Clinical pharmacist Yvette C. Terrie provides an overview of therapeutic devices called TENS devices (TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). TENS devices have been around for several decades and are trusted by a variety of health professionals for the way they help alleviate pain in joints and muscles. They seem to work both by disrupting the pattern of pain and by increasing the body’s ability to generate endorphins. TENS units have become increasingly portable and sophisticated, and patients have an array of reasonably priced choices. These pain relief devices are an important alternative to oral medication. As always, users need to consult their physicians about persistent conditions and also carefully read the instructions and warnings that come with the devices.
- 1Since the 1970s, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices have been used by various health care providers—such as chiropractors, physical therapists, and physicians—for the management and treatment of muscle and joint pain.
- 2The pain relief delivered by these TENS devices is believed to have a 2-fold effect: alteration of pain transmission and increase in the production of natural endorphins.
- 3According to the manufacturer, Aleve Direct Therapy is recommended for the temporary relief of pain associated with sore and aching muscles in the lower back due to strain from exercise or normal household and work activities
Patients with preexisting medical conditions should always consult their primary health care providers before using TENS devices to ascertain appropriateness of use.
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