Pain is essentially the body's method of telling you that something is WRONG and is intended to prevent further damage. It instigates reflex actions, which remove the affected part from the source of injury. WITHOUT pain, abnormal conditions may continue undetected, causing irreversible damage to vital parts of your body.
Long lasting, persistent pain often called chronic pain, once diagnosed serves NO apparent purpose. This type of pain, often becomes a burden on the individual and for many individuals, chronic pain is untreatable and is often associated with diseases, such as Arthritis or simple wear and tear on the body. Chronic pain is NOT necessarily the result of injury and may even be present after successful surgery. Unlike pain, resulting from an injury, this type of pain is NOT necessary for the well-being of the human body.
A TENS (or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) Unit is an Electrotherapy Device, which transmits small electrical pulses through the skin to the underlying peripheral nerves.
A TENS Unit operates in two different ways. In a conventional (high frequency) TENS Unit, continuous mild stimulation of coarse nerve fibres (simulating touch) produces a multitude of impulses, which travel to the brain effectively overloading it and preventing pain signals from getting through. If the pain signal does NOT get through to the brain, the pain is NOT "felt". Conventional stimulation is often most effective with Neuralgia, Arthrosis, Arthritis, Lumbago, Cervicalgia, with CNS Injuries, Pregnancy-Related Back and Pelvic Cramps, Labor Pains, Menstrual Cramps, and Postoperative Pain. A Modulated conventional TENS Unit produces a type of conventional stimulation, where the pulse width varies continuously. It provides a billowing sensation, which may feel more pleasant.
The second way, that a TENS Unit is thought to work is by stimulating the body's own natural pain-control mechanism. "Low frequency" or short bursts of electrical activity stimulate muscle nerves directly, so that contractions occur causing the body to release it's own pain relieving Neurohormones, called Endorphins, which are substances, that are similar to Morphine.
The TENS Unit has been in use for many years as a way of relieving the pain of Soft Tissue Injury. It can help athletes with Muscular Strains and elderly people with Joint Problems. It's use during labor is more recent and many women find it particularily helpful. Some of the conditions, which respond to a TENS Unit are Back Pain, Sports Injuries, Muscular Pain, Sciatica, Stress, Tension, Neuralgia, Arthrosis, Arthritis, Lumbago, Cervicalgia, with CNS Injuries, Pregnancy-Related Back and Pelvic Cramps, Labor Pains, Menstrual Cramps, and Postoperative Pain.