Does TENS Work For Pain? (Benefits, Risks, & Myths)
Millions of people suffer from chronic pain, and many of them turn to TENS therapy as a treatment option. But does TENS work for pain relief? What are the benefits and risks of using TENS? And what are the myths about TENS? In this article, we'll explore all of that and more.
First, let's look at the basics of TENS. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It involves sending low-voltage electrical current through the skin to stimulate nerves and reduce pain. A device is placed on the surface of the skin with special adhesive electrodes that conduct the current directly to nerve endings in the area of pain. The current helps to reduce inflammation and stimulate the production of endorphins, which are chemicals that block the body's perception of pain.
Now let's consider some of the benefits of TENS therapy. Studies have found that it can reduce both chronic and acute pain levels by up to 50%. It is also an inexpensive and non-invasive form of therapy, making it an attractive choice for those who don't want to take medication or have surgery. TENS can also be used in combination with other forms of pain relief, such as physical therapy and medications.
But while TENS may offer some benefits, there are some risks associated with its use. These include skin irritation, burns, electric shocks, and possible interference with medical equipment such as pacemakers. It is important to discuss any potential risks with your doctor before starting TENS therapy.
There are also some myths about TENS that need to be addressed. One myth is that the electrical current can damage nerve cells; however, this isn't true. Another myth is that TENS can be addictive; however, this isn't the case either. Finally, people sometimes believe that they will become dependent on TENS if it works for their pain; however, this is false, as the benefits of using TENS are temporary and won't last forever.
In conclusion, there are both benefits and risks associated with TENS therapy, and it is important to discuss these with your doctor before starting treatment. While there are some myths surrounding the use of TENS, they do not appear to be true. As always, it's best to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have before beginning a new course of treatment.
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