TENS is an acronym that stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator. It is a non-surgical and drug-free method of relieving pain. It is commonly used to provide some relief for arthritis, back pain, or knee pain. Apart from these, it is also a preferred “pain relief” choice to relieve some pains endured during labor, period cramps, or even migraine.
The machine generates an electric impulse, similar to how our brain sends and receive signals to and fro the body’s nervous system. Because of this similar characteristics, there are two theories on how the TENS unit is capable of reducing pain. These are the gate theory and endorphin stimulation.
The gate theory simply states that the electric impulses sent out by the TENS machine block the pain signals before it reached the brain’s “gate”. The theory suggests that the signals sent by the machine move quicker than the pain signals – allowing the electric signals from the TENS machine to reach the brain before the pain signals. It will then block the pain signals’ entry to the “gate”. On the other hand, the endorphin stimulation theory suggests that the TENS machine stimulates endorphin production in our body. Endorphins are our body’s natural morphine or “feel good hormones”. The endorphins will then block the pain signals, to provide instant relief.
Because of this non-invasive approach, a lot of people would consider buying their own machine. But before you do, read on to this list to know of the things to consider.
Check how big the screen is and the menu options’ arrangement
TENS machines’ display sizes vary. Apart from that, the way the buttons and menu icons are arranged in the screen makes a lot of difference to make the machine easy to use.
When searching for the TENS machine to buy, just don’t decide on the first machine you see. Request to try out a couple of different other machines so you experience firsthand how it feels to operate. Remember that you should buy a machine that you can easily search thru the options and operate as you experience pain.
How long is the machine warranty?
A longer warranty period is a good indication that the supplier is confident of their product. It is a good sign the company is certain the product will not malfunction in just a short period of time.
Do not forget to ask for the warranty period for the machine. It is good to know that in case your machine got broken within the warranty period, you can phone the company to request for a replacement.
Check with your physician if they recommend the machine for your use
There are mixed opinions on how effective TENS machines are when it comes to pain relief. There are some who swear that it effectively reduced the pain they feel, allowing them to save money on pain relief drugs. Others would claim that it is a total waste of money.
Like any decision that involved our wellbeing and health, it is proper to request for your doctor’s opinion. By doing this, you will get a professional input if the TENS machine will be an effective approach to ease your pain judging on your health.