In case of traumatic injuries, chronic pains and many specific physical conditions patients have to undergo physical therapy. Physical therapy from trained professional physical therapists is a safe way to gain or regain mobility and fitness without the side effects of strong medications. But it is not possible for everyone to always access a physical therapist. For such situations, TENS units are recommended by physical therapists.
These 10 Units Recommended By Physical Therapists
TENS units in physical therapy:
TENS refers to Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is a kind of physical therapy where mild electrical shocks are used to provide patients with pain relief. The electrical stimulation floods the nervous system of the body and reduces its sensitivity to pain temporarily. It is used to treat chronic pain in people suffering from endometriosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, post-operative recuperation, and many more painful conditions.
How to use a TENS unit for physical therapy:
Before you can use a TENS unit there are some basic safety measures that should be kept in mind.
- People who have a pacemaker installed in their body for heart conditions should not use a TENS unit as the electrical current from the unit can interfere with the operation of the pacemaker
- People with any sort of metal implant or insert in their body should also avoid TENS units
- Pregnant women and those suffering from epilepsy can also experience very severe side effects of using a TENS unit
- Another safety instruction to keep in mind is that the machine should always be switched off and disconnected when the electrodes are placed on the body or removed from it
Each TENS unit has its own set of instructions and safety measures. Users should be very careful and study these manuals thoroughly before use. But some general tips for most TENS units are:
- Each TENS unit comes with electrodes that have to be placed on the body. Make sure that the electrodes are never on top of each other. There should be a gap of at least 1 inch between the electrodes.
- TENS units provide some pain relief, some it might be tempting to use very frequently. But daily prolonged usage of TENS units will desensitize the nerves and reduce the efficacy of the device.
- The common usage for TENS units is around 2 or 3 times a day for 10 to 30 minute periods.
- For additional pain relief, ice packs or heating pads can be used. Putting these on top of the electrodes does not cause any problems.
Find your own TENS unit:
There are numerous TENS units available in the market. There are different features and different price points. So it often becomes difficult for users to choose a good machine to suit their needs.
Physical therapists usually recommend the earlier versions of the TENS units. These are usually in analog style, but they are very efficient. Earlier analog TENS units are also mostly available without a prescription.
A common brand of TENS unit used by physical therapists is intensity. Professional physical therapists believe that the smaller and simpler TENS units are always better for users because they are easier to operate.
TENS units are not the most comfortable machine to use. When the electrical current passes through the body users can experience a sort of tingling sensation. For some users, this sensation is too intense and they are unable to continue using the device. The electrodes and the glue used to stick the adhesive on the body can also cause some rashes and redness for some users.
But nonetheless, many users report great relief after using TENS units. For some users, the pain relief can last up to a full day after using the device. But for some others, the relief is very temporary and lasts only as long as the device is being used.
TENS units are a blessing for many people suffering from painful medical conditions. But because it is a device that uses electrical current, it is important to consult a doctor before purchasing a TENS unit. The kind of unit purchased and its usage should also be monitored by a trained health professional to get the best benefits from the device and avoid any mishaps.