After seeing many Fibromyalgia sufferers saying that the TENs machine was helping them a lot with their pain, I decided to buy one.
After using it for a few days, I can say that it does help slightly for short term pain relief. I was expecting more relief but any relief will do. The massage function on the machine also helped ease some muscle spasms, but again only slightly and for a very short time. Nevertheless it is now something that I will add to my pain management regime. I do suffer from debilitating Fibromyalgia and certain people may find it works better than others.
The TENs machine, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve stimulation machine, is a small battery operated machine that is used to treat pain. When the machine is turned on, small electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area through leads which are connected to electrodes. The electrodes are sticky pads which are attached to the skin. This has a tingling sensation feel.
It is believed that the electrical impulses flood the nervous system which then in turn can reduce pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain. It may also stimulate the body to produce endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers.
The machine was developed after findings of Professors Melzack and Wall (The pain gate theory)
The TENs machine is used to treat a variety of conditions like period pain, labour pain, post operative pain, joint pain, neck and back pain.
It can also alleviate pain in conditions such as endometriosis, arthritis, sports injuries, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Phantom Limb pain, Migraines, painful diabetic neuropathy and spinal cord injury.
You are able to adjust the intensity of the impulses thereby achieving the appropriate level of pain relief.
The machine has two frequencies. The frequencies are the number of electrical impulses per second. The high frequency (80 – 120 cycles per second) is used to manage acute pain and the low frequency (1 – 20 cycles per second) is used in the treatment of chronic pain. The duration is the number of microseconds that the current enters the skin for during each pulse.
The massage function on the machine is used to treat muscle tension which can cause pain or stress, recovery after strenuous exercise, releasing muscle spasms and increasing circulation.
Some of the benefits of using the machine are that it is non invasive, it can reduce pain medications, it is convenient (small, portable and relatively discrete) and can be carried in your pocket for immediate access.
The machine is considered very safe to use and generally has no side effects. The unit produces a tingling or prickling sensation. Some people may be allergic to the pads but hypoallergenic pads are also available.
There are some warnings to using the machine. Never place the electrodes on the front of the neck as this can lower your blood pressure and cause spasms. Never place the electrodes on the eyes as this can increase the pressure within the eye and possibly cause injury.
The TENs machine should also be avoided by pregnant women, people who suffer from epilepsy (it may induce seizures), people with heart problems and anyone with a pacemaker or any other type of electrical or metal implant.
There is little research done to support how or even if the TENs machine really works however clinical trials are ongoing. It does seem to help some people but this depends on the individual and the condition being treated. It is not a cure and merely provides short term pain relief.
You can read some testimonials from users here: https://www.tensmachine.co.za/testimonials/