How do tens machines work for chronic pain?
Tens machines work to relieve pain by blocking pain sensations transmitting to your brain and stimulating your body to release natural pain-relieving endorphins. The Tens unit is ideal for knee, elbow, ankle, arthritis, muscle, back, shoulder, neck, leg, abdomen pain, sciatica, period and endometriosis pain relief etc. They are a natural, drug-free and highly effective way to relieve pain with a muscle stimulation effect.
This is because of the increase in the blood circulation action that helps the lymph system wash off the toxins from the body. The sensations generated by the microcurrents and the conventional TENS treatments are like tingling rather than a small electric current’s uncomfortable and distressing feeling. Frequent and regular microcurrent sessions are required to get the best results. TENS machines are small and lightweight, so you can use them while working or on the move. You can put it in your pocket, clip it to your belt or hold it in your hand. You can use TENS throughout the day for as long as you like, although it should not be used while you’re driving, operating machinery, or in the bath or shower.
However, these should not be tried unless you have got the go-ahead from your GP.
- My number one choice is this Easy At Home wireless tens machine. The wireless design allows users to move freely and make it discreet under clothing. With no wire and no remote control, the compact design makes it very easy and convenient to carry and use. Suitable for use not only at home or work. It has 6 Automated Massage Program Options and 20 Power Levels for Intensity. Only 2-Button to control, just turn on the unit by pressing the on/off button and adjust the intensity by pressing the on/off button and adjust the intensity by pressing “﹢” or “-”. A pair of Gel Electrode Pad is included. A rechargeable battery provides this professional unit with long-lasting power. £26.99
- Beurer EM49 PainFree Digital TENS and EMS Machine | Drug-free natural pain relief | 3-in-1 pain relief, rehabilitation and massage | 70 training programmes | 2 channels | 4 self-adhesive electrodes.
- 70 PROGRAMMES: 64 expertly designed programmes and 6 customisable programmes, all with adjustable intensity.
- SOOTHING EMS: With 20 pre-set EMS massage programmes to release tension, increase well-being and encourage relaxation throughout the body.
- DOCTORS FUNCTION: Saves your preferred settings for a quick-start every time you switch it on.
- Includeds: 1x EM49 TENS/EMS machine, 2x connection cable, 4x electrodes 45×45 mm, 1x belt clip, 3x batteries AAA, 1x instruction manual at around £64.28
3. EMS Tens Machine Muscle Stimulator Rechargeable Digital Therapy Full Body Acupuncture Massage Pain Management and Rehabilitation for Back Shoulder Leg and Muscle Pain Relief Treatment with 16 Modes.
- The rechargeable and powerful TENS machines can stimulate the muscles and sensory nerves, activate specific natural pain gate mechanisms, relax your body, and have pain management anytime you feel the need.
- 16 Preprogrammed Massage Modes – Tuina, acupuncture, shiatsu, rubbing, vibration, pinching, foot reflexology, and ear kneading options help diminish the sensation of physical pain like sciatica, arthritic or inflamed discs/joints, stiff shoulders, lower back pain, stepping, etc for relieving body stress and pain, to be healthier and energetic.
- VARIABLE INTENSITY AND TIMER – 20 level of intensity allows you to fine-tune the pulse width and pulse rate which optimizes sensitive control to relax your particular pain; A pre-programmed timer can set a predetermined duration from 10 up to 60 mins
- REUSABLE PADS & TEN HOURS USE – Premium hydrogels utilize multi-layer technology which gives good conduction, no need to use any gel together, reusable for 15-20 times when used properly; Up to 10 hours of continuous use per full charge with a USB cable
- Easily adjustable settings animated display on the LCD screen. massage mode, intensity, and treatment time. Built-in timer from 10 to 90 minutes, default timer: 20 minutes. When time is due, it is automatically shut off. £24.90
To explain a little bit about the Tens Machine and the EMS unit read my post on it here.
The NHS explains in detail Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) which is a method of pain relief involving the use of a mild electrical current.
A TENS machine is a small, battery-operated device that has leads connected to sticky pads called electrodes.
You attach the pads directly to your skin. When the machine is switched on, small electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area of your body, which you feel as a tingling sensation.
The electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles. They may also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
Healthcare professionals have reported that it seems to help some people, although how well it works depends on the individual and the condition being treated.
TENS is not a cure for pain and often only provides short-term relief while the TENS machine is being used.
However, the treatment is generally very safe and you may feel it’s worth trying instead of, or in addition to, the usual medical treatments, but like I stated at the beginning you should always check with your GP first before trying one out. A physiotherapist or pain specialist may be able to loan you a TENS machine for a short period if they think it could help.
TENS is not safe for everyone to use. Do not use it without first getting medical advice if:
- you have a pacemaker or another type of electrical or metal implant in your body
- you’re pregnant, or there’s a chance you might be pregnant – TENS may not be recommended early in pregnancy
- you have epilepsy or a heart problem
- you have an overactive bladder