How Does a TENS unit work

Ache, pain and stress. Three feelings which no one wants to go through. But in this era of hush and rush, where one is bound to encounter fatigue, stress is quite a normal thing. We cannot say much about mental stresses but as far your physical stress is considered, TENS is at your service. This modern day marvel is bound to relieve you of all sorts of aches through which an individual passes daily in course of his or her work. Let’s have a look at working mechanism of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation unit.

How Does a TENS unit work

Working Principle

TENS unit averts the pain signals travelling via nerves to Brain in Central Nervous System. It stimulates those nerves which are not pain carrier. This personally used and controlled unit works upon a theory known as Gate Control Theory of Pain. Brain priority is being played with in this theory. Brain receives all the signals whether pain causing or not. What TENS unit does is that it stimulates signals via non pain carrying nerves which are intercepted by Brain quicker as compared to pain signals. Hence the cascade of events that might have caused pain is forestalled. Simple and effective.

Types of Pulses

There are two types of electrical pulses at which the TENS unit work. Both function in different manner, being described as following:

  1. High pulse rate of 90-130 Hz activates the block the pain pathway. Pain signals are averted as a result of it. Actually it works upon Gate control theory of pain.
  2. When TENS unit generates low pulses of 2-5 Hz, it causes release of positive chemicals known as Endorphins. These chemicals are synthesized de novo. Although they do not mimic morphine but what they do is that they bind on to opiate receptors. This naturally leads to what we call a good feeling in our body. However, endorphin binding does not lead to addiction.

So these are two basic working mechanisms of Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation unit.

No rocket science is involved at all. TENS is indeed a revolution, soothing our agonizingly painful stresses!

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