TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator)
For what ailments is TENS used?
TENS is effectively used to treat all types of chronic and acute pain. Just about anything for which you would take an aspirin, Tylenol, or any other pain medication can probably be effectively relieved with a TENS unit.
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How does it work?
The TENS stimulator is a battery-powered device which transmits an electrical impulse through lead wires and surface electrodes to underlying nerves. The stimulator converts the direct current of the battery into pulses of stimulation. The current travels through electrodes and into the skin stimulating specific nerve pathways to produce a tingling or massaging sensation that reduces the perception of pain.
When used as directed; TENS is a safe, non-invasive, drug-free method of pain management. It is used to offer a better quality of life for people with pain.
There are two theories on how the pain is relieved:
The Gate Control Theory suggests that by electrically stimulating sensory nerve receptors, a gate mechanism is closed in a segment of the spinal cord, preventing pain-carrying messages from reaching the brain and blocking the perception of pain.
The Endorphin Release Theory suggests that electrical impulses stimulate the production of endorphins and enkaphalins (the bodys natural pain killer) in the body. These natural, morphine-like substances block pain messages from reaching the brain, in a similar fashion to conventional drug therapy, but without the danger of dependence or other side effects.