The full form of the ‘tens’ unit is the ‘transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation’ unit, which is very much helpful to relieve sciatica pain. Actually, the use of tens units is globally accepted because of its effectiveness in treating sciatica pain and such related issues.
So there is no scope to be skeptical about does tens work for sciatica or not. In this article, we would like to discuss how tens units work for sciatica and how to use it in the best way to get relief of sciatica pain quickly and permanently.
Does tens work for sciatica?
We have already mentioned that tens unit wonderfully works for sciatica. Now we would shed some light on how you can get the most benefits from a tens unit and what type of sciatica pain you can get relief from. Before knowing these, we should also know what is sciatica and how it causes pain to our body. The fact is if we understand how sciatica pain is developed and how it gets treated, we will understand how does tens work for sciatica.
Basically, sciatica is a chronic disorder that is caused by the compressed or aggravated nerve fibers or the irritation of the sciatic nerve. So when your sciatic nerve gets any irritation or inflammation, you can treat it using a tens unit. This is because the tens unit prevents the irritation and makes things become as it is. Below is the process of how does tens unit work for sciatica:
Tens unit produces small and continuous pulses of electricity
Actually, sciatica gets treated well by the performance of small and continuous pulses of electricity that you get from the small electrodes placed on your skin. These pulses then travel through your skin and sciatic nerve, and finally, you get relieved from the sciatic pain gradually.
The response of the body to the electric pulses
When the tens unit starts sending the small and continuous electric pulses, the body first responds to these pulses by producing and releasing endorphins in the bloodstream of the body. The endorphins are recognized as the natural painkiller of the body. It wonderfully works on the targeted area and takes away the pain.
Performance of electric pulses on the sciatic nerve
After producing endorphins by the body, the electric pulses interfere with the sciatica nerve and its endings and branches. This means the pulses block the pain signals and redirect it in such a way that you don’t feel the sciatica pain. Thus, you get reduced symptoms of sciatica pain, and ultimately, you fully get rid of the pain.
How To Use A Tens Unit For Sciatica?
There is no doubt that a tens unit can offer you sciatica pain relief. Now the question is how you should use the tens unit to get rid of the pain quickly and effectively. Many think that the level of pain relief largely depends on the technique of how you use the tens unit. So it’s quite important to know the perfect procedure of using a tens unit. Below are some of the effective techniques of how to use a tens unit for sciatica:
- Firstly, you have to attach the electrodes to the machine.
- Secondly, you need to attach the machine to the skin of your legs or lower back.
- Thirdly, you have to adjust the tens unit and move it till you feel comfortable from the pain.
- Fourthly, you should try this few times until you come up with the perfect level of tens unit duration, frequency, and power of the electrical current.
Perfect place to position the tens pad
The perfect place to position your tens pad is on your lower back area that is near the place of your back pain. After placing your tens pad on your pain area, you should adjust the frequency of your electric pulses based on your necessity. Then you can move the pads around the targeted area to achieve the best results of getting pain relief.
How To Choose A Tens Unit Machine For Sciatica?
Usually, the tens units come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, features, and prices. So you have to focus on some important features and specifications to choose the best one for you. In this part, we are going to mention some of the important considerations which are always crucial to keep in mind before choosing one. So let’s have a look at the essential considerations of a tens unit below:
Different types of tens units come with different types of modes. The best one for you would be the one that has a variety of modes to set the tens unit. If your tens unit has more modes, you can set any of it to achieve the best result.
The perfect one is the one that contains a different power level from lower to intense. You only need to adjust your level of tolerance and comfort and enjoy the power of the tens unit. So you should opt for the one that comes with multiple power levels.
Number of Electronic Pads
It’s always better to choose the one that has more electrode pads so that you can cover more areas of your body. If your unit has more electrode pads, you can also use it on your multiple pain areas. So you should try to get the one that comes with multiple electronic pads.
Ease of Use
The ease of use of a tens unit is really very crucial because if you don’t get the benefits of easy use of the tens unit, you cannot get rid of the pain easily. So before choosing a tens unit, you should make sure that it has a user-friendly interface and comfortable buttons that you can easily and clearly read with the help of the labels.
The battery life of a tens unit plays a vital role in the performance of the unit. So you should choose the one that has a lithium battery and provides more battery life. Thus, you will get extra benefits from using a tens unit.
You will actually get a lot of tens units in the market with a variety of prices. If you can be a little bit tricky before choosing a tens unit, you will be able to choose a perfect one with a comparatively lower price. The simple trick, in this case, is that you have to know exactly what you require. Then you have to match your needs with a tens unit and avoid other extra features to ensure the perfect tens unit at a lower price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a tens unit good for sciatica pain?
If you look for the quick answer to this question, we would say that the tens unit is obviously good for sciatica pain. The tens unit is one of the best painkiller alternatives that help you reduce your sciatica pain.
How long is it safe to use a TENS unit?
Professionals usually recommend that it’s better for you to continue your therapy session by a tens unit around 30 minutes at a single time. But there is no real risk or danger of increasing or decreasing the session. You can also make it 20 minutes or more than 30 minutes.
Can you overuse a TENS unit?
It isn’t a good idea to overuse a tens unit. If you overuse it anyway, it may cause you some problems such as soreness in the treated area or muscle twitch that causes unpleasant sensations. So to avoid these types of issues, you should not exceed the use limit.
The effectiveness of a tens unit largely depends on the perfect selection of your tens unit. If you become able to choose the best one, you will not have any doubt whether does tens work for sciatica or not. So if you can make sure that your tens unit matches with most of the features we have mentioned, you will see how effectively your tens unit works for sciatica.