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Starter for Tens: All About TENS Therapy

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Nobody likes to be in pain, and relying on painkillers alone to alleviate symptoms can often cause the body to build up a tolerance, leading them to not be as potent as they once were. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation – more commonly known as TENS – is an alternative therapy that provides you with a non-pharmacological method of pain relief.

What Are TENS Machines?

TENS machines are small portable, battery-operated devices that have leads connecting to sticky pads called electrodes, which are applied directly onto the area of pain. When the machine is switched on, small electrical pulses are sent to the affected area of the body, leaving a tingling sensation on the skin. These electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals reaching the nerves and spinal cords, meaning that less pain signal are sent to the brain. They are also known help to stimulate the brain's production of endorphins, which acts as the body's natural pain killer.

TENS machines are a great alternative to regular medicines for relieving chronic back pain
A woman undergoing TENS therapy on her back

What Can TENS Machines Be Used For?

Providing a great level of pain relief for the body, TENS has been used in a multitude of situations. There are few side-effects of TENS and even if you are unsure of its efficacy, there is little chance of TENS harming you. You will be amazed at what kind of pain TENS machines are able to treat, including, but not limited to:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Period pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Migraines
  • Labour pains
  • Fibrosis
  • Bruising
  • Muscle Stress

Does TENS Really Work?

While there is no cut-and-dry scientific evidence that can tell you for sure how reliable TENS machines are for pain relief, a lot of healthcare professionals and patients have reported that they do work well for short-term pain relief. Unlike many medications, there are virtually no side effects when using TENS therapy, however how well it works does very well depend on the individual and the condition being treated. TENS treatment is generally very safe, and it may be worth trying as an alternative to usual medicines or medical procedures.

TENS therapy is also a great remedy for sports injuries such as knee pain or tennis elbow
Athletes commonly use TENS when recovering

Trying Out TENS Machines for Yourself

You can buy TENS machines without getting medical advice, however it is typically better to be safe and undergo a proper medical assessment first. If you are seriously thinking of trying out TENS therapy for yourself, speak to your GP about getting a referral to a physiotherapist or pain clinic. There, they may be able to loan you some TENS equipment for a short trial period to see if it is something that suits you and your condition.

Did You Know?

TENS can help increase the production of endorphins – the body's 'feel good chemical' – that act as a natural pain reliever.

Where Not to Position the TENS Pads

The first rule of undergoing TENS therapy is to make sure that the machine is switched off before attaching the pads to your skin. Position the pads at either side of the area that is in pain, ensuring that their are at least one inch apart. To make sure you are safely using the machine, do not place the pads over:

  • Any areas on or around your neck
  • Your temples
  • Your mouth or eyes
  • Your chest and back at the same time
  • Irritated, infected or broken skin
  • Numb areas
  • Varicose veins

TENS Therapy On The Go

The TPN 200 Plus Dual Channel Tens Machine will help you relieve chronic pain

A typical TENS session lasts 15 - 20 minutes, and can be performed as many times as you want throughout the day. Since TENS machines are typically small and portable, you can even use them while working or on the move (however, not while driving, operating machinery, or in the bath or shower). It is always best to follow the manufacturer's specific instructions for their tips on best practice.

Here at Health and Care, we offer a wide range of TENS machines for you to explore and look into. However, if you are looking for a starting point, the TPN 200 Plus Dual Channel TENS Machine has been know to be the NHS's most recommended TENS unit. It is a simple to use device designed for TENS novices, and comes complete with everything you need to get started on your pain relief journey, including batteries, detailed instructions and a TENS therapy guide book.

Have you ever tried, or considered trying, a TENS machine? We would love to here from you, so please let us know in the comments below! Alternatively, reach us on Twitter or Facebook to let us know what you think.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Few things have the ability to bring people together the way that sports do. When playing sports, we encounter unique opportunities to make friends and build camaraderie that can be hard to come by in other areas of life. Sports are also great for our health, as they allow us to gain exercise, and have fun while doing it. That's why it's so important that, as a society, we provide access to sports to as many people as possible with, ideally, no exceptions. Hearing this call, New Age Kurling have developed a range of sports that can be played by everyone and anyone, making the fun of sports accessible to all comers.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

As much as it angers us, stress is an inevitable part of human life. There are all sorts of factors that contribute to stress, from drastic life changes to financial problems to being overworked at school or our jobs. With April being Stress Awareness Month, here at Health and Care, we thought we would write up a simple guide in teaching kids how to handle stress. Read on for some useful hints and tips.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Donjoy knee braces are the industry standard in providing protection and support to the knees during physical activity, giving athletes the confidence to push themselves without the fear of injury. These knee braces can boost both support and safety for the user, but these benefits are jeopardised if the proper care and attention are not taken in the sizing process. A properly sized knee brace will support and protect the areas where it's needed most, but with improper sizing the brace can slip and lose many of its key attributes. Read our blog to learn the best way to size and apply your knee brace for maximum comfort and support.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

With National Gardening Week right around the corner and the sun finally hinting at the promise of warmer weather, now is the perfect time to head outdoors and give your garden the tender care it deserves following the chill of winter. Read on to find out about the gardening tools and equipment that can reduce strain on your body and improve your enjoyment while spending time in the garden.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

In this era of rising property prices, it's important that your medical furniture takes up as little space as possible while also providing the high level of functionality that you need. While it can be hard to balance these demands, here at Health and Care, we offer a wide selection of high quality equipment to meet your needs. Find out more about how we can help with this blog!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The treatment and monitoring of diabetes has grown more and more sophisticated over the past decades, but few technologies have been able to advance these processes in a truly intuitive way. Fitness apps have become increasingly popular, so it was only a matter of time before the same attention was paid to diabetes. That's where iHealth comes in. In an attempt to revolutionise the way diabetics track and monitor their blood-glucose, they've developed the Gluco-Smart app (available for iPhone and Android), which connects directly to iHealth's family of glucose monitors. Together with these devices, the app can display relevant information in the form of easy to read charts and graphs, and also allows patients to send results instantly to their doctors for further analyses.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

As young people start the often nerve-wracking transition from childhood into adolescence, they will naturally have many questions, not just about their bodies and sexuality, but about the social discourse that is happening all around them. The media bombards teenagers today with images of all sorts of unattainable beauty standards, and social media acts as a showreel only showing the highlights of someone’s life, creating a distorted view on reality. Where can a young person turn to for real advice?

Monday, 27 March 2017

The ways that we interact, work and relax have all been transformed by our use of modern technology, so why haven't we incorporated these advantages into the way we monitor and care for our health? A wide array of new health-centred products have been created in recent years, but few have been able to truly permeate our routines in an intuitive and easy to use way. That's where iHealth comes in, with their range of intelligent health monitoring products, all conveniently linking to the central MyVitals app.

Monday, 27 March 2017

As we gear up for the summer, many of us will be looking forward to our holidays. One of the most popular and timeless destinations for British holidaymakers is still Europe, and one of the most exciting ways of travelling there is by road. So whether you're planning a short city break, or a full-blown continental road trip, it's important that you prepare properly for the different rules and regulations you will be expected to follow.

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