The Role of TENS Units in Pain Management at Home

TENS units

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 51.6 million Americans live with high-impact chronic pain which lasts for more than 3 months. The severity of this pain is significant enough to cause a hindrance in day-to-day activities. In many of these cases, people approach a healthcare facility to obtain a suitable prescription. However, medication is not the only way out. Diversity exists in the types of management techniques that specialize in the reduction as well as complete relief from pain. One such treatment option is the TENS unit, an FDA-approved system, which is being employed for the management of pain. Let us understand what exactly TENS units are and how it works in alleviating pain.

Frequently occurring muscle pain compromising the quality of life
Frequently occurring muscle pain compromising the quality of life

What is a TENS Unit?

TENS, an abbreviation for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is a compact, lightweight, and battery-powered pain relief therapy. It works by sending low-voltage electrical signals near the nerves with the aim of blocking them completely or simply altering the pain perception. The procedure is often helpful in pain management during osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and tendinitis. Being available over-the-counter (OTC), the TENS unit can be purchased from your nearby pharmacy without a prescription. 

How Does a TENS Unit Work?

The perception of pain is generated by the nerve cells which are present deep into the muscles. Therefore, the TENS unit pain relieving system works by sending electrical signals to these nerve cells which in turn changes the way they perceive pain. As a result, the level of pain felt by the body is reduced and the patient experiences relief.

In addition, the TENS unit system also elevates the blood levels of endorphins which are our body’s natural pain relieving chemical agents. When the level of endorphins is increased, the system thus activated manages the pain and helps the body feel relaxed.

Physiotherapist positioning TENS units on a patient for pain relief and muscle rehabilitation
Physiotherapist positioning TENS units on a patient for pain relief and muscle rehabilitation

Applications of TENS Unit

TENS units find application in the following conditions:

● Fibromyalgia i.e. extreme muscle pain

● Osteoarthritis

● Tendinitis i.e. inflammation of tendons

● Bursitis i.e. pain-associated swelling of the area around joints

● Chronic pain in the pelvic region

● Pain in the back

● Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

● Diabetes-related neuropathy

How to Use TENS Units in Home Settings?

In-home settings, TENS units can be used by following the given guidelines:

● Make sure the TENS unit is fully charged.

● Clean the area of the skin where the TENS unit electrodes are to be attached using rubbing alcohol and let it dry.

Check if the two control knobs of the TENS unit are switched off. If not, switch these off before placing the electrodes on the skin.

● With the aim to transfer electrical signals to the nerves, put a thin coat of gel on the bottom of the electrodes and place them on the skin.

● For covering the electrodes, use medical tape or a sticky patch. This prevents the accidental falling or displacement of the electrodes.

● Attach the pin connector at the end of the electrode wires to the electrodes followed by plugging the electrode wires into the unit.

● Once the electrodes have been placed, turn the control knob on. The patient should feel a tingling sensation which indicates proper placement.

● After making sure that the device is working properly, the TENS unit device should be hooked to the patient’s belt or in a pocket.

For How Long TENS Units Can Be Used?

When it comes to duration, TENS units can be used as many times as the patient needs. Each cycle can be extended up to 60 minutes. However, guidance should be taken on the frequency and duration of usage of TENS units from one’s healthcare provider.

Precautionary Measures for Using a TENS Unit

While using a TENS unit, the following measures should be taken for safety as well as obtaining optimal results:

● Make sure the signal is neither too strong to cause muscle twitching nor too weak to not even cause the tingling sensation.

● For each treatment, the electrodes should be slightly moved from their place. This practice helps in the prevention of skin redness as well as itching.

● Before placing electrodes on the skin, new gel should be put below them each time.

● While wearing a TENS unit system, one must avoid going near water or sleeping with the system switched on.

TENS Units: Brand and Specifications

Among multiple brands that manufacture and market TENS massage unit pads, the following is considered one of the best items:

EMS TENS Massage Unit Pads Therapy

EMS TENS massage unit pads electrical pulse full body relax muscle therapy by Hailicare is an excellent pain relief therapy. Components of the system include electric stimulation, TENS massager, electrical stimulator, stimulator, electrode pads, and English button JR309. The product is white and pink in color and weighs only 400 grams.

The construction material is food-grade ABS. Apart from these, the EMS TENS unit is highly adjustable in terms of the intensity and frequency of pulses it can send to the body. The output voltage is 0 to 50 Volts (500 Ohms) and the pulse rate is 1 Hz per step. The low battery indicator signals when the battery power becomes low. 

A TENS unit system being used in a patient for the management of muscle pain
A TENS unit system being used in a patient for the management of muscle pain

The EMS TENS massage unit pad mentioned in this article, along with many other medical supplies, can be purchased from Health Supply 770, a reliable name when it comes to medical products. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee and provide your products to you in the shortest possible time. Click the link at the end of the article to check the EMS TENS massage unit pad on the website.

Conclusion

For a variety of reasons, many people in the world experience chronic pain which compromises their quality of life as well as reduces their overall performance. Several methods have been employed for the management of pain which include medicated options, massages, yoga sessions, cupping, and acupuncture among others.

One such method is the use of a TENS unit which is a battery-powered pain management system. Owing to its ease of use and efficiency, it is one of the best products to be used in home settings.

For purchasing a TENS unit, along with other kinds of medical devices, reliable vendors like Health Supply 770 should be trusted as they ensure the provision of quality products along with satisfactory services.

Click to Order TENS Units from Health Supply 770

EMS TENS Massage Unit Pads Therapy

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/72/wr/mm7215a1.htm

uzma e1714761913269

PhD Scholar (Pharmaceutics), MPhil (Pharmaceutics), Pharm D, B. Sc.

Uzma Zafar is a dedicated and highly motivated pharmaceutical professional currently pursuing her PhD in Pharmaceutics at the Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab. With a comprehensive academic and research background, Uzma has consistently excelled in her studies, securing first division throughout her educational journey.

Uzma’s passion for the pharmaceutical field is evident from her active engagement during her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) program, where she not only mastered industrial techniques and clinical case studies but also delved into marketing strategies and management skills.

Throughout her career, Uzma has actively contributed to the pharmaceutical sciences, with specific research on suspension formulation and Hepatitis C risk factors and side effects. Additionally, Uzma has lent her expertise to review and fact-check articles for the Health Supply 770 blog, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the information presented.

As she continues her PhD, expected to complete in 2025, Uzma is eager to contribute further to the field by combining her deep knowledge of pharmaceutics with real-world applications to meet global professional standards and challenges.