How to use a tens unit for lower back pain

how to use a tens unit for lower back pain
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Lots of back pain sufferers manage their pain by using a TENS unit. TENS is an efficient, cost-effective way to treat back pain and can offer rapid relief from chronic or recurring muscle and back pain.

How to use a tens unit?

TENS can be used alone or alongside other therapies like massage to treat various types of back pain, including sciatica, muscle strains, and injuries.

TENS is also great for necks that are stiff from prolonged reading or staring at your mobile for hours.

Learning how to use a tens unit for lower back pain is worth considering as it’s an affordable, highly effective and portable method for tackling all types of back pain.

TENS Can Treat the Following Back Pain

  • Sciatica
  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • New or recurring sporting injuries
  • Stiff neck from sleeping wrong or staring at your phone for 20hrs ;O)

Using a TENS Unit to Treat Back Pain

TENS electrodes can ease your back pain by popping them on the affected area(s) and tweaking the settings to alleviate the pain.

Of course, all back and neck pain is different from human to human, so you may need to adjust and move the TENS electrodes and pulse waves until you hit that sweet spot and ease your back pain…

but when you hit that sweet spot… boy is it worth it! It’s so simple to use TENS for all types of pain.

Here are the easy steps to using Your TENS machine for back pain:

  1. Stick the electrodes on either side of your pain for the best results. When we treat sciatica with TENS, we place one electrode on the upper buttock and one below the hip and tweak as needed. 
  2. Always start your TENS device on the lowest setting; you don’t want to begin involuntary break-dancing.
  3. Modify the pulse period and timing until you find relief from your back pain. After a couple of uses, you’ll be a pro, don’t worry!
  4. Repeat as required and as instructed by the device guidelines.

What is the Best Tens Unit for Back Pain?

To be honest, we’ve tried various TENS machines over the years, and they all pretty much do the same thing, but they have evolved and having the option to select from several custom programs does make a convenient difference.

Sometimes, it is best to let the device ratings speak for themselves, which is precisely what we’ll do below.

These TENS units have a staggering amount of positive feedback and can also act as muscle stimulators, nerve stimulators and electric massagers! And they’re cheap!

Breaking it down (How to use a tens unit)

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a pain relief method involving a gentle electrical current.

A TENS machine is a small, battery-operated or rechargeable device with thin cables attached to sticky pads called electrodes (you can see them above) which you place on your skin.

When switched on, tiny impulses are passed to your body’s affected area, which feels like a tingling sensation; it’s really quite pleasant!

The impulses can reduce the back pain signals traveling over the spinal cord and onwards to the brain, which can help to relieve pain.

They may also stimulate endorphin production, the body’s natural painkillers, clever.

How Does TENS work?

STUDY HERE > Using TENS for pain control: the state of the evidence

Healthcare professionals have stated that it does help some people, although it depends on the individual and the condition.

From personal experience, when sciatica won’t let up, especially at night, a damn good zapping with TENS delivers some much needed respite.

It’s important to note here that TENS is not a cure for pain, it can help you with short-term relief, and it’s generally very safe.

If you’re cleared by your health advisor to give it a go, you may feel it’s worth trying instead of gorging on pain pills which isn’t good for anyone.

Are there any risks of side effects?

TENS is generally a safe treatment with zero side effects.

A few people may find the pads make their skin red and irritated due to an allergy, but allergy-free pads can alleviate that.

Always, always, always, speak to a medical professional if you’re considering using TENS.

TENS isn’t suitable for everyone. NEVER use TENS before speaking to a medical professional if:

  • you have a pacemaker or other electrical or metal implants
  • you’re pregnant, or there’s a chance you might be pregnant
  • you have epilepsy or a heart problem

You can manage your back pain, good luck ;O)

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