Usage & Benefits of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation )
Do you have acute or chronic pain in a joint or muscle? If so, you may benefit from a drug-free and non-invasive pain relieving technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, otherwise known as TENS.
How TENS Works
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can help relieve symptoms of pain from a variety of conditions including back pain, joint pain, and post-operative pain.
Here’s how it works:
Small self-adhesive electrodes are attached over the painful area. These electrodes are connected via wires to the small portable TENS device. The device can be turned on and adjusted via a dial until a comfortable amount of electricity is being transmitted (we tell our patients that it should feel like a relatively comfortable tingling feeling, and not painful). This electricity will stimulate the sensory nerves in the affected area and effectively block pain signals that these nerve fibers have been sending to the brain. TENS has also been shown to stimulate the release of certain hormones that act as a natural analgesic.
At our facility, we have 4-lead TENS units. This allows us to use TENS on larger treatment areas for our patients who are looking for a safe and non-invasive pain relief method, one that comes with a very low risk of side effects and a high amount of scientifically-backed success.
Is TENS Right for Me?
TENS is safe for use on children, adults, and seniors. However, TENS should either not be used or used with caution in the following conditions:
- People with pacemakers
- People who are pregnant (over the trunk, abdomen, or pelvis)
- People with allergic reactions to the electrodes and/or gel/tape used during treatment
Likewise, electrodes should not be placed over the anterior part of the neck (near the carotid sinus), nor should they be placed over areas with active skin issues including dermatitis, eczema, and cancerous lesions.
If you are not clear about TENS or have questions or concerns, our staff will take the time to carefully go over this service with you.
In addition to TENS, our staff also offers a similar treatment known as PENS, or percutaneous electroneurostimulation. This is similar to our 4-lead TENS, however instead of electrodes placed topically on the skin, small needles are actually inserted in or around the target area. Because the stimulation of the nerves occurs in a more direct way, PENS is often more effective for pain-relief, especially for people who don’t seem to respond as well to TENS.
No matter which pain management solution you need, our team will help you find the best fit for you.
Wondering if TENS can Help You Find Pain Relief? Ask Our Ramsey Pain Doctors
At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our team is proud to be among Northern New Jersey’s leaders in non-surgical and orthopedic pain management strategies. If you’d like to learn more about the treatments we offer, including TENS and PENS, then call our clinic today to schedule an appointment with one of our Ramsey pain doctors or physical therapists. To make your appointment, call (201) 962-9199 now.