Over the past few years, I’ve written a bunch of blogs and articles on a number of products- toilet aids, shower aids, etc. which I hope to be both educational and informative. Though, with social media, it is also important to add a little lightheartedness to the mix, too. I’ve been asked to write a blog on TENS machines, which is a little less formal and a tad more personal. Keep in mind that I’m not a Doctor, though I have learned a thing or two over the past 6-odd years.
I should start by mentioning that these gadgets are one of (if not the most) popular products we sell online. Basically, in one line, a TENS machine is a device that you attach to the body via leads with pads, which literally relieves pain in certain areas using electricity. In case you wondered “why do we feel pain” (because yes, there is a use for it!), pain is the body’s way of telling you that there is a problem with a particular area of the body. It works like a messaging system to avoid damage to the body- such as ‘hey, your hand is on something extremely hot’, or ‘there is a dangerous amount of weight on your left arm.’ Unfortunately, though, unlike a messaging system, you can’t tell your brain to stop sending you pain signals. This is where pain-killers come into play; you’ve all no doubt heard of morphine, codeine, etc. These are all chemical substances that “numb” your pain center (keep in mind, I am dumbing this down. I’m sure what is actually going on is a million times more complex). However, there are many instances where you can’t take pain medication, such as allergies or intolerances. Also, if you have a problem like a tennis elbow or muscular pain, popping pills isn’t always a healthy long-term solution. That is where a TENS machines can come in handy.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerves Stimulation (the first word means through the unbroken skin). To use a TENS machine, you apply two electrodes to the skin, ensuring that the area which is causing the pain falls IN BETWEEN the placed electrodes. Also important is the positioning of these pads. They must be placed in accordance with the dermatome map: a map of the nerves that lead to the spine. Incorrect usage may be harmful or, more probably, just ineffective. Once the pads are correctly placed, the patient applies current to the targeted area. If the electrodes are properly positioned, the settings correct, and the pain is treatable through TENS treatment; the result should be relieved pain to that area. Depending on the cause of the pain and the time treated, the effect could last anywhere from an hour onwards (some people use the machine on a certain area for a specific issue, and the pain doesn’t return, period!).
I have to stress that TENS therapy is still in its infancy. There are NO negative side effects, though people in the medical industry are still amazed at its effectiveness. And testimonial-wise, my manager came to work on Monday morning after a particularly bad night with pain in his back and literally GAVE me a TENS pack. He said that it was such an amazing device (and in his case, worked better than chemical pain relief) that I should keep one at home on the off-chance that I ever need one. Now, with that in mind, I would consult a professional before I started ‘plugging away’- and so should you. But with an endorsement like that, there’s no way I’ll be ignoring TENS as a method of pain relief. Cheers Steve for the freebie!
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS machines for short, offer bursts of therapeutic energy to offer pain relief for various ailments. There are a number of different machines and accessories to choose from. Please consult your doctor or GP before using a TENS machine.
Do you use a TENS machine? What are your experiences? Comment below, please.