Use of TENS Unit for Pain Relief
TENS units are continuously being prescribed as a solution to pain relief though there are those researchers who have concluded that there is little or no difference between a TENS unit and a placebo. Maybe the best conclusion to be made is that like most chronic pain treatments out there in the market, this treatment does not work for everyone.
The TENS unit works in such a way that it interrupts the pain cycle by sending a different sensation to the brain and stopping the other pain sensation from being sent to the brain. This sensation emanates from the area where the pain is coming from. So, instead of your body sending pain signals to your brain, it instead sends a tingling signal, thus stopping the patient from experiencing any pain.
When it comes to stopping pain, the TENS unit works in such a way that it sends painless electrical impulses though patches that are attached around the pain area. These impulses are then passed onto the nerves just under the skin where they send positive messages to the brain. These messages take the place of the pain messages your body was intent on sending. These signals may also increase the amount of endorphins released by the body. These endorphins are the natural chemicals released by the body and used to relieve pain.
The side effects one can experience from using a TENS unit are usually mold and do not cause much concern. These effects include:
Twitching & Muscle Pain
Continuous use of the TENS unit has been known to cause pain in the muscle as well as muscle twitching. This is because of the constant pulsing of the electrical stimulation. It is recommended that one use the machine for a period of 20 minutes and if required for longer periods then one should monitor to ensure that the muscles do not become sore nor should muscle twitching occur because of too much stimulation. If this is the case the one should reduce the amount of voltage on the dial to a more comfortable level.
Soreness of Skin
Some therapists recommend the use of TENS units around the clock. If one is doing this, they must constantly monitor the skin around and under the nodes to ensure that there is no redness or soreness. Soreness or redness can be avoided by applying some gel or alcohol under the pad. This helps increase the conductivity and protects the skin from any irritation.
TENS units have been known to give people a sense of security when it comes to feeling no pain. This results in the patient over exerting themselves and this could lead to more pain for the patient as a result of causing more damage to the hurt area.
It is important to note that TENS units should not be used by pregnant women because the vibration may have an effect on the unborn child. Also, you should not use the machine if you are suffering from cancer or have a pacemaker.