There’s a misconception that physical therapy consists of nothing more than exercises and stretches. Although physical therapy does include stretches and exercises, there are a lot more treatments that fall under the umbrella of physical therapy. Dry needling, Kinesio Taping®, TENS therapy, and trigger point therapy are just a few physical therapy techniques that can reduce pain and restore function here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland.
Below, Dr. Dustin Hamoy discusses one particular physical therapy technique in more detail: TENS therapy.
What is TENS therapy?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy 一 more often called TENS therapy 一 is a therapy that relies on low voltage electrical current to provide pain relief. Electrodes are applied to your skin (near where your trigger points or near nerves where your pain is), and the electrical impulses are delivered to these electrodes from a battery-powered device. The goal of TENS therapy is for these electrical impulses to interfere with your nerve’s ability to send pain messages to your brain.
Because the TENS unit delivers therapeutic doses of electrical currents, it shouldn’t hurt. You may, however, feel a slight tapping or tingling sensation.
Who can benefit from TENS therapy?
TENS therapy is a popular therapy for fibromyalgia, and there’s little surprise why: Studies show that TENS therapy can reduce pain, hyperalgesia (increased pain sensitivity), and fatigue.
Individuals with fibromyalgia aren’t the only ones who can benefit from TENS therapy. You may benefit from TENS therapy if you have other underlying conditions such as:
- Chronic pelvic pain
You might consider TENS therapy if you are looking for a non-drug pain relief option, if you want to reduce your reliance on medication, or if you’ve already tried other options but still need relief. TENS therapy can reduce different types of pain, including chronic and acute pain, pain from a sports injury, postoperative pain, joint pain, and back and neck pain.
Who shouldn’t try TENS therapy?
Although TENS therapy can provide pain relief to many individuals, it isn’t right for everyone. If you have a pacemaker, are pregnant, or have cancer, heart problems, or epilepsy, TENS therapy should be avoided. If TENS therapy isn’t right for you, Dr. Hamoy suggests other therapies that do meet your needs.
Benefits of TENS therapy
Chronic pain dramatically impacts the quality of life and limits your ability to perform daily tasks. The goal of TENS therapy is to reduce your pain so that you can live life more fully. There are many benefits in choosing TENS therapy, including:
- TENS therapy may be a standalone treatment, or it can be incorporated into a larger treatment plan.
- TENS therapy has few side effects (such as irritation from the sticky pads on the electrodes).
- It’s impossible to form a drug addiction to TENS therapy.
- It won’t impact your ability to drive (like some pain medications do).
- It reduces pain associated with many different conditions, injuries, and diseases.
To find out if TENS therapy is right for you, call Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center at 410-324-2968 to schedule your appointment. You can also request an appointment via our booking tool.