TENS

Physical therapy is a science with many practical and diverse tools for the treatment and relief of pain using non-invasive physical methods. In this context, TENS stand out. Today, these electro stimulators are known as one of the best treatment options, as they are capable of relieving pain of various kinds effectively and quickly.

What is TENS?

TENS (transcutaneous nerve electrostimulation) is an exogenous neuro-stimulation therapy in which a machine is used to apply low-frequency and low-intensity electrical currents to the surface of the skin to soothe the sensation of pain generated by different phenomena.

The effectiveness of this type of therapy is based on blocking the pain signal towards the brain. Specifically, it is based on the well-known theory of floodgates, which explains how by the effect of tactile stimuli, the sensation of pain is dispersed.

According to this theory, if the brain is distracted, it cannot pay attention to the pain that has been caused by a source of trauma, which is why it does not feel the pain.

In this way, physiotherapists work with TENS by generating stimuli at the level of the nerves, so that the brain pays all its attention to the small waves generated, and not to the source of pain itself. In this way, the nociceptive pathways are entirely blocked.

Also, it can quickly vary the intensity and frequency of the waves it produces, knowing that the human brain has the property of adapting rapidly to events, so that, if the waves were constant, it would change and stop concentrating on the waves and refocus on the sensation of pain.

This therapy has a very active role in the treatment of terminal illnesses, especially in cases where patients suffer a type of acute pain, such as those caused by cancerous tumours. TENS therapy is beneficial in relieving severe pain and significantly reducing the medication that brings with it some collateral damage and side effects.

Its use spreads rapidly, since in addition to relieving the sensation of pain, it notably reduces the need for and dependence on analgesics. In this way, the system or organism benefits in a holistic approach, thanks to the non-invasive and innocuous nature of this method of pain dissipation.

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AUVON Dual Channel TENS Machine for Pain Relief, TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator with 20 Modes, 2" and...
  • PAIN RELIEF MACHINE. The rechargeable and powerful TENS machines can stimulate the muscles and sensory nerves, activate specific natural pain gate mechanism, relax your body and have pain management...
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Bestseller No. 2
Med-Fit 1 Dual Channel TENS Machine unit for pain relief and pain management therapy, ideal for back...
2,005 Reviews
Med-Fit 1 Dual Channel TENS Machine unit for pain relief and pain management therapy, ideal for back...
  • The Med-Fit 1 is a Dual Channel TENS unit perfect for treating all types of chronic pain ideal for back pain, sciatica, knee and all other joint pains. Supplied with 8 top quality tens electrode pads.
  • As a UK approved medical company we supply this TENS model to most major hospitals and pain clinics thought out the uk, as the Med-Fit 1 has full medical approval and certifications.
  • Full support and after sales service from a UK TENS specialist company located in Greater Manchester with professional advice available from our experienced TENS therapy team. Fully compliant to the...
  • Constant, modulation and burst modes, Variable pulse rate and Variable pulse width. This is a true TENS Machine recommended by most pain clinics.
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Bestseller No. 3
Dual Channel Tens Machine Pain Relief Therapy Machine with 16 Massage Modes and 8 Reusable Electrode...
  • 【💪DUAL CHANNEL PULSE MASSAGER】 - Small, safe pulse travels through two sets of electrode pads placed on your skin simultaneously (4 pads at a time), 15-20 minutes per session, not only do you...
  • 【💪16 PREPROGRAMMED MASSAGE MODES】 - Tuina, acupuncture, shiatsu, rubbing, vibration, pinching, foot reflexology, ear kneading options help diminish the sensation of physical pain like sciatica,...
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SaleBestseller No. 4
Kinetik Wellbeing Dual Channel TENS Machine - In Association with St John Ambulance
39 Reviews
Kinetik Wellbeing Dual Channel TENS Machine - In Association with St John Ambulance
  • Safe & Effective Drug Free Pain Relief in Association with St John Ambulance. Available from Kinetik Wellbeing, a UK approved medical device company located in Surrey.
  • TENS machines are used ideally for a variety of conditions that cause muscular or joint pain as well as muscle spasms, such as Sciatica and Arthritis.
  • 12 Therapeutic Modes for different areas of the body, 20 different Intensities and Adjustable 60 min. Timer
  • Full support and after sales service available from Kinetik Wellbeing, a UK approved medical device company located in Surrey.
  • Our TENS machine is easy to use, comes with comprehensive instructions, a Quickstart guide & USB Rechargeable. Fully compliant to the medical device directive Class 2a. One-year warranty.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Babycare TENS Elle Pain Relief During Labour
279 Reviews
Babycare TENS Elle Pain Relief During Labour
  • Pre-set modes for ease of use for the Elle TENS
  • Integrated boost button for contractions. Dimensions: 3 x 5.50 x 11.5 cm
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Bestseller No. 6
The Tens Company Med-Fit 3 Digital Dual Channel Tens Machine for Accurate Fast Effective Pain Relief...
  • High quality digital dual channel Tens machine
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  • It has 5 modes to choose from for maximum pain relief
  • Comes complete with accessories
  • Very Simple and easy to use
SaleBestseller No. 7
POHAKU Dual Channel TENS Machine, 20 Modes Rechargeable TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator with 2" and...
  • DEVICE FOR PAIN RELIEF. The rechargeable TENS Machine can stimulate the sensory nerves and muscles, activate specific natural pain gate mechanism, relax your body and have pain management anytime you...
  • 20 WORKING MODES. Multiple modes and intensities allow you have multiple choices for relieving your pain in different parts of your body from exercise, normal household or work activities.
  • A/B DUAL CHANNELS. Different channels can be set with different modes and intensities. You may choose Cupping mode in channel A with an intensity level of 2 for your shoulder. While in channel B, the...
  • RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERY. It could support up to 20 Hours of Continuous Use. Don't worry about treatment interruption for dead AA batteries any more.
  • TENS ELECTRODE PADS INCLUDED. Choose from 2 different sized electrode pads replacement (4 x 2" Square Electrode Pads, 4 x Large Rectangle 2"x4" Pads) for more than 40 uses at a time. It's recommended...
SaleBestseller No. 8
Premier TENS Machine by Med-Fit, Fully Rechargeable Dual Channel Tens and Muscle Stimulator with 30...
282 Reviews
Premier TENS Machine by Med-Fit, Fully Rechargeable Dual Channel Tens and Muscle Stimulator with 30...
  • Premier Plus Rechargeable TENS Machine for pain relief - Combined with Muscle & Neuromuscular Simulation - 30 clinically approved programmes-Supplied with 16 Electrodes.
  • Fully digital for effective and reliable treatment large LCD screen and user friendly push buttons with pause function makes repositioning electrodes a snap.
  • As a UK approved medical company we supply this TENS model to most major hospitals and pain clinics throughout the uk, the Premier Plus has full medical approval and certifications.
  • Full support and after sales service from a UK TENS specialist company located in Greater Manchester with professional advice available from our experienced TENS therapy team. Fully compliant to the...
  • Very simple operation and easy to use, Comes with comprehensive instructions and Paitient Guide to TENS including TENS Machine Electrodes placement guides. Light weight, Robust and Supplied with a...
SaleBestseller No. 9
TPN 200 Plus TENS Machine, Dual Channel TENS Machine for Pain Relief, Ideal for Home Use, Analogue...
384 Reviews
TPN 200 Plus TENS Machine, Dual Channel TENS Machine for Pain Relief, Ideal for Home Use, Analogue...
  • Designed with a simple analogue operation that allows for ease of use
  • Dual channel TENS unit that provides target specific temporary pain relief for muscles with a flip down frotn cover to protect the controls
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  • Three selectable modes (modulation, constant, and burst) for pain relief and stimulation
  • TENS machine is supplied with leads, electrodes, battery, user guide, and a carry case
SaleBestseller No. 10
Med-Fit® Wireless Rechargeable Mini TENS And Muscle Stimulator-Treats Back Pain, Sciatica, Neck,...
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Types of TENS

Depending on the type of mechanism that is used to decrease pain, the electrostimulation of TENS can be divided into different categories as they are:

The fast or conventional analgesic TENS

It is a program used as an analgesic that works by inducing a pain block at the level of the spinal cord, based on the theory of The Gateway of Melzack and Wall.

This program is based on short impulses, which can go from 30 to 15 μs, and the impulse frequency is high from 80 to 140 Hz, produces a quick but limited analgesic effect and lasts from 1 to 3 hours approximately. It is a treatment that lasts about 30 to 60 minutes, in which the patient will feel a very mild and pleasant tingling in the area of application.d and pleasant tingling in the field of application.

TENS electro-acupuncture or analgesia with a delayed effect

This program has outcomes that vary depending on how the electrodes are placed; this can generate endogenous production of endorphins and increased vascularization. In this TENS a low impulse frequency of 1 to 5 Hz is caused, in which a delayed analgesic effect of at least 30 minutes before the treatment is finished is obtained, being even longer than the conventional TENS. The procedure lasts approximately 30 to 40 minutes. The patient will be able to perceive muscular contractions that will gradually increase.

TENS with scanning

It has an action quite like that of the fast TENS program. In this program there will be a variation both in the frequency and in the amplitude of the electrical impulse while the stimulation is being carried out, to avoid adaptation to the stimulus (it is not necessary to adjust the intensity during the whole session).

The TENS of maximum values

It is a program that produces a peripheral blockage of the painful impulses, thus offering a local analgesic effect. It is a type of TENS that is highly recommended in the event of sudden injuries or wounds, in which pain relief should be immediate. In this case, the intensity with which the impulse is generated must always be bearable by the patient, although still a little higher than that of conventional TENS.

TENS Burst or Burst

In this program, a stimulation is carried out that will produce the effect of TENS training or Endorphin, which should use frequencies like those of conventional type TENS.

Applications of TENS electrostimulation

This type of physiotherapy can be applied in different pathological conditions with pain of varying nature, such as neck pain, tendinitis, bone pain, nervous or rheumatic cases of lumbago, back pain, pain in the sciatic, dislocations, sprains, epicondylitis, post-surgery pain, episcleritis, phantom limb pain and even penile pain.

It is also widely used to treat pain in patients with terminal illnesses such as cancer, helping to reduce the doses of medications and thus avoiding the side effects of them.

Likewise, TENS can be used for massages, in which the muscular area relaxes. It is a very successful therapy among patients, as it is non-invasive, easy to apply and can be used in the comfort of the home. Besides, different portable TENS devices can be purchased to apply the same patient therapy at home or in the place you require.

How is TENS used?

Although it is a very natural therapy to perform, we must pay close attention to the transmission of the impulses that are generated, through the electrodes that come with a rubber capable of transmitting the impulses, these must be placed on the patient’s skin in the area where the pain occurs.

The TENS unit has two knobs or control buttons, in which one controls the intensity and the other accelerates or retards the electrical signal of the device. Before starting, place both knobs off, then in the area of the skin where the pain is should be cleaned with alcohol and let it evaporate and dry. Following this, a little conductive gel is placed at the base of each rubber electrode and stretched so that a thin layer is formed (this gel helps conduct the electrical signal that is transmitted to the nerves beneath the skin). The electrodes are then placed on the surface.

Electrode Placements

The electrodes have different polarities, so that the positive (red) wire should be placed at the point where pain is considered to start, and the negative (black) electrode should be placed where the end of the pain zone is considered or where it expands.

The electrodes change polarity continuously throughout the session, so it does not matter so much how they are placed according to the contradiction.

It should be taken into account is that the position in which they are placed should form a picture in the area where the sensation of pain is presented unless the physiotherapist indicates another form of placement to exercise some form of alternative or complementary therapy according to his judgment.

The electrodes must be fixed to the surface of the skin using medical tape or an adhesive that covers the wire so that the electrode remains attached to the skin throughout the session. After the electrodes are securely attached, you must place the tip of the connecting wires at the end of each connector; then each cable will be connected to the TENS device.

Since everything is ready, the buttons should be gently rotated until the correct frequency, and intensity settings are reached. At this point, you will begin to feel a slight tingling on your skin. Now secure the TENS unit, you can put it in your pocket.

The placement of the electrodes can vary depending on the cases can be placed: In the area of pain, on acupuncture points, In the field of reflex projection or on the extension of the dermatome, consult your specialist if you are going to perform the therapy yourself.

Differences between TENS and EMS

Indeed, both devices work by electrostimulation of the muscles of the body. Still, there is often confusion when talking about both techniques, often considered as if they were the same, but it is not, each has characteristics that make it unique and special.

TENS Electro Stimulators

On the one hand, we have TENS. It is a small device with which electrical pulses are generated to reduce or reduce a sensation of pain, achieving a level of analgesia. With this therapy, you can control pain that occurs after a traumatic event or surgery, such as sciatica, low back pain, arthritis, menstrual pain, rheumatism, back pain, headache or migraines, blows. Its primary purpose is to block muscle pain through electrostimulation.

The session time of the TENS is relatively long periods, ranging approximately from 15 to 30 minutes, and its electrodes are usually of equal size, both small. They stimulate the sensitive nerve fibre. In this way, a complementary treatment is achieved, in which acute pain is controlled after operations or injuries.

What is EMS?

Whereas the EMS is a therapy that addresses muscle work, which has as its main feature that should only be used when there is no injury or suffer any harm, if the patient suffers an injury, it should be mild.

To treat cases of scoliosis, delay atrophy in inactive patients, relax muscle spasms, increase circulation after prolonged inactivity, re-educate muscles, perform movement, prevent venous thrombosis, reduce tense or rigid muscles (with spasticity) and help by acting on the sensory nerves of the musculature.

Besides, the EMS work in periods of ten to twenty minutes, in which there are no modulations.

EMS, unlike TENS, work in short periods of between 10 and 20 seconds, with pauses of one and sixty adjustable seconds. Its electrodes vary in size so that they can be combined and adapted to the muscles, depending on the stimulation methods required. In general terms, its action is based on stimulating each of the motor nerve fibres.

Contraindications of electro-stimulators

Electro-stimulators should not be used for any reason if you have a fever with a body temperature of more than 38 degrees or in severe illnesses. Nor should it be used in pregnancy or while breastfeeding, in heart disease, especially in those with a pacemaker or in patients at rest.

Also, electrodes should never be placed on sores, open wounds, or areas with altered skin sensitivity.

It is recommended not to use TENS specifically in the frontal part of the neck since there is a probability of causing laryngeal spasm.