TENS units are gaining in popularity everyday and people are realizing the effectiveness of them to treat aches and pains. I could have easily of written 100 reasons why you should use a TENS unit for back pain but decided to narrow it down to the 7 most important.
I’m a huge proponent of finding ways to treat pain without resorting to traditional pain meds and TENS units have helped me tremendous in that aspect. I have said often that you are the gatekeeper of your health and taking control and being informed is always the first step.
1. Medication free method of pain management
With opiod epidemic being front and center and the misuse of prescribed medication increasing it is more important then ever to find non-medication forms of treating aches and pain.
TENS units offer the potential to reduce and alleviate pain. They are non-habit forming and can be used everyday ,multiple times per day with no side effects.
2. They are affordable
The best part about TENS units are how cheap and easy they are to purchase online. Check out Amazon and search for TENS units and you can get a well-equipped device for under $40.
3. No Doctor prescription needed
TENS units can be purchased online with no note from a doctor required. You are responsible for your own health and it is up to you to take a proactive approach. Doctor’s are no longer the sole gatekeeper to your health. There is so much information on TENS units that they can be reliably be used to help you live a better life.
4. TENS units have shown to work
TENS units are safe and FDA approved and in reviewing some of the research on TENS therapy it concludes that it can help with pain relief.
A review by the Cochrane Collaboration looked at TENS therapy for acute pain. It included 19 studies and concluded that there is “tentative evidence” that it can reduce pain intensity compared to a placebo (usually a TENS device delivering little or no current)
Another study reviewed data for Medicare patients with chronic low back pain and discovered that the patients that used a TENS unit needed less pain-related hospital stays or doctors’ visits than those who did not use a TENS devices.
5. They are portable and can be worn while working
This is the best part of having a TENS unit. If you sit in an office all day, drive for a living being able to wear your TENS unit is a huge bonus. For instance if you have a herniated disc you could easily put the electrode pads under your clothes.
In this picture the TENS pads are placed on both sides of the spinal cord. As a reminder never place TENS electrode pads directly on the spinal cord.
The electrode pads are thin and will not protrude from your clothes. No one will notice and you can enjoy pain relief throughout your working day.
6. Easy to use
No need to feel intimated by a TENS unit. These devices are beginner friendly and easy to use right out of the box. To learn more how to set up a TENS unit click here.
It is a simple as connecting the electrode wires to the device then connect the pads to the electrode wires. When using the TENS unit there is a bit of adjusting the intensity level to your desired comfort level. Everyone has different sensitivity levels to TENS therapy so start of on the lowest setting and work up from there.
7. My comprehensive TENS placement guide
This is the most important reason. Having a TENS unit is great but knowing where to correctly and safely place the TENS electrode pads can be the difference between pain relief and a TENS unit sitting in a junk drawer collecting dust.
As you can see in the picture you want to place the electrode pads on both sides of your spinal cord on your lower back (do not place directly on spinal cord). Basically you want to surround the pain area with the pads.
Want to know where else a TENS unit can be placed? Check out my TENS placement guide for how to use one for-
Rotator Cuff Pain
Restless Leg Syndrome
Ulnar Nerve Pain
Why should you trust me?
I have extensively used TENS units for neck, shoulder, back and knee issues and became familiar with TENS therapy through countless visits to my chiropractor and physical therapist’s office.
I have spent many hours researching and reading how TENS therapy can alleviate pain and consider myself knowledgeable in the use of TENS units and have used them regularly to help manage pain over the years. Many of my recommendations are from firsthand experience/use and hopefully my information can be a benefit to you.
I urge you to take a look at TENS therapy as it may be an option to helping reduce and control your pain. They are safe to use and an entry level TENS device will run you less than $30. A very small price to pay to see if a TENS unit can be your answer. Please feel free to comment and what you think about TENS units and if they have helped you,
Thank you for reading,