A TENS unit is a device that stimulates nerves throughout the body by applying an electrical current through the skin. It can be used to reduce chronic pain, prevent headaches and migraines, and even alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Without getting into any unnecessary background on electrotherapy (such as a retelling of the way the ancient civilizations used electric fish or citing references to Volta and Galvani), it’s valuable to know how Tens Unit has been part of sport in the last few decades.
For many people, the solution is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). A treatment devised by doctors and scientists, TENS Unit not only treats pain but serves to relieve it as well. For many athletes, both amateur and professional, TENS is a breakthrough in modern medicine, giving them the ability to continue participating in the sports they love.
To give you a broader understanding of TENS Unit and its benefits, we have put together a few additional facts.
Electronic muscle stimulation can strategically target specific muscles for isolated strengthening. Careful placement of adhesive electrodes can determine not only which muscle or muscles are to be recruited, but also how well these muscles are recruited.
Muscle Re-Education and Atrophy Reduction
In cases where an injury has been incurred and an athlete must accelerate strengthening or off-set muscle atrophy, Tens Unit can play an important role.
The Tens unit can be used to work quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves when the athlete cannot properly walk or run for the initial stages of rehabilitation. For the athlete that sprains their ankle or knee in the latter stages of their training cycle, Tens machine can help to maintain muscle strength until you are ready to resume conventional training.
Through the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and similar methods of electrotherapy, athletes can benefit from an analgesic effect to manage pain and discomfort. TENS device selectively activates large diameter Type A nerve fibers without activating smaller diameter A and C (pain-related) nerve fibers or nerves that innervate muscle.
Circulation Enhancement and Massage
Use of low frequency electric currents have been used to induce a gentle pulsing of the muscle to physically increase circulation, thereby enhancing blood flow to the treatment area and remove waste products and fluid (venous and lymphatic systems). If you examine the treatment area, you would be able to see the muscle pulsing – unlike Tens Unit for muscle strengthening, where you would see the muscle hold a contraction for anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds. For athletes who cannot access regular massage, Tens Unit can be a useful means to achieve a flushing massage for specific areas of the body. It also can be very useful in cases where athletes have to travel regularly and are sitting for long periods of time in a car, on a bus or during a flight.