Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is among several non-invasive treatments designed to alleviate pain in the muscles, joints, and bones. TENS is a conservative, relatively simple and time efficient therapy in which a small device is used to administer low-voltage electrical current to affected areas. It may sound new-fangled, but TENS has roots in a long historical tradition of electroanalgesia going as far back as ancient Egypt, where electric eels were used to dull pain.
How It Works
TENS devices may vary, but usually include two electrodes which are placed at the site of the pain to create a current. It’s theorized that the current stimulates the nerves in the area and alters the signals they’re sending to the brain, so that instead of pain the brain reads something else. The application of this treatment may also encourage the body to produce endorphins, which in turn relieve pain.
TENS is used to relieve chronic pain in specific problem areas, such as the neck or lower back. It’s often suggested to help treat problems that occur with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, tendinitis, and bursitis. With proper instruction, many patients can do TENS at home; however, it’s important that a medical professional first trains them in the appropriate technique and safety precautions.
Interested in learning if TENS may be right for you? The Advanced Physical Therapy of Freehold pain management specialists can help explore and understand the most effective treatment options for your condition. Request an appointment to learn more.