Back pain, particularly the type associated with the spine can be more than just a discomfort for those who experience it. Many individuals find it difficult to relieve back near the spine through the use of medication, hot water bottles, and ice packs alone. Stretching and massage may make it dissipate for a time, but it often returns just as painful as before.
One way that pain sufferers are beginning to battle this discomfort is through the use of alternative medicinal tools, such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. This is a machine which can be used to block out the pain signals which cause spinal pain, and to help the body to naturally release more endorphins. Drugs.com advises: “The TENS unit sends painless electrical signals through the electrodes to the nerves under your skin. Electrode placement depends on the type and location of your pain. Your healthcare provider will show you where to place the electrodes and what settings are best for you.”
These machines can be purchased through various channels, but most will require you to get a prescription from your doctor or attending pain specialist. Smaller, less effective units may be obtainable without prescription, but if your pain is regular and intense, then getting the top tier machine will offer the most benefits.
Whether you are battling sciatica or a pulled muscle, a TENS unit can be easily obtained through a variety of retail settings, online shopping, or your doctor. It is always best to discuss pain management practices with your physician before beginning a new treatment, but you will find that Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is pain-free and the pulses emitted are gentle enough to be used regularly if needed.
The machines work by attaching small electrode patches to your skin, around the area where pain is occurring. The patches then emit small bursts of electrical pulses through your skin to treat the affected area. Spine-Health.com explains: “TENS users should experiment with various electrode placements. Electrodes can be placed over the painful area, surrounding the painful area, over the nerve supplying the painful area, or even on the opposite side of the body. TENS users need to try the unit for several days with several electrode placements prior to deciding if it will be useful. A home trial for several days to weeks is preferable.”
Trying different placements for electrodes can help you to better pinpoint the best way to treat your pain. Every individual is different, and many machines offer differences in levels of electricity emitted and electrode size. You may find that some units are much larger than others, while some are perfect for taking with you wherever you may go.
Other TENS Treatment Areas
Lower back pain is a huge factor in the choice that many make to use TENS treatments, as it is often incurable and takes time to heal. The TENS cannot quicken the healing process, but it can alleviate pain symptoms when they become unbearable. These treatments can also be used in other areas of the body, and for a multitude of purposes. Web MD reports: “They use it most often to treat muscle, joint, or bone problems that occur with illnesses such as osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, or for conditions such as low back pain, neck pain, tendinitis, or bursitis. People have also used TENS to treat sudden (acute) pain, such as labor pain, and long-lasting (chronic) pain, such as cancer pain.”
Whether or not a TENS unit will work for your particular pain type and location will depend on many factors, but this is something that your doctor should be able to figure out for you. Your physician should also be able to test one or two different types of units with you, or refer you to a specialist who is more readily able to assist with this type of technology.
Back Pain For Women
Although there are many men who face spinal pain due to injuries at work or in sports activities, there are a few ways that the TENS can be used for women in particular. Some machines are designed to be used during times such as menstruation, when sharp cramping in the stomach and lower back are often felt. Similarly, during labour pains, when back pain can ebb and flow in intense patterns, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation has shown great promise and effective results.
Take Care With Your Treatment
Whether you choose to use TENS machines for pain treatment of your spine, or you use an alternative form of medication or therapy, you should always be prepared and do your research. If you know all of the ways that TENS works, and can properly use a unit to relieve your pain, you won’t run the risk of hurting yourself by misusing the equipment.
For spinal pain, it is important not to place the electrodes directly along your spine, but around it, so that they can work together to bring the electrical stimulation together at the right point. The signals criss-cross back and forth and ease your pain as they block pain receptors from receiving messages of the pain you are feeling.
Over time you will learn the best frequency and level to use your machine at, and how to get the most pain relief out of a single usage. Many TENS users will need to operate their machine a few times a day to get continuous relief, and you must never leave the electrodes on longer than recommended.