Living with chronic pain makes day-to-day life difficult. Chronic pain is a prolonged kind of pain in the body that lasts for over three months. Oral medication only relieves pain temporarily but does not make it stop. People dealing with chronic pain often experience a roller coaster of emotions when they wake up. They don’t know when the pain will hit again, and it gives them anxiety. Some people with chronic pain issues don’t want to depend on medications alone as they may have side effects. Others seek alternative forms of physical therapy such as TENS treatment. The TENS settings for chronic pain helps keep the pain away as you go about your day.
What is TENS Treatment
TENS is short for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Transcutaneous means passing, entering or applying through the skin. The TENS machine is a small device that sends a small electrical voltage through electrode pads attached to the skin. The current floods the nervous system, reducing its ability to transmit pain signals to the brain and spinal cord. TENS can treat chronic pain like arthritis or joint pain, fibromyalgia, pain in the back, neck, shoulders, legs, and feet. If you are new to TENS therapy, you should know the best TENS settings for chronic pain. TENS therapy, with the help of iTENS devices, can now conveniently be done at home.
TENS Settings for Chronic Pain: Setting the TENS Machine
The general TENS settings for chronic pain start with setting the mode, the pulse rate (frequency), and the pulse width.
- Mode – Burst mode is helpful for chronic pain relief as the unit will send through bursts of electrical impulses for maximum pain-relieving power.
- Pulse Rate – Chronic pain can benefit from low frequencies because it stimulates endorphin release.
- Pulse Width – Pain relief will occur with low to mid-time periods, while muscle stimulation requires a more extended pulse width to contract the muscles successfully. The recommended pulse width setting is between 175 to 200 uS.
It is best to consult with your physician for proper guidance before trying out the machine for the first time. The TENS settings for chronic pain will vary from one person to another as each person has different factors that affect pain like age, weight, reaction time, and overall health conditions. Using TENS is a safe and non-invasive method. An excellent example of an effective personal TENS machine is the iTENS. The iTENS is the first FDA-approved wireless version of TENS treatment. It can be worn discretely underneath the clothes as no wires are running around it. You can adjust to your preferred intensity through the app from your phone. Users may experience more significant pain relief from using iTENS than other devices.