A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine is a small, battery-operated device that can help reduce pain and muscle spasms caused by a wide range of conditions. This device sends small electrical currents to target specific areas where pain may be located. These small electrical pulses control pain signals in the body, which creates temporary or permanent pain relief.
TENS units can help treat the following symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Postoperative pain
- Neck and back pain
A TENS machine may also alleviate pain that occurs from the following conditions:
- Sports injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury
What are the benefits of a TENS machine?
There are several benefits of a TENS machine, including:
The main advantage of using a TENS machine is that it provides pain relief. It works by sending electrical currents that travel through electrodes and into the skin. This stimulates the specific nerve pathways to produce a tingling sensation and activates a complex neuronal network to result in a reduction of pain.
The electrodes can be placed in many different areas on the body, including the back of the neck, the stomach, upper and lower back, shoulders, upper and lower thighs. Electrodes should never be placed on any part of the head, face, throat, directly on the backbone, and both sides of the chest or trunk.
No side effects
When you live with pain, you often have to deal with more pain in order to tolerate it. Pain medications can be hard on the body and come with numerous side effects, such as:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Clouded thinking
- Digestive problems
A TENS machine is a drug-free, safe way to find relief for both acute and chronic pain. Many people who use a TENS machine often have no issues or difficulties at all. Side effects mainly come from overuse of the machine. The ideal usage of a TENS machine is up to 2-3 times per day for 10-30 minutes each session.
Another benefit of using a TENS machine is that it is portable and easy to use. All you need to do is simply place the pad on the muscle that needs stimulating, and the machine will do the rest of the work. You may have to adjust the settings to find the right intensity. A TENS machine is a small, portable and battery-operated device, which can be used virtually anywhere, anytime.
Many companies are starting to offer TENS units as massagers and pain relievers. With the different intensity levels and using a different pulse pattern, TENS units can provide a deep massage for the user.
Research has shown that a TENS unit can also reduce chronic hyperalgesia induced by muscle inflammation. The units can help reduce swelling and increase circulation, which may also enhance tissue healing and inflammation control.
If you are looking for an affordable and effective way to find pain relief, a TENS machine is a great option. There is only a one-time cost associated with buying a TENS unit, and they can often range from $100 or less to several hundred, depending on the type of machine you purchase.
A TENS machine is generally very safe and may be a great option for you if you experience acute or chronic pain. It is easy to use and can help you find relief in both muscle and nerve pain. The use of a TENS unit may help you get back to a better quality of life.
If a 3-6 month trial of conservative treatments has not provided relief, schedule an appointment with one of the Center for Interventional Pain & Spine’s specialized providers! We offer advanced interventional and minimally invasive techniques to help treat chronic complex pain. Schedule your appointment today!