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What Is A TENS Machine?

A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) machine is a small, battery-operated device that relieves pain, and is commonly used as an alternative to painkillers. These machines reduce muscle pain, chronic or otherwise, as well as several other types of pain including chronic low-back pain, labour pain, pelvic pain, and discomfort caused by a range of injuries. As with an electric muscle stimulator (EMS), these devices incorporate low voltage electrical impulses to reduce the pain. While EMS causes the muscle to contract, TENS stimulates the nerves. TENS is usually considered to be the most effective method of pain relief out of the two.


How does a TENS unit work?

TENS machines (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) have leads connected to pads called electrodes. These are placed directly on the body at the source of the pain and discomfort. The machine has safe variations in voltage, and these can be adjusted by the user. The device sends electrical impulses through the electrodes - you may experience a tingling sensation where the electrodes are, but this is normal. This electrical nerve stimulation stimulates the nerve pathways and reduces the pain signals that are sent to the brain, thus alleviating the pain and relaxing the muscles. The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation also encourages the production of endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers produced by the body in reaction to prolonged stress and anxiety. The production of endorphins is stimulated by a TENS Unit, which thus reduces feelings of tension and enhances well-being.


Who can use it?

This small yet highly-effective device is used to reduce different kinds of spasms and muscle-related pains, ranging from mild pain to severe pain. These machines can help the user to adjust the settings until they get the right level of pain relief. Those suffering from different conditions have been found to get immediate relief from using TENS. Common problems are:

  • Arthritis: There are different types of arthritis and they mostly affect the joints, causing a restriction in movement due to pain.
  • Menstrual Pains: This is one of the most common - period pains usually affect the legs, back, and stomach.
  • Injuries: Muscle pain as a result of an injury that may have been caused by playing sport, a fall down or a knock.
  • Neck Pain: This can be a result of overstraining, spondylitis, or other such conditions.
  • Back Pain: Including chronic low-back pain, as well as discomfort, felt in the upper back.
  • Sciatica: This is defined as pain or discomfort associated with the sciatic nerve, which runs down from the lower back and buttocks into the back of the legs to the feet.

Warnings & Things To Be Aware Of

Anyone suffering from a painful condition can make use of a TENS machine after consulting with a healthcare professional. TENS is completely safe to use as each device comes with a comprehensive manual and guidelines - following these instructions will minimise the risk of harm and injury, so that you can feel the benefits of the machine whilst staying safe. However, it's important to note the following:

  • Some people may be allergic to electrode patches, gel or tape. As such, you should ensure that your chosen TENS machine is suitable for you - if in any doubt, you can
  • contact our team who will be able to advise. There are also patches available for sensitive skin, to minimise further skin irritation caused by the electrodes.
  • People who have a pacemaker or any other implanted electrical device might not be able to use these machines - consult with a professional first.
  • TENS can be used at any time, except when driving, whilst in or near water, or whilst using other electronic equipment.
  • If your doctor advises against using TENS because of specified health reasons, you must comply.
  • The electrodes should never be placed on the eyelids, on the heart, on the neck, or in the mouth.

Who shouldn't use a TENS machine?

For many people using a TENS machine as a pain relief treatment is perfectly safe, however there are some instances where you should consult with your healthcare practitioner before using a TENS device.


Please don't use a TENS machine:

  • If you're pregnant, in labour, or if you think you may be pregnant
  • If you have a pacemaker or other implanted medical device or have heart rhythm problems
  • If you have an electrical or metal implant in your body
  • Without supervision for children under 16 years of age
  • If you have cancer, diabetes, or epilepsy please seek medical advice before using this product

The Benefits Of Using A TENS Machine

Using a TENS machine from TENS Machine UK can significantly improve your daily lifestyle because of the benefits that it provides. These include:

  • Portability: The TENS device is small and, since it is battery operated, it can fit in your bag or packet - it's extremely easy to carry around. As a result, the machine can always be available when unpredictable pain occurs.

  • No Side Effects: People suffering from pain usually get used to medication, such as anti-inflammatory medications. Such medicines may provide relief but this comes at a cost. Most of them have side effects which can further worsen the patient’s condition. TENS has no side effects, making it much safer than other alternatives.

  • Instant Relief: Once the electrodes have been placed onto the skin, it doesn't take long to feel the benefit. For patients suffering from chronic pain, instant relief is rare. This is one of the major advantages of using TENS.

  • Long Usage: The device can be used for long periods of time without worrying or fear of addiction, as long as the safety precautions are kept in mind.

  • Strengthening The Nerves: Pain is sometimes caused when the nerves fall short in fulfilling their tasks. This occurs when the nerve is damaged and is not able to receive or send signals. TENS provides electric impulses, which help in correcting the nerve signalling patterns. Prolonged usage may even help reverse nerve damage.

  • Affordable: Unlike similar machines, TENS is available to everyone as it is a cheap method of pain relief.

  • Reduces Inflammation: Inflammation usually occurs when there is a physical injury or in conditions like sciatica. Such pain is difficult to heal with medication and can be excruciating. TENS reduces the inflammation which, in turn, takes care of the pain.

  • Massages: The fusion of TENS and EMS sometimes have options of inbuilt massaging, giving these machines additional advantages. By changing the setting on the remote, this device can even turn into a massager that has different speeds. This helps loosen the muscles and reduce pain.

 

Such advantages have led to the popularity of TENS units from us here at Med-Fit. Living a life with pain can force you to make major changes and sacrifice daily activities - that's why it's important that you control the pain at the right time, with the right method. Since TENS machines are so versatile, specific brands can be acquired for each of these benefits.

As an alternative to acupuncture which can also help with pain relief issues try Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) or a combined TENS and Muscle Stimulator can also help with some pain.

We deliver secured TENS units that help you to live a stronger, healthier, and happier life. With our TENS units, you can rest assured that you'll have access to immediate, natural pain relief without the use of medication.


How to use your TENS machine safely

A TENS machine is a device that uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to help relieve and reduce pain. TENS machines are available over the counter for home use. They are safe to use and generally well tolerated. When you first start to use a TENS machine, choose a programme that is not too strong and does not cause tingling. Gradually increase the strength of the programme as your body gets used to it.

Over time you will learn how much TENS stimulation you need to achieve pain relief and which programmes work best for different types of pain. You can control some TENS machines using a remote control or by adjusting the controls on the machine itself. Follow the instructions in your manual carefully if you need to do this, as making incorrect adjustments may be harmful.

A TENS machine has two leads – one attached to the sticky electrodes that are placed close to or directly onto the skin over painful parts of your body – and another lead connecting these

TENS units work by sending electrical impulses through electrodes located on your skin to at specific locations around or near the area of pain to block the pain signals to your brain this is called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Electrical stimulation interferes with pain signals traveling from the affected area to your brain. These medical devices are powered by batteries and the design features attached leads with sticky pads.

Because it’s an electrical device you really need to make sure you use it correctly. All of the information you need will be in the user manual included with your device. Make sure you put the pads in the right place and bear in mind that you shouldn't position the pads on:

  • The front or sides of your neck
  • Your mouth, temples, or eyes
  • Your chest or upper back at the same time
  • Numb areas
  • Varicose veins, irritated or broken skin

Such advantages have led to the popularity of TENS units from us here at Med-Fit. Living a life with pain can force you to make major changes and sacrifice daily activities - that's why it's important that you control the pain at the right time, with the right method.

We deliver secured TENS units that help you to live a stronger, healthier and happier life. With our TENS units, you can rest assured that you'll have access to immediate, natural pain relief without the use of medication.

Our team are always happy to help if you need any additional support regarding which product would be best for your needs. Please call 0161 429 7330 or email us at sales@med-fit.co.uk for more information.

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