Many people think that using electricity on the body is painful. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is extremely effective in treating lower back pain and providing a relaxation sensation to the user.
TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is the most common kind of electrotherapy that people use to ease lower back pain. If you also want some relief, then here is your complete guide on this.
What Is Electrotherapy?
If you don’t know already, electrotherapy is all about the use of a battery-powered device that supplies a light current to small electrodes. These electrodes are attached to your lower back. Once they are attached, the device sends light electrical pulses wherever you are experiencing pain.
There are many different types of electrotherapy devices available to ease back pain. However, the most common ones are TENS units. This type of electrotherapy is not painful at all and is incredibly effective in providing ease for lower back pain.
When Electrotherapy Is Advised?
You should not use electrotherapy if you are experiencing one-time pain. Instead, there are some symptoms you need to look for before you can use the TENS unit. Here are some cases when electrotherapy is the best option:
- Chronic back pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Migraine headache
- Diabetic nerve pain
- Wound healing
These are the problems when electrotherapy works best and is most effective. Of course, you should always consult with a medical professional before treating these problems with a TENS unit. If you are pregnant or have a pacemaker, then it is not for you.
Is TENS Right For Me?
If you are battling these problems, then you may be wondering if a TENS unit is the right choice for you. Firstly, only you can decide whether TENS is a good investment for you or not. That is because not everyone finds this treatment useful and it may not work at all for some.
The price of an average TENS unit can vary anywhere between $40 to several hundred dollars depending on the quality and features. The more expensive a TENS unit is, the longer its warranty will be. That is why before you invest in this, you need to consult a medical professional.
They will let you know if you will find relief from a TENS unit, and if not then they will give you other more effective alternatives for your pain. Besides that, you should also try other methods of relief before investing in a TENS unit. If you have lower back pain then stretching, yoga or some back strengthening exercises can help too.
That is why a TENS unit should be an option after you have exhausted your no-cost options first. Some people find stretching incredibly comforting, and so you should also try it before you invest money in electrotherapy. Another thing you should take into consideration is when you experience your symptoms.
For example, if your symptoms tend to show up before or during sleep, then you can opt for a wearable TENS unit. Such a unit will provide you ample relief while you are in bed and you will be able to sleep in peace.
Expert Tips For Purchasing A TENS Unit
Research is important. Before you invest in your first TENS unit, you should keep some things in mind. They will help you decide the best unit for yourself, and you will be able to make an informed decision. Don’t worry. We have all the information you need.
Here are the top expert tips for purchasing a TENS unit:
1. Start By Having A Medical Professional Treat You With A TENS Unit
A TENS unit is not effective for everyone. With that being said, your money will go to waste if you end up buying something that does not provide you much relief. That is why you should talk to your medical professional and let them treat you with a TENS unit first.
During this process, your doctor or therapist can also teach how to operate and use a TENS unit. That is because if you want the best results, you need to keep them in an ideal setting. So, let them guide you.
After that, if you feel like the device made no difference then there is no use in buying the TENS unit. Your medical professional can then recommend various other alternatives for you to treat your lower back pain.
2. Take A Few Sessions
Don’t give up hope after the first session with your medical professional. It takes a TENS unit sometime before it can work its magic. That is why you may need to take a few sessions before you can tell if it’s working.
The medical professional may need to use the TENS unit in different settings or they may need to use various machines to see which one works for you. After these few sessions, your medical professional will be able to recommend the most effective TENS unit for your lower back pain.
3. Factor In Various Costs
Pricing is a big issue for people looking to buy a TENS unit. Not every unit is affordable and cheaper units don’t offer the same benefits. However, there are also other costs to take into account except for the price.
For example, if you need to constantly replace electrode pads or the batteries of the TENS unit, then your long-run cost will be significantly high. That is why you need to check the quality of the unit before you invest. If you invest in a cheaper unit then your lifetime cost may be high.
However, if you invest in a high-quality unit now then you may not have a long-run cost. Make an estimate of the costs and see if it fits your budget before you decide to buy it.
4. Battery Option
TENS units come with various battery options. Some units require AA batteries, while other units have rechargeable batteries. AA batteries have to be replaced and the latter has to be charged again and again.
The only problem with opting for an AA battery TENS unit is that you will have to keep replacing the battery which can cost you a lot if you regularly use the unit. On the other hand, if you opt for a rechargeable TENS unit, then you will not have to worry about running out of batteries as you can simply charge the unit again.
A high-quality TENS unit will always come in various modes. These are the options they provide to set different intensities of electronic pulses. Cheaper and low-quality models will offer limited modes, sometimes they don’t offer any.
However, if you want to treat lower back pain then you need different mode options to see which will work best for you. It will make the experience of using the TENS unit smoother and seamless. You can choose a mode that works best for your pain and that will allow you to enjoy the TENS unit for longer.
6. Power Potential
Each TENS unit will have varied power potential. Lower quality and cheaper priced TENS units will have lower power potential. This means that you will not receive adequate electrotherapy and so investing in them can turn out to be a waste of money.
What you need is a TENS unit that has enough power intensity that is comfortable for your pain. This means it should feel deep and intense but it should not cause you any pain. Of course, this varies between individuals; what may be painful for you may not be for others.
TENS technology should be utilized for comfort and relief and that is why it needs to have adequate power potential. As a general rule of thumb, the unit should come with at least three or four options so you can choose the one that fits you best. The idea is to set your unit to the power intensity that you desire.
7. Customer Service
TENS units have become incredibly popular. They are now available over the counter and many salespeople are now selling these units. That is why you should opt for a TENS unit by a reputable company that offers customer service.
The TENS unit is a big investment and you deserve to have someone to help you out in case you face any problems with the device. So, customer service is something you should not miss out on. Look for reviews and talk to people that have had experience with various companies.
Doing this will help you choose a perfect TENS unit from a company that cares about your experience and health.
That is everything you need to know about electrotherapy and a TENS unit. Before you make a purchase, you should keep all these things in mind and take all factors into consideration. Once you do, you will have an effective and durable unit that will provide you with the relief you need in your lower back.