The nervous system is a complex network responsible for transmitting signals throughout the body. Within this intricate system, the transcutaneous nerve plays a significant role in regulating sensory and motor functions. Accordingly, with the advancement in technology, people can stimulate these with Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) devices. It is a safe method of pain relief as it works by sending electrical currents to the nerve fibres through electrode pads.
In the field of medicine, various techniques and therapies are used as a treatment of pain to promote healing. Traditional medications may not always be effective, thus the creation of TENS units. This current therapy holds a significant place in the field of medical science and pain management. It can help address different types of pain, whether chronic pain or acute pain. This article will present more about TENS, what it can treat, and the safety guidelines for using it.
What is Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation
Transcutaneous nerve stimulation is a therapy that sends low-level electrical impulses to nerve pathways through the skin. This can help to reduce aches and improve muscle function. In TENS therapy, a small battery-operated device delivers electrical stimuli to the skin with the use of electrode pads. Such functionality enables people to have accessible pain control whenever needed.
Accordingly, there are TENS units are common in wired and wireless services. TENS with wires are typically cheaper and are usually operated with disposable batteries. Thus, users can control the treatment using the buttons in the unit. Meanwhile, wireless TENS uses Bluetooth technology to connect the electrodes. Then, can control the therapy with a smartphone.
Nevertheless, both types have various features to enhance the therapy experience. Most TENS have adjustable settings to allow users to customise the treatment. Hence, they can modify the frequency, intensity, and duration of the therapy. Subsequently, some TENS offers preset programs designed to directly target specific painful conditions.
How it Works to Relieve Pain
- Gate Control Theory of Pain – TENS works by stimulating the nerves in a way that can close the gate on the pain signal travelling to the brain.
- Release of endorphins – TENS can trigger the production of endorphins, which are the natural painkillers of the body. This promotes a sense of well-being.
- Blood circulation – the therapy may improve blood flow, which can aid in reducing inflammation and promote healing.
- High-frequency (HF) and Low-frequency TENS (LF) – TENS can use different frequencies to deliver electrical impulses to produce different effects. HF may help block pain signals, while LF triggers the release of endorphins.
Transcutaneous Nerve: What Can Be Treated Through Stimulation
Transcutaneous nerve stimulation can treat various pain characteristics. TENS therapy can be beneficial for managing chronic pain conditions, which are persistent and long-lasting. Conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, shoulder, neck, and backaches can be addressed with TENS. This helps people to find relief and improve their quality of life.
Subsequently, TENS can also provide relief for acute conditions, which are typically sharp and sudden. This includes aches resulting from postoperative pain, labour pain, injuries, tension headaches, and menstrual cramps. By using TENS, people can experience temporary relief without relying solely on medications. Also, the unit is effective in addressing nerve-related aches such as sciatica and neuropathic pain.
Furthermore, electric nerve stimulation is common to manage musculoskeletal pain, which involves muscles, bones, and joints. Conditions such as muscle strains, tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and joint pain can benefit from TENS therapy. In addition, TENS treatment is beneficial in targeting muscle aches or cramps, offering relief for sore, tense, or overworked or overused muscles.
Benefits of Electrical Stimulation
There are numerous benefits an electric current stimulation can give. Firstly, TENS offers targeted relief or versatile applications. This means that users can treat a specific aching area. Secondly, the treatment is non-invasive and non-medicinal. It does not require the intake of oral medications or the need to undergo invasive operations. Thirdly, it offers customisable treatment. Users can adjust the settings to conform to relief needs.
Additionally, TENS devices are often user-friendly, allowing people to incorporate the therapy into their self-care routines. Also, TENS can be a mirror therapy with other methods of pain relief, such as exercises or medications.
Transcutaneous Nerve: Safety Guidelines for Electrotherapy
Transcutaneous nerve as a treatment for pain is safe, however, it is essential to recognise the safety guidelines. Before utilising TENS, it is important to consult a healthcare professional. This is particularly essential for people with serious medical conditions. Accordingly, check the condition of the unit for any signs of wear and tear.
Before applying the electrodes, it is vital to clean and dry the skin to ensure good conductivity and prevent skin irritation. It is important to know the right electrode placement placing the pads on the wrong areas can lead to ineffective treatment. Also, it is crucial to place the pads with at least a one-inch gap to balance the stimulation. Avoid placing it in sensitive areas such as the mouth, eyes, throat, chest, or broken skin.
When adjusting the settings, it is advisable to do it gradually and carefully. Starting with a low level and increasing it slowly to a comfortable level to avoid sudden discomfort. Users also should adhere to the specific time duration of the treatment. Moreover, do not use TENS while in contact with water, driving, sleeping, or operating machinery.
When to Seek Medical Help
When using TENS, it is important to know when to seek medical help. If the skin underneath the electrodes becomes red or itchy, it is important to consult a professional. Then, if a person experiences further aches, they should consult a medical provider. This may indicate improper usage or the need for a different treatment approach.
Moreover, if the user experiences muscle twitching or spasms, they should stop the treatment and seek medical advice. Any adverse reactions, such as dizziness or nausea, should prompt the individual to seek medical help. It is important to note that TENS must provide relief and not cause further aches.
Transcutaneous nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a valuable technique in pain management. It uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate the nerves and provide relief of pain. The method works in different mechanisms, such as the pain gates, the release of endorphins, and improving blood circulation. Accordingly, it can deliver electrical impulses in low and high frequencies. This approach can help address chronic and acute pain, musculoskeletal pain, and muscle aches.
TENS provides numerous benefits for people. It is non-invasive and drug-free, offers versatile applications and customisable treatment, is user-friendly, and can be used in conjunction with other treatments. Nevertheless, it is vital to recognise the safety measures for safe and effective pain relief. It is important to use the correct pad placement, what areas to avoid, and when to seek medical help. With its numerous benefits, TENS is a promising solution for those seeking pain relief.