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TENS stands for "transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation." Basically, it's a non-medical solution for various types of pain using electrical stimulation. A TENS unit looks like a very small device you attach using sticky pads or point at the area of pain. Typically, it's battery or app operated and portable.
Because of its small design, a TENS unit is great for people who love outdoor activities. Hiking, climbing, running, and other forms of strenuous physical activity that can cause havoc on your muscles and joints.
What does a TENS Unit Do?
Over the past few years, those who are extremely active have adopted a form of "active recovery" by using the electrical stimulation in a TENS unit to heal their overworked muscles. By pointing or attaching it to the area of pain, the electrical stimulation works to relieve tension in your muscles. therefore, relieving you of pain.
The downside to a TENS device is that it can give you a false sense of security. By making you feel virtually pain-free right after use, you may feel as though your injury has healed. However, TENS units need many applications to heal an injury, and primarily help with immediate pain relief.
A TENS device can be used for period and labor pain, post-op pain, and joint neck, back, and muscle pains. On top of that, it can be use for chronic pain such as endometriosis, arthritis, sport injuries, MS, fibromyalgia, and spinal cord injuries.
Okay, How Does it Work?
To get you the science of it, a TENS unit works based on the certain parameters that you set on the device or through an app. You control frequency, intensity, and duration. The options you choose for these are based on the type of issue you're hoping to heal.
Generally a low frequency is paired with high intensity, and conversely, a high frequency is paired with low intensity. The duration is up to the user and how much pain they are experiencing.
Studies show that joint inflammation responded well to both low and high frequencies. This same study also showed that using a TENS device too frequently can lower responsiveness to the device. Make sure you're using it wisely.
How do I use a TENS Unit?
As we've discussed above, how to use the TENS unit widely depends on what pain you're experiencing. Each device from different manufacturers can operate differently. Here are some of our top brands and how they work:
This device is thin and can be worn underneath your clothing, as the electrode pad and battery are all in one unit. That means there are no wires to get in the way. It's also controlled from a smartphone app, creating a wide variety of settings for either a specific body part, condition, or other custom settings.
Icy Hot TENS Therapy
The kit goes up to 63 intensity levels and is absolutely wire free! The unit battery powered, about one-half inch in thickness, and smaller than a credit card! It also has a simple On/Off switch with a small LED light so that you can be sure to know that the unit is on and that the battery is good condition!
Hey, You can Win One!
Starting today, we're hosting an iTENS giveaway! Enter over on our Facebook page for a chance to win one of these great therapy units! So if you're not convinced enough to spend your FSA dollars on it, enter for a chance to win an
Active recovery, or chronic pain, a TENS unit can help you manage those symptoms. What's even better is that it's completely FSA eligible. Just need replacement pads? No problem, those are eligible too.
Pick up one of these devices, and get started on your path to recovery!