If you suffer from acute pain as the result of an injury, finding relief is probably one of the most important things on your mind. In many cases, pain is treated separately from the underlying condition that is causing it. A doctor of chiropractic has a wide range of treatment options to reduce or eliminate pain resulting from soft tissue injuries to help restore quality of life while your body is healing itself. One of the most powerful tools your chiropractor has available to treat you is transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, or TENS.
When an injury occurs, medical treatment is used to help it heal. However, it is not unusual for patients who have experienced serious injuries to suffer from severe pain during the healing process itself. Obviously, this kind of pain can interfere with the person’s ability to function normally in common day-to-day situations. However, it can also reduce the speed at which the body is able to repair itself. TENS therapy is used extensively because of its versatility and effectiveness at reducing pain throughout the body.
How TENS Works
TENS units are often used by chiropractors during office visits in connection with physical rehabilitation. In some cases, portable models are also prescribed for treatment at home. The units have electrodes that are attached to the skin with adhesive so that they can send electrical pulses across your skin and to the nerve endings that send pain signals. The electrical pulses interfere with the signals so they do not tell the brain that the body is in pain. At the same time, the electrical pulses also increase the endorphins released in the brain. These natural pain killers lead to even greater pain relief without the need for risky medications. When using TENS to treat joint and muscle injuries, the heat produced during the treatments can also increase function.
TENS therapy is used by chiropractic physicians for a number of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, including:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
What to Expect from TENS Therapy
TENS therapy is safe and effective when used by your chiropractor in a clinical setting. If you have been prescribed a TENS device for home use, it is important for you to realize that your results—and safety—will depend on using it as directed. Patients often find that the relief they get from TENS eliminates the need for conventional pain treatment. However, you should never discontinue any medications or therapy without discussing them with your doctor.
The prescribing physician should show you how to use the TENS unit and will usually demonstrate in their office before you use it at home. Most units are small, about the size of a pocket calculator. The unit will be set for the wavelength frequency that your doctor has recommended for your condition. Most sessions last about 15 to 20 minutes. The number of sessions you will have each day and the duration of the treatment will depend on your specific needs. If you have any questions feel free to contact us at (703) 912-7822 or visit us at Chiropractor in Burke, VA.