Chronic pain and disabling muscles aches is one of the most common reasons why most people seek physical therapy. Although the history of physical therapy is as old as almost 140 years, in the last few decades a lot of machines and devices are also constructed on the physical therapy principles and techniques that are of great help in managing chronic pain symptoms in office and home based settings.Doctors at Pro Physiotherapy are Experienced Physiotherapist in JP Nagar and  Bannerghatta Road.

Experienced Physiotherapist in JP Nagar.

TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is perhaps one of the most effective physical therapy technique used in alternative medicine today. TENS refers to the transcutaneous passage of electric currents in a pre-determined frequency across peripheral nerves. A current of a particular wavelength and intensity is delivered via electrodes that are attached to the skin. The frequency or intensity can be controlled manually. TENS are broadly classified as conventional TENS and low-frequency TENS on the basis of the frequency used in the procedure. Conventional therapy uses a current frequency of 50Hz or above; whereas in low- frequency TENS, a much lower frequency is used (less than 10Hz).

Different frequencies have different effects on the physiological perception of pain by modulation of electric nerve signaling across nerve fibers. The working principle deals with excitation of peripheral nerves in an attempt to suppress the nerves that carry pain signals to the brain. This can be achieved if the device stimulates nerve fibers with a higher frequency in comparison to pain nerve fibers. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is widely used in managing acute pain at home or in a clinical setting. The most preferred use is in labor pain.

Although not very effective, TENS is one of the preferred pain management techniques used during the later stages of labor and women who prefer to give vaginal birth without anesthesia can get benefits from TENS. TENS is one of the safest and most risk-free methods available today to treat chronic pain of diabetic neuropathy and musculo-skeletal injuries refractory versus ordinary pain medications. TENS is also used in the management of osteoarthritis pain by physical therapists.

TENS as a treatment technique is non invasive and has few side effects when compared with drug therapy. The most common complaint is an allergic type skin reaction (about 2-3% of patients) and this is almost always due to the material of the electrodes, the conductive gel or the tape employed to hold the electrodes in place. Most TENS applications are now made using self adhesive, pre gelled electrodes which have several advantages including reduced cross infection risk, ease of application, lower allergy incidence rates and lower overall cost.

Garment based electrodes are becoming more widely available (examples illustrated) and for some patients provide an excellent method of application. Like the pregelled electrodes they are supposed to be multi-use but for single patient i.e. should not be ‘shared’. Digital TENS machines are becoming more widely available and extra features (like automated frequency sweeps and more complex stimulation patterns) are emerging, though there remains little clinical evidence for enhanced efficacy at the present time. Some of these devices do offer pre-programmed and/or automated treatment settings.For any doubts related to the TENS and its usage contact Pro Physiotherapy – Experienced Physiotherapist in JP Nagar.

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