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TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a pain control treatment. A TENS unit is a portable, pocket-sized, battery-powered device. The TENS unit uses mild, safe electrical signals to help control chronic pain, and will not interfere with immune function.

TENS is fully compatible with the Marshall ProtocolA curative medical treatment for chronic inflammatory disease. Based on the Marshall Pathogenesis., and will not interfere with the rate of healing.

Some states in the U.S. require a doctor's prescription to buy TENS. In any case, patients should always ask their physician for clearance before using the device. Electrical stimulation devices are contraindicated in persons using a cardiac pacemaker, in pregnancy, and in various other conditions.

How TENS works

TENS lessens pain by sending painless electrical impulses through electrodes (sticky patches) placed on the skin. The electrical signals travel from the TENS unit through wires to the electrodes.

The signal then passes to the nerves under the skin. These nerves take messages to the brain about what they feel, such as touch, warmth, pressure, and pain. TENS signals can replace the message of pain on these nerves with a tingling sensation. This changes your impression of the pain.

Be very careful to only use the minimum necessary amount of energy, and you might find that two electrodes on the back of the neck, straddling the spine and about 1 inch apart horizontally, about half way vertically between the shoulder blade and the base of the skull might work well for migraine. If you are in Japan, electrode sets which fasten firmly around the neck are sold in Department stores. Maybe 5-15 minutes should be all that is needed to knock down a migraine (before it really starts).

Try it out on body muscles first, so that you get the hang of the unit's controls. Don't use it yourself if you are too ill to control it carefully. Make sure somebody else is present to give you assistance in case you have problems.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

Is TENS effective?

Trials measuring the efficacy of TENS is incomplete. One systematic review looking at TENS for knee osteoarthritis concluded:

TENS and AL-TENS [acupuncture-like TENS] are shown to be effective in pain control over placebo in this review. Heterogeneity of the included studies was observed, which might be due to the different study designs and outcomes used. More well designed studies with a standardized protocol and adequate number of participants are needed to conclude the effectiveness of TENS in the treatment of OA of the knee.

Manathip Osiri et al.1)

Patients experiences

I too have the arm/rotator cuff problem and have found the TENS unit very helpful for the pain. If you have insurance coverage, you should give it a try. My provider paid to rent one per month to see if it helps. I use an Epix XL, my husband just got an Epix VT for his back.

My husband's physical therapist recommended this one to purchase saying it was as good as the more expensive one that the insurance company paid for: BioStim, Alimed. You need a doctor's prescription which I'm sure wouldn't be hard to get. The physical therapist thought it was around $140 but at this website it says $299. I don't know if you can shop for price somewhere else. But I use mine a lot and it would be worth the price. It's drug free pain relief.

MrsKeeper, MarshallProtocol.com

TENS units used to work wonders with my migraines. I purchased much cheaper units in Korea and Japan, however, where they sell them amongst the washing machines, and just about everybody uses them for pain control. … There is no real difference between excitation waveforms, etc., all the units seemed to work pretty well.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

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Notes and comments

References

1)
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for knee osteoarthritis.
Osiri M, Welch V, Brosseau L, Shea B, McGowan J, Tugwell P, Wells G
Cochrane Database Syst RevpCD002823(2000)
home/othertreatments/tens.txt · Last modified: 08.25.2017 by sallieq
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