Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation (TENS) has been described for many years as an alternative to traditional analgesic pain relievers. TENS machines are very well known in the medical industry. Hospitals, Pain Relief specialists, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and many other Health professionals use them as an alternative to many other forms of pain relief. In clinical trials TENS machines have been shown to be an effective method for the treatment of acute and chronic pain.
Sports Therapists too use them for accelerating injury recovery, improving blood circulation, reducing inflammation, swelling and also for increasing muscle strength.
These devices employ the latest in TENS and EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) technology, this is a treatment that uses electrical currents to relieve pain whilst providing other therapeutic benefits.
A gentle electrical current passes through electrodes which are attached to the skin near the site of the pain or discomfort. The electrical stimulation pulses through the skin in the same way the central nervous system does. This stimulation gets to the brain first, blocking the pain receptors.
Two respected scientists discovered a theory, called the 'Gate Theory'. This theory states that when you feel a sensation other than pain, the mild electrical impulses actually close the gate and do not let pain impulses to pass through to the brain through the spinal column. The electrical impulses speed their way across the skin and onto the central nervous system much faster than pain. By getting there first, the electrical information 'closes the gate' to pain, blocking its passage and pain message to the brain.
Once the pain eases, muscles that are in spasm begin to relax. Once the muscles relax, the device increases blood to the soft tissue damage of the painful area and stimulates the deep healing process. This in addition helps your body release endorphins. These are natural chemicals formed within the body that behave like a strong drug reducing the perception of pain for up to eight hours at a time.
Endorphin Release. TENS machines are world renowned for the release of endorphins. It’s a natural pain killer, stimulating the release of endogenous opioids which are pain-relieving chemicals naturally released by the body in response to pain stimuli. Opioids are a naturally occurring hormone in the body. They are released in response to an injury or physical stress to reduce your pain and promote a feeling of wellbeing. Much like Morphine, and related medications, your opioids have a similar chemical structure, which explains their strong painkilling effects. The opioids then inhibit the transmission of pain signals in the substantia gelatinosa part of the spinal cord - what is often referred to as the spinal root part of the nerve.
The TENS machine produces a 'twitch' in the muscles underneath the electrodes. This muscle 'twitch' helps to release the opioids and also helps the pain 'switches' in the brain to be activated through muscular and reflex activity.
A great example of endorphin release is the natural 'high' that runners and other athletes experience after 30 minutes of sustained exercise. Much like exercise, the endorphin release stimulated by the TENS may take up to 30 minutes or more to take a noticeable effect. The "feel good" effect may last several hours before endorphin levels in the body need to be increased again. These electrical pulses stimulate muscles, increase blood flow, restore damaged neural pathways and provide therapeutic benefits ranging in relief from back pain, neck and shoulder pain, joint pain, increase circulation, relaxation to many other general complaints and ailments.
Benefits of a TENS machine
No side effects - TENS machines have no side effects and are perfectly safe to use at home independently or as part of any other therapy you may be using
Non Invasive - TENS machines are easy to use and do not require any special training. They are a noninvasive and manageable way to relieve pain and can be used with total safety alongside any drugs you may be taking.
Portable - TENS machines are portable, handheld devices. You can use them anywhere in almost any situation whether at home or travelling. Being small and lightweight they can be stored away easily when not in use.
Self Management - people that suffer from chronic pain cannot rely on medication alone. Continuous use of pain medication can result in serious side effects and sometimes dependence. TENS machines do not have any side effects or addictive properties. They encourage patients to self management of their symptoms and avoid heavy reliance on drugs.
Cost Effective - it is much more cost effective to use TENS machines for pain relief and treatment than expensive prescription medications or substituting for visits to health professionals.
Our devices are the latest state of the art TENS machines. What makes these machines different to many other TENS machines is the portability, functionality and reliability. We also make it more accessible to the wider community. There was a time when you could only purchase a TENS machine from your Physiotherapist or Health professional
Tips and Tricks for Effective Pain Relief: Original and practical ideas to help you get the most benefit out of your TENS Unit by Dr Gordon Gadsby PhD BA(Hons.) RGN RMN DipN(Lond) MSBM DHP DHS.
The following information is from a FREE info sheet based on more than 27 years of clinical practice in electroanalgesia by the author Dr Gordon Gadsby and a trawl of evidence based literature.
from several electronic databases. We hope you will find this information beneficial to you please feel free to print this page out for your own reference purposes.
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