T.E.N.S. stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.
The key here is the NERVE part. TENS is a “Pain Blocker”.
The buzzing sensation is thought to block the pain signal from the nerve to where it is perceived in the brain as pain.
TENS units are also thought to aid in the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain fighting mechanism.
If You Suffer from Chronic Neck, Shoulders, Back or Foot Pain these devices provide a quick, simple and effective solution.
Transcutaneous means “across the skin”, which is how TENS treatment stimulates the nerve fibers that send and receive pain signals to and from your brain. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (or TENS) therapy sends low voltage electrical currents across your skin through electrode pads that you place near your specific area of pain. These electrical currents stimulate your nerve fibers, effectively blocking or reducing the pain signals that they send to your brain. In turn, you will experience less pain.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation therapy has been used to relieve the pain that comes with many different types of muscle, joint and bone conditions such as osteoarthritis, low back pain and tendinitis. It is also very effective at managing sudden acute pain, such as labor pains, and has been proven to provide some relief for chronic pain sufferers who are unable to find a source or treatment for their pain.
Complicated types of pain such as nerve pain and chronic pain are very difficult to treat with traditional methods and treatments, because they are caused by problems with the signals from your nervous system and the receptors in your brain. However many sufferers from nerve and chronic pain have found relief using Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) treatments, because it is directly focused on changing the way your brain receives pain signals from your nerve fibers.
Nerve pain is caused by problems with the nerves themselves, sending pain signals to your brain and causing you to feel the pain constantly. It’s often felt as burning, stabbing, throbbing or shooting sensations, or like electric shocks and sharp aches. Nerve pain commonly comes from conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV infection and shingles.
Traditional painkillers like paracetamol, codeine and anti-inflammatories usually have no effect on nerve pain because your brain is not receiving normal pain signals. It often requires medicine that targets different parts of your brain, such as anti-depressants or anti-epileptic medication, many people don’t feel comfortable taking. TENS treatment can be very effective at relieving nerve pain associated with nerve disorders and conditions, because it specifically targets your nerves and not just your muscles or tissue.
Chronic pain is a very complex type of pain because it stimulates other parts of your brain that are not just associated with pain signals, such as the parts that are involved with emotions and fear. This can lead to a lot of mental and emotional conditions that are linked to your chronic pain, such as depression, pain catastrophising and sleep disorders.
When you suffer from chronic pain your brain also increases the strength of the pain signals being sent from your nerve fibers, which in turn increases the level of pain you feel. So your pain feels much more extreme, as well as causing changes in your emotional and mental state. Chronic pain sufferers often never find a source or long-term treatment for their pain, and usually just have to learn to live with it.
While Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation therapy will not cure chronic pain, it can help significantly with relieving and managing the amount of pain that comes with it because it focuses on interfering with the transmission of your pain signals so that you feel less of it.
Below is a basic guide to using your TENS machine to relieve a few of the most common types of pain. Please keep in mind that this is a recommended guide only, and that settings will vary slightly according to the model of your TENS unit. Refer to the specific instructions included with your unit for more exact information.
Most of our TENS units have several programs, including:
Conventional high frequency: Frequency of 50-100 per second, pulse width of 100
Low frequency: Frequency of 2-4 per second, pulse width of 150-250
Burst: Low frequency bursts of pulses
Modulated: Ongoing variations in pulse width, frequency and intensity
All the programs below are based on a ¾ setting and an output of the most comfortable intensity level for you.
Low Back Pain
Many other types of acute and chronic pain are also treatable with our TENS units. If you’re not sure how to use your unit to manage your specific condition, get in touch with us or speak to your doctor.