS device throughout the day. However, it is essential to remember to take 20-minute breaks in between sessions. Furthermore, physiotherapists can use the iTENS unit confidently because it has FDA approval to be a pain relief device. Additionally, it is worth noting that people with epilepsy, cancer patients, and people with cardiac pacemakers should avoid TENS machines. When purchasing a personal device, you may ask a physiotherapist about the benefits of TENS therapy.