Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a form of low-voltage electrotherapy. TENS therapy provides a drug-free and natural way of achieving pain relief. Several factors contribute to determining what is a top rated TENS machine. The device type is a significant factor, as wired or wireless TENS may be more suitable for the person. Additionally, ease of use is a vital factor. Some may benefit from pre-set modes, backlit displays, and adjustable timers.
Pain can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. It can also last from days to months, depending on the cause. Thus, many benefit from using TENS due to its lack of adverse effects. This is unlike pain medication, which is often addictive. Pain medicines also cause stomach bleeding, nausea, heartburn, and anxiety. This article will present the factors that make up the best TENS machines, such as device type, ease of use, and the pain that TENS machines are effective against.
Top Rated TENS Machine: Device Type
People often find two main types of devices when looking for the top rated TENS machines. These are the handheld and wireless TENS units. Both can provide pain relief for many chronic and acute pain conditions. TENS machines deliver low-voltage electrical currents to the body using electrode pads. Then, the electrical stimulation triggers spinal nerve cells to close pathways to the brain. Additionally, it triggers the release of endorphins.
Handheld units use lead cables to connect the controller and the electrode pads. These units can control up to eight electrodes. Moreover, they are commonly found in hospitals or rehabilitation clinics. There, trained medical professionals operate these machines.
Meanwhile, wireless TENS machines utilise Bluetooth technology. Some have designated control units, while some use a smartphone application. Often, wireless electrodes offer more shapes and sizes for electrodes. Additionally, they are more convenient to use due to the lack of wires. Moreover, they are more cost-effective as wires are prone to breaking. Broken lead cables require replacement to avoid unintended electric shock.
How to Use a TENS Machine
Some TENS machines are easy to use without medical supervision. These are the steps to using a TENS machine:
- Clean the skin with soap and water and ensure it is dry.
- Attach electrode pads near or on the pain area. For wired TENS devices, securely connect all components.
- Turn on the machine to its lowest settings. This is to avoid discomfort or sudden shock.
- Gradually increase the frequency or intensity or select a pre-set mode for pain alleviation.
- Turn the machine off after the session.
- Remove the electrode pads and clean them for future use.
Top Rated TENS Machine: Ease of Use
It is vital to consider how easily the device is operated when looking for a top rated TENS machine. Some may want to use these machines for pain relief alone and without medical supervision. One benefit of using wireless machines is the lack of wires allows for better mobility. This enables users to do simple exercises or other activities during their session.
Furthermore, the device interface should be easy to navigate through. TENS devices should offer adjustable settings to deliver the ideal amount of electric stimulation for the condition. Moreover, some units have pre-set modes tailored for specific body parts and causes of pain. This allows users to get targeted pain relief with little input.
Additionally, features like adjustable timers and backlit displays make it easier for people to use the device. It is also better to use devices with long-lasting rechargeable batteries. This removes the need to replace batteries and makes it easy to identify if there is enough power for the whole session.
Consult a healthcare professional before using electrotherapy devices. This ensures that the individual can safely use the device and does not have health conditions that may negatively react to electrical stimulation. This includes those with metal and electrical implants because electrical currents may cause them to malfunction.
Moreover, those with a history of cancer, seizures, and arrhythmia should not use TENS devices. Pregnant women should avoid using TENS before labour. Furthermore, abstain from using TENS devices while sleeping, driving, or operating heavy machinery. Lastly, electrotherapy devices should not be used while showering or submerged in water.
Top Rated TENS Machine: Types of Pain and Conditions
People seek top rated TENS machines because they alleviate pain from various chronic and acute conditions effectively. This is done by using a wide range of frequencies and intensities. TENS therapy is a pain management that reduces or replaces the intake of oral pain medication. Moreover, it is complementary to many other treatments. Its non-invasive nature and lack of adverse side effects make it ideal for many.
Acute pain is short-lived pain. It often occurs without warning from cuts, burns, or wounds. Other causes are surgery, broken bones, or labour. Although the pain fades as the injury heals, acute pain is still uncomfortable. In some cases, it may even turn into chronic pain.
Meanwhile, chronic pain is long-standing pain that lasts longer than six months. It is often due to underlying health conditions. Some conditions that cause this type of pain are arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, and sciatica. Chronic pain reduces quality of life and can be debilitating. Fortunately, people can use TENS machines up to four times daily without risk of addiction.
Differences Between Low and High Frequency Stimulation
Low-frequency stimulation is ideal for chronic pain. In this setting, the electrical currents trigger the release of painkilling hormones called endorphins. This alleviates the pain and helps reduce inflammation of the area. This process takes up to 40 minutes to show effects because of the necessary build-up. It also relieves pain for hours after the session.
On the other hand, high-frequency stimulation is suited for acute pain. This level of electrical stimulation induces spinal nerve cells to block the pain sensations from reaching the brain. This effect often occurs within 30 minutes of the session.
The top rated TENS machine contains features suitable for providing effective pain relief. Firstly, the device type must align with what the user needs. Some may prefer wired devices for the additional electrodes. Meanwhile, some choose wireless TENS for their comfort. Additionally, they have features that make the device easy to use. This includes user-friendly interfaces to adjust settings, pre-set modes, and adjustable timers without much effort. Lastly, these devices relieve pain from many chronic and acute conditions.
TENS units are available in online stores and pharmacies. They can be bought without a prescription and used without medical supervision. However, it is vital to consult a medical professional before using electrotherapy devices. Furthermore, it is crucial to get a reliable device. The iTENS from iTENS Australia is a wireless TENS machine with innovative wing-shaped electrodes. Additionally, it uses a smartphone application with a user-friendly interface to control the pads.