A TENS unit is a device that sends electrical impulses into the body to block the nerves from sending pain signals. TENS units have long been used to help relieve back pain, but new research indicates they may also be effective in treating the pain from fibromyalgia. During a TENS treatment, electrodes are placed on the areas of pain using TENS unit pads. Once turned on, the unit will send electrical impulses through these electrodes and the patient will feel a slight tingling sensation. The treatment itself is not painful and can often significantly reduce the patient’s level of pain.
TENS treatment is considered a non-surgical method of helping to relieve pain from a variety of conditions. This treatment is often used to relieve the acute pain of labor, but is also extremely effective against pain from osteoarthritis, joint and muscle pain, and even the chronic pain associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Treating fibromyalgia pain is a fairly new use of TENS units and TENS unit pads, but medical providers are seeing some successes.
Fibromyalgia is a condition which causes widespread pain throughout the body. This is a chronic condition for which there is yet no cure. Patients suffering from fibromyalgia often have pain in their muscles, tendons, and ligaments and will feel extremely fatigued. Patients may also have multiple places on their body which are extremely tender to the touch; any pressure on these points may cause extreme pain.
Recent research indicates that TENS units, when used in conjunction with other treatments, may help reduce pain. The TENS unit pads are placed on the areas where the patient feels pain and the unit sends electrical impulses to the nerves to block the transmission of these pain signals to the brain.
Medical providers often prescribe medications that can help improve sleep and reduce pain. These medications, while effective, may result in dependence after long-term use. The drugs commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia pain include anti-seizure and antidepressant medications; mild pain relievers may also be prescribed.
The primary treatment for fibromyalgia is exercise, along with getting plenty of sleep, reducing stress, and eating healthy. A TENS unit is another treatment option and may be used in combination with any or all of these. The patient’s medical provider may also recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy to help the patient learn how to deal with their condition.
If a patient has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and conventional treatments for pain aren’t working, they should consult with their medical provider about starting treatment with a TENS unit and TENS unit pads. These units are inexpensive and are usually covered under medical insurance as long as they’re prescribed by a doctor. Discuss this option with your medical provider, along with the possibility of adjusting pain relief medications and other possible treatment options.
The TENS unit and TENS unit pads are considered a safe treatment for a variety of conditions and illnesses. Now, it may prove to be an effective pain relief treatment for those who suffer from fibromyalgia. Before beginning any new pain relief treatment, be sure to always talk with your medical provider.