Athlete Injuries: How Tens Unit can Heal Them
A TENS unit, which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is a small battery operated machine that makes use of electrical current to decrease body and muscle pain. Electrodes are kept at the affected area and then an electrical current is passed through the electrodes. The underlying skin and muscle is affected by the tingling sensation, disrupting pain signals in the process.
Introduction to athlete’s fitness and injury
Participating in sports is the mark of every athlete. Irrespective of one’s athletic prowess, it is natural that athletes get engrossed in fast-paced game of tennis, football, or a long bike ride, there are bound to be afflicted by a few aches and pains some time or the other. Sports enthusiasts are not wary of pain but take it in their stride.
However, here’s a fact: The more you play fast-paced sports, athletes are bound to face pains that keep mounting with every recurrence. It might start as an occasional twinge or ache but then the pain continues in certain joints and muscles, at any point of time. Sportspersons feel anguish after some days of grimace. It is important for such sportspersons to seek pain relief as quickly as possible.
Some resort to pain pills that provide some respite, but genuine athletes would mostly avoid them. They would rather prefer a more organic approach, without any potential health hazards. A body can cope with as much pain as it can, before it gets worse. Other than treatments and medication, they can rely on Tens Units and muscles stimulators for better attention to their predicament.
How Tens machines work?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is one of the most commonly used forms of electrostimulation for pain relief. Numerous clinical reports indicate use of TENS for ailments such as low back pain, arthritic pain, neurogenic pain, and the like. The method of pain reduction was initiated in 1965. The method involves closing down the "gates" between spinal cord and pain centers of the brain usually is closed, thereby inhibiting pain.
When pain occurs, the information is carried by C fibers up to the T cells, allowing pain transmission right into the cortex, that interprets the signals as pain. By closing the gate, one can prevent the transmission of nociceptive information to the cortex and thus avoid pain signals.
A TENS unit includes electric signal generators, a battery, and electrodes. They are programmable units, and the generators can stimulate the nerves with variable current strengths, and pulses. The preferred waveform helps avoid electrolytic effects of unidirectional current and drives the transcutaneous electrical stimulation modalities that aids in stemming the flow of pain.
Is Tens Safe to Use?
Medication is relied up on by some athletes, as they use an anti-inflammatory drug to help them cope with pain. Taking consistent medication though is dangerous in the long term. Naproxen, for example is a drug ingredient that can affect circulation and intestinal problems. The habit-forming drugs are also a problem for athletes in the long run.
Tens unit on the other hand only takes help of electrical stimulation to cause muscles to contract. By placing electrodes at the point of pain, a physical therapist can make use of appropriate muscle fibers to get the pain to fade away. Rapidly contracting muscles aid in strengthening affected muscles. The physical therapist can change settings for affecting forceful or gentle contractions. Along with boosting muscle strength, the contraction also promotes blood supply to the pained area that needs healing.
What are Doctors’ views on usage of Tens Unit?
The TENS unit is highly recommended by doctors owing to the fact that electrotherapy has been used extensively for relieving patients from source of pain relief. In fact, many medical professionals agree that electrical impulses from a TENS unit can release endorphins and encephalin naturally in the body, that even elevate your mood and decrease pain at the same time .
TENS is hence named as one of the most effective treatments for pain relief for athletes. This endorsement by doctors underscores the effectiveness and medicinal value that TENS units can offer to relieve pain.
Benefits of Tens Units
- As time progresses, many athletes suffer from chronic pain. Tens Units and physical therapy can work as a strong alternative to pain medication.
- Tens Units can provide immediate relief with help from electrical impulses. Essentially the unit subdues the pain signals from reaching the brain, thus relieving patients from the pain
- The Tens unit can be used anywhere on the body by just attaching silver electrodes to pain-afflicted area.
- One can control pulse rates, pulse widths, and all the frequencies for providing relief to the patient.
- Alternatively, athletes can make use of muscle stimulators to treat chronic pain and speed muscle recovery after an injury. It prevents muscle atrophy too.
Supplementing Physical Therapy with Tens units
In addition to using TENS unit at home, one can use the same in between physical therapy sessions, since it serves as an excellent supplement to the therapy. The TENS unit facilitates movements of the body by easing the pain and works to make your body move freely and easily.
A TENS unit alleviates pain, drives ease of movement and provides better quality of life for professional athletes, especially. Together, TENS becomes the superior choice for athletes especially those who suffer from injuries on an off.