If you are reading this article, you are likely looking for information on the topic of what is a TENS unit, how does it work, and what can I use it for? How Often Should I Use a TENS Unit? You have come to the right place.
This article will start by talking about TENS Units. We will then explain how it works before talking about some of the benefits of using a TENS Unit. We will then look into some alternative relief methods that may be worth considering before finishing up by explaining how often you would use a TENS unit if you had one available to use.
So, What Is a TENS Unit?
When it comes to a TENS unit, we can define it in one sentence: A device for non-invasive pain relief. It is a small unit that plugs into the wall and can be used to provide pain relief. These units’ two most common forms are transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and Medical Friction TENS Units. They work by sending an electrical charge through the skin to stimulate nerves in the body. The electrical charge is low enough to avoid any adverse side effects but high enough to relieve pain.
How Does It Work?
A TENS unit is made up of two parts: the main unit and the electrodes.
The main unit consists of a plug, which fits into a socket on the wall. The tip of the plug is designed to be covered with electrodes held in place by an adhesive that attaches via metal clips or wire ties.
The electrodes are usually made from rubber, plastic, or silicone with wires attached that are either soldered onto the electrode or have metal tabs attached that screw into the plastic/rubber electrodes. Some units have a single electrode attached to a battery.
The main unit is powered by a battery that comes with the unit or can be bought separately if you don’t have a wall socket in your home. The main unit will either have a switch on the side or top, which, when pressed, turns off the current from the battery and turns it back on when pressed again. Pressing it again will turn it off again. It can also be turned off and on using another small switch in the bottom of the main unit.
The electrodes are connected to a circuit board with two parts: one is at the base of each electrode and goes into an electrical socket in the wall. The other is attached to a cable that runs from the circuit board to the central unit, connected to a small plug. The electrodes are placed on, or nearby, any area of pain in the body, and the circuit board backings are attached, so they are next to each other.
The electrodes should be placed on areas of skin that do not have hair so that the current can pass through them. When using small electrodes, they should be placed no more than an inch apart if possible. If you need further pain relief, you will need to increase the distance between them until the desired effect has been reached.
When using larger, more powerful electrodes, you can leave the distance between them greater without losing too much effectiveness. The bigger the surface area of the electrodes, the higher voltage is needed to produce the same effect. Although some people experience mild tingling sensations when using a TENS unit, most of us feel numbness at first. This is usually felt within 30 seconds after turning on the unit.
You will then feel warmth or hot, which may be uncomfortable at first but will subside after about 10 minutes. The sensation should only last for around 20 minutes. After this time, stops using your TENS unit until something else hurts and repeat until you are satisfied with your results.
How Often Can You Use a TENS Unit?
As with all medications and treatments, you should never use them daily as they can cause dependence.
You should only use your TENS unit on an as and when needed basis and not daily. It is recommended that you use it for no longer than 20 minutes and only every 3 to 4 days.
It is always best to listen to your body as it is the one telling you if something is right or wrong, so if anything feels uncomfortable, stop immediately. Always make sure you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the TENS machine/device you are using, as they will tell you how often they can be used without creating any issues with your health.
Some Things to Keep In Mind When Using Your TENS Unit Regularly Include:
- Make sure that you take a break from using your TENS unit every 2 hours or so; this will help to prevent a build-up of effects.
- If you have any health issues, have a check-up with your doctor before using a TENS unit. If anything is wrong, don’t risk taking something that may cause an imbalance in your body/health.
- It is essential to ensure that any electrodes or pads you use on your body or skin are new and in good working order. If they are used, they may not work effectively and could even cause damage.
- Some TENS units come with automatic shutoff features, which mean that the machine will turn itself off after some time, usually 20 minutes, to avoid over-use. These are very handy if you have a habit of forgetting things!
If you want to be pain-free, using a TENS unit could be the best solution. It is elementary to use and should not cause any long-term health issues. The advantage of using this device is that it will help reduce the amount of pain you experience, assuming that you adhere to all of the instructions provided by the manufacturer.