Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) isn’t only used to help relieve pain, but tone muscles as well. According to the doctors of Memorial Hospital, Towanda, Pennsylvania, the machine comes with different frequencies (depending on the therapy) and TENS unit pads with different shapes and sizes. These are not only utilized by doctors, but professional therapists and patients in their homes as well. The TENS units are portable, lightweight machines that can weigh up to only a few ounces and are usually battery updated.
Prior to starting any TENS therapy session, you’ll have to make sure that the area where you’ll place the TENS unit pads is thoroughly cleaned with water and air dried. You have the option to use disposable electrode pads, but premium ones like DONECO® electrodes for TENS unit are ideal for home use.
If you’re using new TENS unit pads, you need to peel off the adhesive plastic backing, but don’t throw them as these can be used to line the electrodes later. To ensure effective therapy, always use clean pads and use the unit on the specific body parts as advised by your doctor. You also need to ascertain that the pads really stick well, so as to prevent intermittent charges.
There are some physical therapists who will preset the machine. If not, always remember to set the machine as recommended by your therapist. You may gradually increase the intensity of the current as abruptly increasing it will shock the muscles. Always consult your therapist on the maximum current intensity you can apply.
You may use the TENS unit for 30 minutes to an hour to help tone the muscles or to relieve pain.
However, you may also extend the duration to achieve optimum effect. Apply TENS lotion on the area following the therapy to prevent skin irritation. You have to always follow the instructions of your doctor or therapist to avoid any side effects.