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Everything You Need To Know About TENS

I have to admit, although I’ve learned about a lot of different chiropractic supplementary care methods, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation therapy has to have the longest and most unusual name I have yet to come across.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, which is more commonly referred to by professionals and patients alike as TENS, is quickly gaining recognition as one of the most effective and successful treatment methods available to patients of chiropractic who have been dealing with long term, chronic conditions that cause physical pain and discomfort. So what exactly is TENS, and what does it do that makes it so effective? I found a great article by Spine Health that delves into the details of TENS therapy; here is what I learned from it.

TENS therapy involves the use of a low voltage electrical current in order to relieve and stiffness, while also working to restore mobility to a previously immobilized area of the body. Before you get too freaked out by the words “electrical current”, keep in mind that this type of therapy is not at all like getting shocked or electrocuted involuntarily. It’s actually a procedure that you can do in the comfort of your own home, by using a small machine that’s battery operated, and is about the same size as a pocket radio. A patient will learn how to place the electrodes, the wires that the electrical current is conducted through, to the skin that lies on top of painful areas of the body.

These electrodes can also be placed on pressure points for an acupressure style method of pain relief. This allows a circuit of electricity to travel along the fibers of the nerves in the body. So how exactly does this all come together to bring much needed pain relief? There are two leading theories as to why electrical stimulation therapy works so well for so many people. First, the electrical current seems to scramble the nerves in such a way that normal pain signals are blocked from entering the brain. Another theory claims that the electrical stimulationof the nerves promotes the body’s production of endorphins, which are a feel good chemical that naturally bring relief from pain on the inside. Endorphins are also released during an intense workout, or even during a piercing or while getting a tattoo, in order to help your body cope with the physical demands being placed on it. Ask your doctor of chiropractic about TENS to see if it is right for you.

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of osseous

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