TENS units have been growing in demand due to their efficiency in relieving various types of pain. They are portable devices that are easy and ready to use at the first sign of pain. Hence, some may ask what TENS unit should I buy. However, choosing a device can be challenging as there are many options on the market. For people who want more innovative pain relief, a wireless unit like iTENS is an excellent choice.
More people consider electrotherapy like TENS for pain management because it is safe and natural. It is non-invasive with no adverse side effects. Therefore, it is a suitable drug-free alternative. If you are considering purchasing a TENS unit, it is important to research devices and find one that suits your specific needs. The information below will help you know more about the functions of TENS, how to choose a device and its benefits.
What TENS Unit Should I Buy: What are the Functions of TENS
TENS machines vary in style, functions, and features. Hence, individuals ask what TENS unit I should buy to help get the right device. It is also essential to know how it works before using the device. TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is a therapy method using mild electrical currents. The machine has a set of self-adhesive electrode pads to transmit the currents through the skin and relieve pain symptoms.
The therapeutic effects of TENS are attainable through various stimulation modes. Mainly, it utilises high and low frequencies to activate different mechanisms of pain in the nervous system. Firstly, high frequency instigates closure of pain pathways in the spinal cord. When the “neural gates” close, it impedes the pain signals from reaching the brain. The high pulse rates also help distract the brain from pain sensations. This level is most suitable for conditions with severe symptoms.
Secondly, low frequency stimulates the production of endorphins. The natural hormones relieve pain by inhibiting the nerve cells that send pain messages to the brain. It also improves the body’s response to stress. Likewise, it boosts blood flow in the affected area. This can benefit individuals who cannot tolerate strong stimulation. Moreover, the range of intensity and frequency may vary in each device. Therefore, it is vital to check the settings in determining what TENS unit I should buy.
What Conditions TENS Can Help Treat
A TENS machine can help manage the pain of the following:
- Nerve pain and nerve damage – sciatica, diabetic neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Joint pain – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, bursitis
- Muscle pain – fibromyalgia, muscle strain, sprain, spasms
- Post-operative pain
- Labour pain
- Degenerative disc disease – spinal stenosis, herniated disc, spondylolisthesis
What TENS Unit Should I Buy: How to Evaluate a TENS Device
People with chronic pain think thoroughly, what TENS unit should I buy? There are many factors that come into play when making a decision. The first step is to consider what you need the device to do. You might require a function that goes further than just delivering pain relief. Thus, experts advise checking for the main aspects of TENS machines: intensity settings, treatment modes, types of electrodes, and additional features.
TENS machines are programmable to suit different pain conditions and severity. The intensity is the strength of each electrical pulse. A suitable device should allow you to adjust the levels of intensity from mild to extreme pain. Moreover, most TENS machines provide preset modes for quick use. These programs have built-in settings designed according to body parts or common ailments for optimal treatment. The number of preset modes varies in each device.
Another consideration when evaluating what TENS unit should I buy is the type of electrode pads. TENS machines generally have two kinds, traditional and wireless. A traditional or standard device has wired electrodes connecting to a handheld remote control. In contrast, a wireless TENS unit is more compact as it removes the hassle of tangled cords. They have Bluetooth capability to connect to a smartphone app to access TENS settings and programs.
You may also get a TENS device based on the following features:
- Battery type – disposable or rechargeable battery. Battery life and power are crucial to ensure adequate stimulation and uninterrupted sessions
- Electrode pad option – typically comes in small and large sizes
- Channel – single, dual, or quadruple channels
What TENS Unit Should I Buy: Benefits and Advantages
Aside from natural pain relief, there are plenty of reasons why people choose TENS therapy. Patients ask what TENS unit should I buy that can help maximise its benefits. Some of the advantages include safe and non-invasive pain treatment, versatility, and portability. The use of electrical stimulation is known not to have adverse side effects. Hence, people with chronic pain can use TENS as often as needed. Some may use the device up to four times daily.
TENS therapy is non-invasive. It is applied externally through the electrode pads, which stick well to the skin. In addition, it does not leave permanent marks. Effective pain relief with TENS minimises the need for risky or intrusive procedures like surgery. Moreover, it is applicable to a wide range of pain conditions. Whether you have sore muscles from exercise, acute injury, or chronic ailment, you can use one device for it all.
One of the main advantages of a TENS machine is being portable. They are easy to carry around and use. With a wireless TENS device like iTENS, it is even more discreet. It is barely noticeable underneath the clothes as there are no wires sticking out. This means that you can manage pain while at work or running errands. This makes many ask what TENS unit should I buy to reduce the need for time-consuming physical therapy sessions.
When Not to Use TENS
TENS is safe for most people. However, medical professionals advise against using TENS under the following circumstances:
- people with heart problems, epilepsy, deep vein thrombosis, and metal implants
- pregnant women (except for use in labour)
- while bathing or in water
- while sleeping, driving, or operating machinery
- if the skin is irritated
Learning about the various functions of TENS helps individuals decide what TENS unit should I buy. There are several factors to consider in choosing a device, and this includes what type of pain relief you need. TENS therapy utilises mild electrical currents to relieve various body aches and chronic conditions. For the most effective treatment, you should check the intensity levels, pain modes, types of electrodes, and even the availability of replacement pads.
Ultimately, you should get a TENS machine that suits your lifestyle and specific treatment needs. It should also fit your budget with all the features you want. For comprehensive pain management at a reasonable cost, the iTENS from iTENS Australia provides vast choices of preset treatments at your fingertips. Its innovative smartphone app also allows you to customise the therapy easily. For best results, consult a doctor or physical therapist on how TENS can help you.