Tens, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is a form of treatment that is used to relieve back pain due to nerve or muscle issues.

It uses a low voltage electrical current to help stimulate the inner workings of the muscle. Just as the brain uses an electrical current to send messages to the nervous system, a TENS unit can reproduce the same results.

The pulsations of a TENS unit can be increased or decreased to the desired amount. Typically, the patient will feel a tingling in the area applied. The electrical stimulation is meant to redirect the pain signals that are causing the pain.

Tens treatment can be performed at home, but, until you are familiar with the way your body handles this type of treatment, it is highly recommended that this therapy be started under a physician’s care.

FACT #1 Electrical Current

The TENS unit has two electrodes that are placed on the skin to deliver an electrical current that redirects pain signals. The amount of current can be controlled to manipulate pain care. Most units are a small battery-operated device, and can be carried with the patient.

FACT #2 Pain Blocking Signals

The majority of users feel less pain during an electrical impulse because pain signals to the brain are redirected. By stimulating the nerves in this way, it causes the body to produce endorphins, a natural painkiller. This helps the body fight the pain signals that it is already receiving.

FACT #3 Safety

A TENS unit is typically safe when it is used properly. The electrical shock therapy is found to be effective in the majority of its users. Although it works with a high success rate, there are always some safety issues that should ALWAYS be addressed when using electricity.

  • Use TENS only for the reason your doctor orders it, and advise the doctor if any changes occur
  • Do Not leave electrodes in place for long periods of time
  • If rash, burn, or discoloration occurs beneath the electrodes stop using TENS until cleared by your doctor.
  • Do Not place on broken or irritated skin
  • Do Not use the device around water
  • Do Not drive or operate heavy machinery while using the device
  • Do Not use TENS at the same time as applying hot or cold treatments
  • Do Not use while sleeping
  • Do Not use any device that is damaged, freighted, or broken

The use of TENS treatments are not meant to be a cure for an underlying health issue, only as a means to aid in the relief of pain. It is generally ordered as a part of a treatment regimen to be used alongside medications, lifestyle changes, surgery and other methods that are set up by a doctor, and long term use of a TENS should be discussed with your physician.

Read Our Top 7 TENS Unit Reviews Here

There are small risks that come with any pain management treatment and you should consult with your doctor about which options can be most beneficial for your specific needs.

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