Pain occurs at various life stages due to illness or injuries. Some pain may also develop for no apparent reason, ranging from mild to severe. With home treatments or medicines, pain can go away. However, some pain persists longer. Without effective pain management, chronic pain can interfere with daily activities. People with chronic pain tend to miss work or skip important events. Therefore, many people seek a more sustainable approach to relieve pain without drugs. Physicians or pain experts recommend a pain treatment is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). TENS is a type of electrotherapy that works on the nerves to reduce pain symptoms. Today, you can manage pain through a standard wired TENS, or even a wireless TENS unit with heat therapy.
A TENS machine is a portable battery-operated device consisting of electrode pads. Clinics or therapy centres mostly use a standard wired TENS. However, you may avail a hassle-free treatment through personal devices like the wireless iTENS. iTENS Australia offers a revolutionary way to manage pain by combining the effectiveness of TENS and wearable technology. Additionally, it is also possible to use to wireless TENS unit with heat therapy, making it more convenient and versatile. TENS therapy with heat therapy may present with longer-lasting pain relief.
The Functions of TENS Machine
Pain is a complex and subjective experience. Each person perceives pain differently. For example, some people have high tolerance while some do not. Similarly, our response to different treatments like analgesics and TENS also varies. Some people report to feel relieved while using the machine while others feel lasting effects only after the stimulation. But how does TENS works? A TENS machine delivers low-voltage electrical charges through the skin to stimulate the sensory nerves to block pain signals. TENS enables you to control pain relief by manipulating the frequencies. Therefore, you can directly manage pain according to what works for you. Furthermore, according to studies, a wireless TENS unit with heat can help relieve pain much faster. A TENS machine works in two ways:
- High-frequency (90-130 Hz) – the electrical impulses stimulate the nerves to intercept the pain messages sent to the brain. The Gate Control Theory of Pain states that the spinal cord has a gate mechanism that controls the transmission of pain signals. When the gate is closed, the pain messages are blocked and we feel less pain.
- Low-frequency (2-5 Hz) – the body produces endorphins, a natural pain-inhibiting hormone.
Wireless TENS Unit with Heat
The electrical stimulation from a TENS machine helps relieve symptoms from acute and chronic conditions. People with sudden injuries, post-operative pain, and chronic pain can also use TENS devices to reduce swelling, inflammation, throbbing, tenderness, or burning sensations. It is also beneficial in boosting blood circulation which helps accelerates the healing of damaged muscles or nerves. Moreover, a wireless TENS unit with heat combines TENS therapy with heat therapy to relieve pain faster. Heat therapy is proven effective in alleviating body pain. You can apply heat therapy at home by using heating pads, a hot water bottle, or steamed towels. Particularly, it offers the following benefits:
- Accelerates recovery – Applied heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, increasing the blood circulation. The increased blood and oxygen flow help repair damaged tissues faster.
- Soothe muscle spasms – Heat eases tightness and relaxes tensed muscles. Likewise, it helps minimise tenderness from days-old injuries.
- Reduce pain causedcaused by stiffness – Heat facilitates stretching of the soft tissues decreasing stiffness and improving the range of motion.
- Reduce contractions during labour – Heat helps reduce contractions and provide general relaxation.
Wireless TENS: With Heat or no Heat
A wireless TENS unit with heat helps ease arthritic pain from stiff joints, muscle soreness, and tension headaches. Minor stiffness or tension can be relieved with 15 to 20 minutes of electrical stimulation. However, heat is not applicable for all types of muscle soreness or pain. If the muscle is swollen or bruised, ice would suit better. In particular, ice numbs an area of the body and reduces the inflammation by narrowing the blood vessels. To prevent further damage, ensure that you use the right therapy. You may consult your physician which is the best treatment for you. Meanwhile, the iTENS is a wireless TENS unit suitable for many acute and chronic pain. It helps minimise pain without worsening the situation and producing adverse side effects.
iTENS: Wireless TENS Device
The iTENS employs Bluetooth-capable electrodes and adhesive gel pads. The wireless electrodes connects seamlessly to a smartphone app for more efficient pain treatment. The iTENS app features a total of 26 pre-set modes for various pain conditions based on specific body areas or ailments. For example, you may choose the therapy for body pains like the shoulder, hip, knee, hands, and feet. Similarly, you can select the treatment for a specific chronic conditions like arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, muscle spasm, or tendonitis. Therefore, the iTENS is equally effective in relieving pain as a wireless TENS unit with heat therapy. To use the iTENS, place the electrode pads on the pain area and select the desired treatment. The stimulation will begin immediately, creating a mild tingling sensation.
Using the wireless iTENS or a wireless TENS unit with heat gives more convenience. People who use a standard wired TENS spend more time untangling messy wires. They also report occasional shocks or burns from the wear and tear of the lead cables. That is why, many prefer a wireless TENS unit. The wireless iTENS has adhesive gel pads that adheres easily to the skin. It is also lightweight and fits most body parts easily. Moreover, using a wireless TENS allows you to treat pain without interfering with work or activities. Lastly, the iTENS wireless pads are discreet when worn under the clothes and do not restrict movement.
Risk and Safety of Wireless TENS Units
“Is it safe?” That is a common question people hearing about TENS for the first time. The electrical pulses from the iTENS machine are firm but do not cause any serious harm. TENS is a painless, non-invasive, and drug-free way of managing pain. Because it is toxic-free, many people use TENS as often as needed. Therefore, you may use TENS many times a day. However, ensure that you allow at least 20 minutes breaks in between sessions. Moreover, health professionals recommend taking precautions when using TENS. For example, do not use a wireless TENS unit with heat if you have Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or hemorrhage. The increased blood flow increases the risk of dislodging a blood clot and bleeding at the tissue site. Furthermore, TENS is not suitable for the following:
- Heart disease
- With cardiac pacemakers in their body
- During pregnancy (except in the early stages of labour)
- On numb skin
- Open wounds
- In a shower
- While sleeping, driving, or operating machinery