Electrical Stimulation Thereapy & TENS Electrical Neural Stimulation

TENS, Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation

Based on the theory that the electrical stimulation pulses get to the central nervous system faster than the pain messages so you (in effect) feel the stimulation, but not the pain. It’s also believed that endorphins are released from the brain to help reduce your discomfort.

TENS is considered a method in the treatment of pain, and has a wide following; still others maintain that it is ineffective. A 2007 meta-analysis of studies going back many years indicates that TENS is an effective treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain.

In palliative care and pain medicine, TENS units are used in an attempt to alleviate neuropathic pain (pain due to nerve damage). Some patients benefit from this approach, while others may not, depending on individual differences, and pain threshold.

Most people use pre-gelled self-adhering electrodes (single patient use) to transmit the electrical signal through the skin, while most clinicians use carbon-impregnated silicone rubber electrodes with a water based conductive gel so that the pads may be cleaned between applications on different patients.

I have not tried a Tens Unit, but I have witnessed patients using Tens and they claimed it was working for them. TENS is not the only type of Electrical Stimulation Therapy, but these therapies are not mainstream, so finding valid information and practitioners is not an easy task.

Resources:

Muscle Physiology Electrical Stimulation – Interesting article from the University of California San Diego and here is background research from a Physical Therapist.

Posted by on Jul 17th, 2008 and filed under Back Pain, Neck Pain, Pain Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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