Today, dealing with everyday pain or discomfort is manageable due to the comprehensive options available. People experiencing pain employ various tactics to ease their conditions. People seek medical help for the proper diagnosis and treatment for severe pain. On the other hand, home remedies or oral medicines can help reduce mild to moderate symptoms. Moreover, additional forms of pain relief include physical therapy and electrotherapy. Physical therapy involves massage, acupuncture, hot and cold therapy, and exercises, among many others. On the other hand, electrotherapy uses portable devices to aid in pain relief. Physiotherapists also recommend electrotherapy such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to patients with chronic or acute pain. Anyone can use TENS therapy through modern devices such as a wireless TENS machine.
TENS therapy using a wireless TENS machine is a non-invasive and drug-free pain management alternative. Therefore, people seeking natural pain relief use TENS to minimise their intake of pain medication. Additionally, doing TENS therapy is more accessible through the availability of personal devices like the wireless iTENS from iTENS Australia. This post will guide you on TENS treatment and the advantages of a wireless TENS machine.
Why do we Feel Pain?
Firstly, knowing how and why we feel pain is essential to understand better how a wireless TENS machine works. Pain is an uncomfortable sensation often described as a deep, throbbing, pulsating, or burning feeling. Additionally, it acts as a warning signal that tells us something is wrong with our bodies. People feel pain when a signal travels through the nerve fibres in the spinal cord to the brain. In effect, the brain receives the signal and interprets it as pain. Furthermore, pain receptors called the nociceptors are found in the muscle, joints, and skin. Particularly, the skin has more receptors, so it is easy to tell the location and the type of pain.
Body pain is common and can happen at any life stage and for various reasons. It can range from mild to intense and all-over or to a specific body part. Some pain may go away without treatment, while some persist. Short-lived pain is called acute pain. It can directly result from injuries such as broken bones, wounds or cuts. When an injury or wound heals, the discomfort also disappears. In contrast, pain that is long-term or recurring is called chronic. It usually lasts at least six months due to an underlying health condition or illness. Moreover, pain may worsen if untreated and can affect everyday activities. Therefore, people seek various methods to minimise unpleasant sensations. Using a wireless TENS machine is an excellent option to help manage pain without sacrificing comfort.
What is TENS?
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS therapy is a treatment type intended to relieve musculoskeletal and joint pain using low-voltage electrical currents. A wireless TENS machine emits mild electrical impulses to the nerves through the skin. Additionally, external stimulation elicits a reaction from the nervous system that helps reduce pain. TENS therapy can minimise pain symptoms in two ways:
- Pain Gate Control – the Gate Control Theory of Pain proposes that the nerve fibres in the spinal cord serve as gate controllers for pain messages. During electrical stimulation, the nerve pathways close, blocking the pain signals from reaching the brain. Therefore, when the brain receives fewer signals, it decreases the perception of pain. Setting the TENS machine to a high frequency of 50-130 Hz activates the “neural gates” to close.
- Natural Pain Reliever – when we feel pain or stress, our bodies release hormones called endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters created in the brain and act as messengers in the nervous system. They block the nerve cells that receive the pain signals, thus, negating the pain sensation. Their effect is similar to morphine which is an opiate pain reliever. Therefore, they are known as natural painkillers. Endorphins help relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote pleasure. A TENS machine at a low frequency of 2-10 Hz induces the release of endorphins.
Types of TENS Machines: Wired vs Wireless TENS Machines
A TENS machine is a compact battery-operated unit comprising a set of electrodes and remote control. Electrotherapy or e-stim devices like TENS is commonly found in physiotherapist or pain clinics to treat patients with acute or chronic pain. Professionals would position the electrode pads near the area of pain to stimulate the underlying nerves. Moreover, contemporary TENS devices have two kinds: wired and wireless TENS machines. Treatment facilities and clinics typically use conventional wired TENS units. However, modern versions like a wireless TENS machine enable individuals to treat pain in the comfort of one’s homes. The iTENS from iTENS Australia is a revolutionary wireless TENS device to help treat a variety of pain conditions.
What are the differences between wired and wireless TENS machines? The key distinction of these devices is their electrode pad connection. The electrode pads are flat adhesive patches that stick to the affected area’s skin. A standard TENS machine uses wires to connect the controller to the electrode pads. Therefore, you need the cables to operate the machine. In contrast, a wireless TENS machine like the iTENS utilises Bluetooth-capable electrodes to enable nerve stimulation. The wireless electrode pads of iTENS sync with iOS and Android devices to access various treatment modes. Despite being more compact, the iTENS delivers stable and consistent electrical impulses as effectively as a standard TENS device.
What Can TENS Therapy Treat?
TENS therapy is an effective technique for alleviating discomfort in most body parts. Using electricity for treatments dates back to 2500 B.C. Early medical practitioners discovered that fishes capable of generating electric shocks could help relieve pain. However, it was in the 19th century that gave rise to electrotherapy. The first TENS machine was used to test the tolerance of chronic pain patients to electrical stimulation. Although initially intended for testing tolerance, many patients said they received pain relief. Since then, TENS therapy has been used to provide therapeutic effects arising from various health conditions. Modern developments such as a wireless TENS machine enable pain management to be more convenient. In general, TENS therapy can help treat symptoms from the following:
- Nerve pain – also called neuralgia or neuropathic pain. Nerve pain occurs when there are problems in the central nervous system or an illness. The common conditions associated with nerve pain are sciatica, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and peripheral neuropathy.
- Musculoskeletal pain – afflictions that affect bones, joints, ligaments, tendons or muscle. Fractures and swelling or tenderness of joints can cause severe pain. Additionally, chronic conditions like arthritis, tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis and other joint disorders cause musculoskeletal pain.
- Muscle soreness and spasm – tension, stress, and overuse cause the muscles to stiffen and become sore. For example, muscle pain may result from exercise or periods of inactivity. In addition, muscle spasms are involuntary contractions and tightening of the muscles that cause pain.
iTENS: The Innovative Wireless TENS Machine
Chronic pain or sudden injuries can interfere with everyday activities or routines. Many people with chronic pain use TENS therapy to relieve pain without the risk of developing adverse side effects. The mild electrical currents from a TENS machine have been proven safe and do not cause further harm. Therefore, TENS is an excellent solution to help people with chronic conditions manage pain safely and efficiently. Furthermore, a wireless TENS machine like the iTENS is a simple yet innovative device that anyone can easily use. The iTENS from iTENS Australia is a modern-day electrotherapy device that incorporates wearable technology with the effectiveness of TENS treatment.
iTENS has a set of wireless electrode pads with Bluetooth connectivity that can pair seamlessly to a smartphone app. The companion app features pre-set settings for convenient access to various treatments. Additionally, iTENS utilises rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for longer use. The rechargeable battery is energy-efficient and allows uninterrupted treatment sessions. Unlike standard devices, there is no need to buy replacement batteries now and then. Moreover, this wireless TENS machine can last 24 to 36 hours, depending on the intensity. You may get the Small or Large wing kits based on your particular need. In addition, you can also replace the wing pad with other sizes, including the Long strip wing, which is ideal for elongated treatment areas.
The iTENS Wireless Electrode Pads
iTENS utilises reusable Peel N’Stick hydrogel pads that stick firmly to the skin. The underside of the wings has a laser-printed silver conductive surface. Furthermore, they are hypoallergenic and are less likely to cause skin irritations or allergic reactions. They also adhere well to the skin, minimising accidental shocks or burns. Therefore, the reusable gel pads minimise having to replace costly electrodes frequently. Moreover, iTENS has wing-shaped electrode pads designed to treat multiple body locations. The iTENS wireless TENS machine also comes with interchangeable electrode pads for various uses. The iTENS pads come with the following options:
- Small wings – fits well in small joint areas like the ankles, elbows, wrists, and knees.
- Large wings – the large electrode pads have flexible rotating wings suitable for broad coverage areas like the back, shoulder, hips, and thighs.
- Long strip wings – the long strip accessory wings allow treatment of elongated pain areas or pain that radiates downward, such as sciatica and tendon pains.
Advantages of a Wireless TENS Machine
TENS machines enable fast and immediate feedback through mild electrical stimulation. Using the device triggers the body to block pain signals, release endorphins, and boost blood circulation. However, a wireless TENS machine gives additional levels of comfort and efficiency. Moreover, the foremost striking focal points of utilising the iTENS wireless TENS machine are:
- Portability. Going completely wire-free maximises portability. Wireless TENS machines are less bulky than their wired counterparts. Therefore, the iTENS device is light and handy. You can easily carry and use iTENS anywhere.
- Ease of Use. The wireless electrode pads add convenience to pain treatment. The iTENS eliminates the hassle of tangled wires and wire breakage. Thus, it can save you time and energy in administering TENS therapy for faster pain relief. For example, you can simply peel the protective cover of the pads and place them immediately on the pain area.
- Pre-set modes. The iTENS app features treatments for multiple body parts or health conditions. These treatments have fixed parameters that are ready for use. Therefore, you do not have to adjust the setting each time.
- Customisable pain therapy. In addition to the pre-set modes of iTENS, the app allows users to modify their TENS treatment manually. The manual mode lets you adjust pulse rate, pulse width, and waveforms.
- Flexibility. The iTENS gel pads are flexible and contoured to fit most body parts without restricting movement. They are also discreet when worn underneath clothing. Therefore, you can use the wireless iTENS while working, exercising, or doing chores.
Operating a Wireless TENS Machine
Administering TENS therapy is quick and simple. Anyone can use a wireless TENS machine with ease. It also does not require the supervision of a medical professional. The iTENS wireless electrodes enable fast application and treatment. Firstly, you may use the iTENS unit independently without a smartphone. After placing the TENS pads on the body, turn the machine on by pressing the centre button. The area above and below the button lets you increase or decrease the intensity. However, the app allows you to access the built-in programs or modify your treatment manually. Additionally, the iTENS app is compatible with most iOS and Android smartphones.
To use the app features of the iTENS wireless TENS machine, connect the device with the smartphone via Bluetooth. Then, launch the app and select the specific therapy you need. The iTENS app contains 11 pre-set parameters according to body aches and 13 modes for most common health ailments. You may begin the stimulation by selecting your desired treatment. For example, you may choose the option for abdominal cramps to help ease period pain. Similarly, if you want to relieve arthritic pain, you can select the program for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, the TENS machine produces mild tingling sensations upon turning it on. The manual mode lets you personalise the treatment, allowing you to find the most optimal relief. After use, switch the device off before removing the pads.
The iTENS as a Wireless Massager
TENS therapy is best known for reducing symptoms of acute and chronic pain. A TENS machine is also more effective when the user is active. Therefore, a wireless TENS machine like the iTENS is suitable for people with a busy or active lifestyle. The wireless electrode pads enable individuals to facilitate treatment without limiting the range of motion or hindering activities. Furthermore, a supplementary benefit of TENS is the faster healing of injuries or post-operative pain. The constant pulses of a TENS machine boost blood circulation to the affected area. Thus, the increased blood and oxygen flow help soothe sore muscles and nerves. Moreover, many people also use a TENS unit as an electrical massager.
The iTENS wireless TENS machine also offers muscle relaxation and massage functions through the iTENS app. For example, the electronic pulse massager can ease activity-induced muscle pain. It can also help release muscle knots and tension. Many e-stim devices are available that serve as a massager. However, they are bigger and bulkier. Carrying them around adds weight; thus, they are not conducive as a portable unit. On the other hand, the iTENS wireless unit is light and handy. You can use the iTENS even on the go and as often as needed. Lastly, the massage feature of iTENS can help reduce discomfort in acute pain, such as during the early stages of labour.
TENS Pad Care and Maintenance Guide
All TENS machines use pads to allow the transmission of low-voltage electrical currents from the electrodes to the nerves. Standard TENS devices use wires to connect the pads to the machine. Meanwhile, a wireless TENS machine like the iTENS utilises digital technology for more efficient pain management. Moreover, the TENS electrode pads are reusable and can last several applications. The iTENS gel pads can last longer and are easier to maintain than the compression pads that some TENS machines use. However, it is essential to note that all TENS pads will eventually lose their stickiness and needs replacement. In order to make the most out of your unit, follow the iTENS pad care and maintenance guide below:
- Regularly clean the pads using a moist cloth to wipe off excess gel or residue.
- If the pads lose stickiness, apply droplets of water. However, do not submerge the entire device in water.
- Before applying the TENS electrode pads, make sure the skin area is clean, dry and free of oil or moisture.
- After use, switch off the device first before removing the pad. Lift one end of the pads and pull away. Additionally, do not grab the white round disc to avoid damage.
- Place the protective cover back on the pads before storing. Keep the iTENS in the poly bag included in the kit.
Is TENS Therapy Safe?
Many people consider safety before applying any medical treatment or pain relief method. TENS and other electrotherapies are no exemption. TENS therapy is one of the safest modalities of pain management. The electrical impulses are modulated and do not cause further harm. Unlike oral painkillers, TENS does not cause adverse side effects. Thus, you can facilitate TENS treatment as frequently as you need. People with chronic pain use TENS as a drug-free alternative to analgesics. Moreover, you can use the recommended treatment duration from the iTENS wireless TENS machine many times daily. However, ensure that you allow a 20-minute interval between sessions to avoid overstimulation. Also, check your skin for redness or soreness, especially if you use the unit continuously.
The iTENS enhances TENS safety by using wireless electrodes. The standard TENS devices are prone to wire breakage. As a result, exposed wires may cause accidental wire burns. Furthermore, TENS devices have little to no known risks. Turn the device off and remove the pad if there is skin irritation or redness. Clean the area with mild soap and water before reusing TENS. It also helps to alternate the pad placement with each use. If you are using TENS for the first time, you may want to consult your physician or therapist for proper advice. Additionally, a wired or wireless TENS machine is not advisable for people with the following:
- Blood clot
- Heart ailments
- Early weeks of pregnancy
- Have a cardiac pacemaker or electrical implants
Availability of TENS Machines: The Wireless iTENS at iTENS Australia
Effective pain management is attainable through the use of various techniques or devices. TENS therapy is one of the most cost-efficient pain relief solutions that anyone can use. You can use TENS as a sole pain relief method or in conjunction with strategies such as physical therapies or home remedies. Additionally, you can get a TENS machine for personal or home use. Therefore, you do not need to go to a treatment facility to avail of TENS therapy. It also reduces the need to regularly see a doctor or take oral medicines. Furthermore, in choosing a TENS device, ensure you get a high-quality pro-grade unit. The iTENS from iTENS Australia is the world’s first wireless TENS machine with FDA clearance for pain relief. You can purchase the iTENS without a prescription at iTENS Australia.
Checking the treatment modes available helps in choosing a wireless TENS machine. TENS therapy is a versatile pain relief solution that can treat many pain conditions or disorders. Furthermore, it lets you control the level of pain relief you receive by adjusting the intensity and frequency that is most suited for you. Lastly, it allows you to direct the electrical stimulation on targeted parts through the correct placement of electrode pads. The wireless iTENS device from iTENS Australia offers safe, cost-efficient, and hassle-free pain management. You can also get the complete iTENS accessories at iTENS Australia’s official website.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment for acute and chronic pain. The portable TENS devices are efficient for personal use anytime and anywhere. However, a wireless TENS machine like the iTENS from iTENS Australia provides extra convenience through hassle-free electrode pads. Undoubtedly, the iTENS is a trusted TENS device by pain specialists and thousands of individuals in Australia. It is a worthwhile investment, especially for people with chronic pain.