Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS)

TENS is the use of stimulation to assist in the management of pain. This unit assists in the closure of the “gate” of pain signal transmission. TENS is given for home use so the patients are able to use when they feel they need it. This can be used for acute as well as chronic conditions.

 

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF TENS:

  • Impulses flood the pathways to the brain and close the “gate” to the transmission of pain signals
  • Stimulation of sensory nerves using a low-frequency releases the bodies natural pain killers (opiates) that are produces by the pituitary gland and in the spinal cord
  • Causes local vasodilation in patients with myofascial symptoms
  • Vasodilation alters the ischemic areas affecting the pain caused by trigger points

INDICATIONS FOR TENS:
Pain syndromes such as:

  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Postoperative pain
  • Obstetric pain
  • Cardiopulmonary pain
  • Neurological pain

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR TENS:

  • Patients with demand-type cardiac pacemakers
  • Placement over the anterior neck area and carotid sinus
  • Cardiac disease. Stimulation across the chest
  • Epilepsy
  • Over the eyes
  • Mucosal surfaces
  • Cardiovascular accident patients or patients with central nervous system disorders
  • Incompetent patients
  • Breaks in the skin

PRECAUTIONS WITH TENS:

  • Do not use on a pregnant patient during the first trimester
  • Skin irritation from electrodes with long term applications
  • Equipment such as ECG monitors and ECG alarms may not function properly while TENS units are in use
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