Some doctors may recommend their use in alleviating certain muscle, joint and nerve conditions associated with things like surgery and sports injuries or in instances where patients are unable to take painkillers for health reasons. However, TENS units do not appear to be suitable for pregnant women as well as epileptics and people with pacemakers and, on the whole, should not be used to treat abdominal, chest or head pains.
Currently the UK National Health Service only recommends the use of TENS machines for the treatment of symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis, whilst in the US, the FDA has approved over 100 different makes of TENS units that can be purchased for home-use from websites such as: www.tensproducts.com/ and www.tensunits.com . A list of popular products available in the UK can be found at: www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/1203/products
Because of the possible risks and side effects, including surface burns from too-high settings or incorrectly placed electrodes, it is probably wise to seek professional advice before deciding to purchase one. It is always wise to read the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany any TENS machine to ensure safe and effective use.
When in doubt, check with a healthcare practitioner to make sure you are safe to use this type of therapy. Many pharmacists and doctors will also offer tips on proper techniques and tell you which areas to avoid.
To find out more, you can visit: www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/1203 Another good source of information is: www.webmd.boots.com/pain-management/guide/electrothermal-the