What is a TENS Machine?
A TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) machine is a small, lightweight, battery operated device that works by creating tingling or buzzing sensations on the skin. This can help to suppress or block the pain messages that are sent to the brain. Depending on the level of pain of the patient, TENS machines are available with two or four electrodes with the latter being used on larger areas of pain.
How to Use a TENS Machine
TENS machines come with rubber electrodes which are attached to the machine and the patient’s skin. They either attach with a water based gel and self adhesive or with self adhesive tape. Patients are advised to place them on either side of the pain area and then turn the machine on. The volume of the current that passes through can then be adjusted to a level that is uncomfortable but not painful. At this point the patient will feel the tingling or buzzing sensation mentioned above and the pain will become under control.
It is advisable to only use a TENS machine under the advice of a health professional, as there are numerous different types and they are not suitable for all conditions. A health professional will also show the patient how to use the TENS machine on the first application so that they know how to operate it safely. Pregnant women, patients with a history of heart disease or epilepsy, and patients who are waiting for a diagnosis on what is causing their pain are not advised to use the device.
The Health Benefits of TENS Machines
Through TENS machine utility there are a number of health benefits that can be felt by the patient with the largest of course being the way that they help to ease pain. Often called tens therapy, the TENS device can reduce pain in the joints and muscles as well as in the nerves. This makes them a great choice for people who suffer from conditions like arthritis as well as for women who suffer from bad period pain.
How to Obtain a TENS Device
If you find that you are benefiting from TENS therapy you may want to look into renting one from a physiotherapy department or buying one for your personal use at home. There are a number of companies who sell TENS machines including Lloyds Pharmacy, Boots and even Tesco. Make sure that before you buy, you ask for information about the electrodes and how to use the device. Most companies will agree to give a full refund if the item does not help you and if it is returned within a set time period.
TENS machines are a fantastic invention and have been beneficial to numerous patients suffering from muscle and joint diseases.