TENS is electrotherapy or electrical stimulation.
Depending on the purpose of the therapy, stimulation is applied to one (or more) of three different parts of the human body:
"How TENS works" is best explained in terms of what is being stimulated and why.
TENS therapy relieves pain by stimulating the body's sensory nerve fibres to reduce pain related activity in the nervous system.
It works through two main mechanisms that help to alter and relieve the experience of pain:
The first is a peripheral mechanism known as Pain Gating - pleasant signals travel more quickly than painful signals and block the painful signals from reaching pain sensing areas of the brain.
Other sensory methods of pain relief that rely upon this mechanism include massage, acupressure, acupuncture, heat and cold packs or creams.
The second process is actually a group of several central mechanisms, that release natural pain inhibiting chemicals such as beta-endorphin.
Analgesic pharmaceuticals use chemicals (e.g. morphine) to achieve a similar outcome.
Motor nerve stimulation
Motor nerve stimulation is used to aid circulation, prevent muscle atrophy and re-condition muscles after injury.
The signal is pulsed and the electrodes are placed over motor nerves. In this way, mild muscle movement can be maintained during periods of forced inactivity, when voluntary exercise is restricted or impractical. As there are many therapeutic benefits associated with exercise., when manual exercise is not possible, then electrical stimulation is a desirable substitute.
A motor nerve stimulus of moderate intensity and high frequency activates the nerves supplying voluntary muscles, causing them to contract and release. as the stimulus pulses ON and OFF. This is helpful in avoiding muscle atrophy and / or rebuilding muscle strength.
A motor nerve stimulus of lower frequency activates the smooth or involuntary muscle fibres, causing them to activate and release. This is helpful for improved functionality and smooth muscle condition.
Neural pathways can be reinforced and ultimately returned to a healthy state. Muscle memory is reactivated.
Cell Membrane Stimulation
Inactivity of the body slows the metabolism, inhibits healthy levels of cell membrane activity and holds back injury recovery and healing times.
When you are forced to rest your body due to injury, surgery and associated pain, compromised activity can be supplemented with externally applied electrical stimulation.
The benefits of cell membrane stimulation include:
Improved blood and oxygen circulation
Increased supply of proteins and nutrients
Removal of accumulated waste product
Breakdown of scar or unwanted fibrous tissue
The Pelvic Floor External Electrode Set (SSE) contains 4 gelled perineal pads and 2 gelled sacral pads.
Each perineal electrode measures 40 mm x 53 mm and is an irregular shape - wider at each end with concave sides.
Each sacral electrode measures 65 mm x 70 mm and is a triangular shape.
These electrodes are intended for the pelvic floor region.
These electrodes are compatible with the following ActivLife TENS machines:
And the following Bio Electronics TENS machines:
With proper care and storage, electrodes may be used multiple times. The number of uses will vary depending on skin type and preparation, storage and climatic conditions.
Manufactured by Axelgaard, USA.