TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) could not only reduce certain types of pain, but also alleviate the pain forever. In this alternative therapy, electronic signals are sent through the body with electrodes, placed where you are experiencing pain.
A small electrical current is sent through the electrodes into your body. The idea behind TENS is that the electrical currents act as alarm clocks: they encourage your body’s own painkillers (endorphins) to awaken and fight the pain, right where it hurts the most.
Just as you would normally take an over-the-counter pain medication, you can use TENS right in your own home. TENS is being used to treat, among other things, back pain from these sources: arthritis, sports injuries, nerve disorders, neuralgia, post-surgery recovery, sciatica, disc disorders, spinal stenosis, muscle pain, chronic pain, diabetic neuropathy, and complex regional pain syndrome.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists has listed TENS as not only a successful pain relief treatment, but also as the most common electrical approach to treatment. Doctors prescribe about 250,000 machines every year.
Researchers have found that TENS could help diabetic neuropathy — a difficult complication. TENS could reduce stabbing pain and pain from stimuli. They have found it helps patients with general chronic pain, the kind that lasts for unknown periods of time. Over the long term, TENS could lower the need for painkillers and other kinds of therapy. That, by the way, equals money; a lot less money paid for therapy when you live with pain each day. TENS has been found superior to placebo for osteoarthritis as well, a common joint pain.
People can carry a TENS gadget around in their pockets and use it when necessary. To obtain one, have your doctor prescribe it from a reputable source. Because there are varying levels of stimulation, you must determine which one is appropriate for you and your particular pain.
TENS causes no major side effects, usually only slight skin irritation. Pregnant women, children under eight, and those with a pacemaker, implant, or metal prosthesis should avoid TENS. Notably, many insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid will pay for TENS therapy when prescribed by a physician.