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This TENS is a (mild) shocker
TENS Pain Relief Unit
Member Name: Gary25
TENS Pain Relief Unit
Advantages: Drug free pain relief for a variety of ailments
Disadvantages: Might not work for all
This review is about a TENS pain relief Unit though not the model as pictured. When the Dooyou team provide the correct link, I'll have it transferred over. A photo of the unit covered here can be found at www.lloydspharmacy.co.uk
I'd always associated TENS with drug free pain relief in pregnancy and then I saw an advert on TV with Lloyds Pharmacy offering a TENS machine for £14.99.
I was surprised to discover that it purports to give temporary pain relief for a host of other ailments such as back pain, sciatica, sports and muscle related injuries. Having suffered with shoulder pain following a car accident a few years ago, I thought I'd give it a try.
Of course, it goes without saying that with any pain, I'd always advise someone to get their condition checked by their doctor first.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (got that off the box!!) and it relieves pain by interrupting pain signals being sent to the brain and by encouraging the body to produce endorphins, which, to the uninitiated are your body's own natural pain-killers.
The main unit is small and rectangular in shape, about 12cm by 5.5cm by 1.9cm, looking like a TV remote in character but with less buttons. There are in fact only three, an 'on', an 'off' and a 'mode stop' button. It also has a rectangular LCD display showing a countdown timer, intensity of the programme, and what mode has been selected.
The unit is very unobstrusive and fits snugly onto a plastic belt clip supplied. Its power is derived from 2 'AAA' batteries that disappointingly are NOT supplied with the unit. To assemble you plug the one end of the white output cable into the top, the other end branches out into two onto which you plug the two self adhesive gel pads that have a connector cable running from them. These pads are placed on your body, and the instruction manual gives clear advice on where the pads should be placed for each specific area you are looking to treat. After a time the pads do tend to lose their adhesive qualities but a replacement set can be purchased for around £4.99.
The length of treatment is 15 minutes and is counted down by the timer before automatically switching off. There are eight intensity settings, with one being the mildest and eight the strongest. If you are brave and head for the higher ones, you may feel a tingling sensation that some may find uncomfortable. Also be prepared to see your muscles pulsing in and out which has been a source of amusement for my colleagues, even though it was under my shirt.
The 'on' button, apart from switching it on, also is responsible for the intensity, and once the unit is on, every time you press it, the intensity level jumps by one as shown on the LCD display.
The 'off' button, apart from the obvious is also used to reduce the intensity by one level each time it is pressed.
The final button, the 'mode stop' allows you to select and change between eight programmes, some containing pain relief, others massage, or a combination of the two. The effects given are slow tapping, fast tapping, slow vibrating, fast vibrating, slow kneading and fast kneading. They are hard to describe but they do have their own unique sensation, some more pleasant than others.
The manual supplied covers the 'do's and don'ts' in depth along with comprehensive guidance on how to use it for best effect for the type of problem it is being used to treat. Pictures show where to place the pads for areas such as the upper and lower back, stiff shoulders and neck, joints and for massaging legs and feet. There is also a trouble shooting section that I've not needed to refer to.
My own experience was that some relief was being felt, but not for longer than an hour at most. It suggests that it should not be used more than twice a day. I suppose it depends on what the problem is as to whether it will be effective though it has been medically proven to give pain relief. There do not appear to be any side-effects which is a big plus point when comparing with medication.
There are certain groups who should not use this product, being
People with pacemakers or who have heart rhythm problems,
Children under 16,
Those with inflammation, acute diseases or infectious skin wounds.
It does not rule out diabetics or cancer patients, but suggests they check with the doctor or consultant beforehand.
A final warning is on the box, in bold print, advises that it is not for use during pregnancy or labour. I expect the reason being that pain could signify that there is problem and should be checked out professionally which makes a lot of sense.
If you are thinking about trying such a device, it may be worth checking with your local doctor, to see if they have any available on loan to see if you can get any relief before spending your money.
Summary: A health device to provide relief from pain
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