Is there something out there for pain relief that’s better than popping a couple of anti-inflammatory pills? There sure is, and it’s called TENS.
The acronym stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulus, and it’s a system you can actually use at home for pain management. Sound too good to be true? Let’s find out TEN(S) ways this system can improve your back pain.
Not Your Mother’s Pain Management
TENS is a painless system delivering low voltage electrical current through electrodes attached to the skin of your back, or wherever it is that your pain stems from. The electrodes stimulate our nerves and muddle our perception of pain, thereby allowing the TENS unit to disrupt the pain cycle and moderate the way we process pain.
Electrical impulses from TENS enter the nervous system and reduce its ability to send pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. The device also releases endorphins into the nervous system, which are natural painkillers that are produced by the body to reduce stress and minimize discomfort.
Is It Safe?
You can alter the amount of current delivered by changing the frequency, intensity, and duration of each pulse from your TENS unit. This customization allows each person to give themselves the appropriate level of pain modification.
Some may find that using the TENS unit may produce a buzzing or tingling sensation that may be a bit uncomfortable, but there are no other adverse side effects if the unit is programmed and operated as instructed.
Certain people should not use this device, including pregnant women, anyone with heart problems, metal implants or a pacemaker, and those with epilepsy.
TENS and Back Pain
If you have back pain the good news is that TENS users are able to reduce their normal intake of pain medications. Pain killers can often be highly addictive or have other unpleasant side effects, which is why many seek alternative treatment options like TENS.
It helps relieve many types of symptomatic pain that is associated with health conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS), endometriosis, and diabetic neuropathy to name a few.
The TENS unit can be used to relieve the following types of back pain:
- Back strain from injury or tension
- Muscle spasms or tension
- Damaged discs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Pain from arthritis
- Back pain from PMS or during menstruation
- Post operative back pain
- Back pain from arthritis
- Neck and shoulder pain
Lower back pain relief is not conclusive.
Speak with Pain Management Partners if you are considering a TENS unit for pain management.