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Electrical Stimulation

A TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit is a small, battery-operated device that can help with pain management. The device has leads attached to adhesive pads called electrodes. The electrodes are placed on the skin along the nerves near the painful area. It delivers mild electrical impulses that can be adjusted in frequency and intensity to help block pain signals in your body, and it is occasionally used in physical therapy to help decrease pain around injured tissue. Other forms of electrical stimulation may be used to contract muscles. This is called neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and is used to help your injured muscles "relearn" how to function properly.

Benefits & Uses of Electrical Stimulation

TENS is thought to disrupt the pain cycle by delivering a non-painful sensation to the nerves around the targeted site, reducing the pain signals going to the brain. The electrical impulses may also trigger the body to release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and promote a feeling of well-being.

TENS can be used to relieve chronic (long-term) and acute (short-term) pain and muscles cramps from various conditions, including:

  • Arthritis

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Knee pain

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Diabetic neuropathy

  • Pelvic pain from periods or endometriosis

How does electrical stimulation feel?

According to most... It feels really good! 

When putting someone on electrical stimulation (typically 15-20 mins), our therapists will start you on a gradual setting and slowly increase the intensity based on your comfort level and preference. Electrical stimulation usually creates a tingling sensation in the area targeted by the strategically placed electrodes. It is applied towards the end of your treatment preceded by therapeutic exercise and often used simultaneously with thermal modalities.

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