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What is TENS?

TENS means Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is a form of electrotherapy that provides pain relief by sending tiny electrical impulses through the skin. This pain-relieving method uses a device called a TENS machine. Moreover, this machine is a light, compact, handheld, battery-powered device that can produce low voltage electric currents for electrotherapy treatment. The electrical currents it makes flow through the adhesive (sticky) electrode pads attached to it. Furthermore, pain management treatments using these devices can help substitute other more traditional methods like icing and oral medication. Subsequently, electrotherapy is more effective than using ice or hot packs while also being safer than painkillers. Conveniently, iTENS Australia offers the iTENS device that combines wearable technology with the effective pain relief of a TENS machine.

How Does TENS Pain Management Therapy Work?

TENS pain management therapy works according to two functioning theories. These theories are:

  1. The Gate Control Theory of Pain Management – this theory states that at a high pulse rate (at around 90 to 130 Hz), TENS interferes and blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. Moreover, the theory proposes that there is a sort of gating mechanism located in the central nervous system (specifically the spinal cord). It implies that pain signals are free to pass through and reach the brain when a “gate” is open. On the other hand, these neural gates close when conducting electrotherapy, preventing the sensation of pain felt. 
  2. Endorphin Production – the second theory states that TENS encourages the body to produce endorphins at a lower pulse rate of around 2 to 5 Hz. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers. These chemicals are morphine-like in nature. Thus, it also provides pain relief by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain. Accordingly, increased endorphin production also improves mood and provides a general feeling of well being. Hence, it is why medical professionals refer to this natural chemical as the “feel good” or “happy” hormone.
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What Types of Pain Does TENS Electrotherapy Treat?

Pain management treatment using TENS electrotherapy can treat both acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is short term pain that often lasts less than six months. In contrast, chronic pain is long term pain that can last for more than six months. Furthermore, using a TENS machine for pain relief can treat various types of pain symptoms as well as many health conditions. These include:

Pain Symptoms

Health Conditions

Using a TENS Therapy Device for Pain Management

If you are using a TENS therapy device, you should be ready for the sensations it provides. You might experience a slight tingling or humming sensation when the unit is on. This sensation is from the electrical pulses that help block or dampen pain. Moreover, the electrode pads should be on either side of the pain point where the pain is most intense. The currents should be relaxing. Therefore, if you feel any slight discomfort during the pain management treatment, make sure to lower the device’s intensity immediately.

Additionally, medical professionals like physicians and physical therapists can aid you with your specific pain treatment. They can advise you on proper electrode pad placements. Moreover, your doctor may encourage you to use TENS therapy regularly throughout the day whenever you require pain relief. Furthermore, the effects of electrotherapy can vary. Some may feel immediate pain relief, and some might need longer treatments.

Accordingly, you can use TENS machines for about 20-30 minutes. However, make sure you take at least 20 minutes intervals before using them again. 

Safety Precautions

Pain management using TENS therapy is a safe, non-invasive, drug-free method for pain relief. However, there are some safety precautions. Firstly, you do not need high intensity when using the device right off the bat. The treatment should not cause you pain. Thus, you should adjust the program’s intensity until the electrical pulses are comfortable enough for your preferences. You can adjust the settings directly on the device, like the pulse pattern, speed, and intensity. This option ensures that the pain management treatment is as comfortable for you as possible. Secondly, some people may be allergic to the adhesive electrode pads that these devices employ. It is best to seek machines that come with hypoallergenic gel pads, such as the iTENS wireless device at iTENS Australia.

Lastly, it is best not to conduct TENS electrotherapy when you have the following conditions:

  • At the early stage of pregnancy
  • Have a heart condition
  • Suffering from epilepsy
  • Have an overactive bladder
  • Has a metal or electronic/ electrical implant (such as cardiac pacemakers)
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The Wireless iTENS Device

The iTENS wireless device is an excellent tool for pain relief. These devices are innovative and can connect to any iOS or Android smartphone through Bluetooth using the iTENS app. Moreover, there is helpful programable pre-sets settings for you to choose from through the app. The pre-set settings include a multitude of different options for specific pain symptoms and conditions. Thus, it allows for more optimal and effective self-treatments, even for those with limited electrotherapy experience. Alternatively, you can also use the iTENS manually using the device itself.

Furthermore, the iTENS device is entirely wireless with the added bonus of multiple pad size options to choose from. Each iTENS pad size is designed to treat specific areas of the body without limiting movement effectively. Likewise, these electrode gel pads are also interchangeable. This feature further gives the iTENS more customizability while increasing the effectiveness of the user’s TENS pain management therapy.

In addition, the iTENS is the world’s first FDA-cleared, true wireless TENS therapy device. Having FDA clearance means that all iTENS are complete with the necessary product testing and certifications for it to be a personal medical device. Also, you can purchase the iTENS wireless device from the iTENS Australia online store even without a medical prescription. Likewise, you can still seek consultation from a doctor or physiotherapist before purchasing one.

Conclusion

Electrotherapy using devices like the iTENS at iTENS Australia is safe and 100% drug-free; you can use these machines as much as possible without the adverse side effects of oral medications (like opioids). Hence, why TENS therapy has no negative side effects in a general sense. This reason alone is why people nowadays prefer electrotherapy over other more traditional methods. Thus, highly effective machines like the iTENS device from iTENS Australia could effectively help reduce chronic and acute pain without any side effects.