Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation what is it?
Electrical stimuli have been used for pain management from Roman physicians to Benjamin Franklin through to modern medicine.
TENS is good for relieving pain without medication
Would you rather take Advil or put on electrodes to relieve the pain? It works in a similar way that is does’t treat or heal the cause however it does relieve the symptoms in most cases dramatically. Unlike the medication the electric nerve stimulator has no side effects. TENS unit won’t determine your pain cause nor it will make it go away forever as opposed to a real human practitioner could, like your physical therapist, licensed massage therapist, chiropractor or your doctor.
TENS up to 24 hours of pain relief
However electrical stimulation can be quite effective in reducing injury pain and tension caused pain as well. A transcutaneous electrical nerve, or TENS, pattern is used frequently to confuse the pain nerves around your injury. By overstimulating the tissues, your brain no longer is able to distinguish the pain signals, and the pain can diminish significantly or even completely. TENS often feels like a moderate prickling sensation and may not be tolerated by some, but in a pocket size units you can moderate the intensity. This type of electrical stimulation usually results in approximately 24 hours of pain relief and often is used during a course of physical therapy or occupational therapy while your injury is rehabilitated. Your therapist may issue you a pocket-sized TENS unit to be used over the long term for occasional flare-ups.
Like mentioned above the stimulating pulses help prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. TENS also help stimulate your body to produce higher levels of its own natural painkillers, called “Endorphins”.
Tens vs Massage therapy
Massage therapy can provide significant pain relief, find and release the “knots”, determine causes of the pain, examine which muscles are shortened, lengthened etc. Reduce and eliminate muscle tension that is causing imbalance and thus pain for you. Massage therapy has other therapeutic benefits. Retrograde massage can be used in some cases to reduce the swelling in your arm or leg. A therapist uses repetitive stroking motions to move fluid up to your armpits or hip joints, which allows your body to reabsorb the fluid. Something that TENS can not provide. Tens is more of a certain target muscle nerve reliever.
Pocket electric stimulator unit is a great supplemental pain management tool when therapy with a professional is not available. Aka travel or prolonged work week or the pain and tension is minor. And or can be helpful getting some pain relief between your appointments. Can be used by athletes to reduce the feel of muscle soreness.
You can purchase your FDA approved pocket TENS pocket with 3 year warranty at my office or amazon. Or literally anywhere like drug stores or online. I personally own two, one for home one in my office and they have been great in times when I need some relief from soreness along with CBD Oil and Biofreeze.
-Jolita Brilliant, Nationally Licensed Massage Therapist