TENS machines have been used since the early seventies to help mothers in labor help control and soothe pain during delivery. It’s not surprising that many expectant mothers or anyone suffering from other forms of pain or inflammation might be asking the question, does a TENS unit promote healing?
In our helpful article, we will give you the definitive answer.
To start with, we will look at an initial takeaway answer before heading into detail.
TENS machines may support healing in other ways than just pain relief. As it alters skin temperature and increases blood flow which reduces inflammation, repairs tissue, nerve, and tendon damage. It has a positive effect on mood and helps with emotional support during pregnancy, labor, and beyond.
Ok so with the brief answer in mind, so you can understand a little more easily whether a TENS unit promotes healing, let’s find out exactly what a TENS unit is.
What is a TENS machine?
In simple terms, A TENS machine is a small, portable, and battery-operated device.
TENS machines are small and lightweight, so you can use them while working or on the move. You can put it in your pocket, clip it to your belt or hold it in your hand.
The box is attached by wires to sticky pads that are attached via sticky pads to the skin. Small low voltage electrical pulses are transmitted to the body, like tiny electric shocks.
They are more commonly known for, and generally used to help with labor and delivery, but can also be used to stimulate acupuncture points and other parts of the body.
A TENS machine as a therapeutic method is:
- Easy to use
- Widely applied in clinical practice.
So how, if at all, can a TENS machine help with healing? Let’s provide a little more about the types of healing so we can convey the benefits better.
“TENS machines are small and lightweight, so you
can use them while working or on the move”
What is healing?
One of the most amazing aspects of the human body is its ability to heal itself.
Unbelievably, it is estimated there are 30-40 trillion cells in the human body. These hard-working cells work around the clock to keep our bodies healthy, balanced, and healed.
However, sometimes our bodies need a little extra help!
Clearly, healing can also relate to a myriad of other ways …and setting things right in your body and also your mind. Whether that means physically or emotionally.
The TENS machine has been studied not only for its pain relief qualities – but also for the fact that it can support inflammation and physical wound healing.
Why does a tens machine promote healing?
Since 1965, TENS has become known worldwide and is also considered to be one of the most common therapeutic resources used in clinical practice for the relief of chronic and acute pain.
But a little less known is how TENS machines can help with inflammation, wound, tissue, and tendon repair.
TENS machines increase blood flow
However, in recent times those who’ve studied TENS machines say that in addition to its pain relief effects, as it alters skin temperature, it increases blood flow.
This scientific research paved the way for many more studies focusing on the effect of TENS on the peripheral vascular system.
These increases in blood flow could also help to repair tissue and support healing.
In some more recent Clinical trials of TENS machines, the wound healing process has discovered that TENS stimulates skin wound healing and tendon repair, as well as the viability of random skin flaps.
The reason for this healing support could be because of the release of substance P ( neurotransmitter and a modulator of pain perception) and calcitonin gene-related peptide ( which helps to modulate the nervous system).
In this study, it was found that releases of these healing substances may increase the speed at which tissue repair takes place.
“In addition to its pain relief effects, as it alters skin
temperature, it increases blood flow.”
Although it may seem like a stretch of the imagination to suggest that a TENS machine can also help with emotional healing, this may actually be true!
During the latter stages of pregnancy and during Labour the body is placed under a fair amount of stress both physically and emotionally. This is certainly the case during labor itself.
The use of a TENS machine puts moms in control of their pain relief. This control of pain goes a long way in helping to support moms to heal emotionally as well as physically.
This control at such a physically and emotionally draining time can help to lift moods and give a sense of personal management which helps to overcome physical pain and also support healing following delivery.
“This control of pain goes a long way in helping to support
moms to heal emotionally as well as physically.”
How does a tens machine promote healing?
When the nerve signals traveling from the brain to other parts of your body are interrupted, it has a major impact on your physiology.
A TENS machine could be the best way to reduce pain, nerve damage, and inflammation …Studies have also shown that using a TENS machine regularly decreases inflammation.
Using a TENS machine also naturally enhances the flow of endorphins to the brain.
Alongside the period during pregnancy, TENS unit therapy has been found to be useful with patients who have conditions such as:
- Chronic back, neck, or shoulder pain;
- Nagging injuries
- Pinched nerves
- Vertebral disc degeneration
- Period pain
- Pelvic pain caused by endometriosis
- Knee pain
- Neck pain
- Sports injuries
A simple way to describe how a TENs machine supports healing is that it effectively ‘closes the gates’ between the spinal cord and pain centers located in the brain. Less pain supports and promotes healing.
So if you’re an expectant mother …or anyone else suffering from pain, you might be wondering if a TENS machine is safe? Read on to find out!
Are TENS machines Safe?
As with many other kinds of medical drugs or other types of intervention, the TENS machine has very few side effects. It’s worth noting that there aren’t any serious side effects at all!
The most common side effect with electrotherapy is skin irritation or rash, caused by the adhesives in the electrodes or the tape holding the electrodes in place.
Sometimes if you use your machine too frequently you may feel a little skin burn.
Following the directions thoroughly will make sure you will feel all the benefits without a burning feeling.
So now you’ve seen the benefits of TENS machines and how they can help promote healing, you might be wondering where you can get one?
Where can I get a TENS machine to support healing?
Here at HelptoMoms we pride ourselves on providing non-invasive and non-addictive solutions for pregnancy and surgery rehabilitation. All you need to do is fill out a simple intake form.
Our Pregnancy Kit includes many beneficial types of equipment to help you relax during the pregnancy period, including a TENS machine unit to support you during pregnancy and labor.
We also include a standard Back Brace to help alleviate lower back pain as you grow during each trimester and also a compression device to help pump blood circulation in the leg and ankle area to prevent swelling.
Find out more about how we can support you to have a safer and more comfortable pregnancy by checking out our helpful videos.