How Can TENS Help You?
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a procedure in which electrodes, placed on a person’s back, give off an electric signal that stimulates nerve cells through the skin. The numb-like feeling that results can help some people overcome pain.
Pain may be temporarily relieved with the use of a small TENS device that directs mild, electrical pulses to nerve endings beneath the skin in the painful joint area. TENS blocks pain messages to the brain and modifies pain perception.
Microcurrent therapy (MCT) uses electric currents similar to those produced by the body during tissue healing. It may be a particularly beneficial where endogenous healing has failed.
TENS can help with short term pain relief. It works best when used during activities, such as walking, doing chores, or exercise.
To review evidence regarding microcurrent in tissue healing and the application of MCT.
All peer-reviewed studies concerning microcurrent and microcurrent therapy were sought, and representative literature was synthesized to indicate the scope and weight of current evidence.
Microcurrent appears to play a significant role in the healing process, and MCT can promote healing in a variety of bone and skin lesions. The evidence for other tissues is encouraging but presently scant.
MCT may have unrealized potential in the treatment of dysfunctional tissue healing and deserves greater attention by researchers and clinicians.
Here is another study from Harvard University highlighting the benefits of TENS.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a nonpharmacologic treatment for pain relief. TENS has been used to treat a variety of painful conditions. This review updates the basic and clinical science regarding the use of TENS that has been published in the past 3 years (ie, 2005−2008). Basic science studies using animal models of inflammation show changes in the peripheral nervous system, as well as in the spinal cord and descending inhibitory pathways, in response to TENS. Translational studies show mechanisms to prevent analgesic tolerance to repeated application of TENS. This review also highlights data from recent randomized, placebo-controlled trials and current systematic reviews. Clinical trials suggest that adequate dosing, particularly intensity, is critical to obtaining pain relief with TENS. Thus, evidence continues to emerge from both basic science and clinical trials supporting the use of TENS for the treatment of a variety of painful conditions while identifying strategies to increase TENS effectiveness.