T - transcutaneous
E - electrical
N - nerve
S - stimulation
TENS machines are part of pain management. But why and how do TENS machines work?
TENS machine send little electric impulses through your body. The little electric impulses the TENS machine sends trough your body stimulate your nerves. When you have pain and a pain stimulus is on the way to your brain the little electrical impulses block the pain stimulus. These impulses work like barriers and help to stop the transfer of information.
So that the impulses can act small electrodes need to be put on your skin. The impulses irritate the nerves in your tissue and those send signals to your spinal narrow and frequencies from 80 - 150 Hertz interrupt signal transduction to the brain. Frequencies from 50 to 150 Hertz and middle electric impulses should mitigate acute pain for a short time period. For a long term pain relief small frequencies and high impulses are used. This form is called acupuncture-like TENS. But to know what frequencies are right for you you should talk with your doc.
The right position:
Mostly 2 to 4 electrodes will be put on your skin where your pain and its' irradiation is. Another factors that need to be minded are courses of nerves and location of pain and acupuncture points.
An example for a position on your lower back:
In pain management TENS is used for only 20 to 50 minutes. It can be used several tomes a day but should not be used too long. The results of TENS are mostly moderate and an addition to other pain management therapies.
TENS SHOULD NOT BE USED:
- when you have a pacemaker, implanted defibrillator (ICD) or any other electrical device
- when you have thromboses in artery or veins
- on your front neck region, the sinus nerve, near heart or thorax (everything that could change the rhythm of your heartbeat)
- when you are pregnant
- on wounds, ulcers or inflamed skin
- when you have an infection
- when you have fever