Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a commonly used non-pharmacologic and non-invasive treatment of Pain, involving the use of a mild electrical current with a frequency less than 10Hz to 150 Hz that reduces the pain felt from some conditions. They can be purchased online or from some Pharmacies for around £20-30
A TENS machine is a small, battery-operated device that has leads connected to sticky pads called electrodes. These electrodes are attached directly to your skin and the tens machine works when switched on sends small electrical pulses to the nerves, spinal cord and brain which can relieve pain. The pain relief occurs from modulating the amount of pain signals the injured area sends to the brain and by activating the release of endorphins and other pain relief substances. The patient feels a small tingling sensation which should not be painful and most machines have different settings to allow you to choose one that suits you.
A TENS machine is not a cure for pain, and may only offer short term pain relief but a TENS machine is designed to treat many different kinds of pain ranging in short-term to long-term chronic ailments. Along with other Physiotherapy treatments, it can be an important part of your recovery as breaking the pain cycle can allow stimulation of the healing process
IMPORTANT: Although this device can be prescribed to many different people for many different reasons, it is not suitable for everyone. It’s important to read fully the instructions provided with the machine before use
Ultrasound treatments have been used by physiotherapists since the 1940s using thermal and non-thermal effects. They have a mechanical effect on the tissues which can aid the healing process of soft tissue injuries. The settings allow your Physiotherapist to send the ultrasound waves to a specific depth and area size and the dose is altered accordingly to stage of healing ie acute or subacute phase
Your Physiotherapist will use ultrasound alongside other physiotherapy techniques to encourage tissue repair and regeneration.
Micro current therapy has an emerging body of evidence begind it to suport its role in tissue healing. Similar to a TESN machine it is attached via small sticky electrodes, but if differs in the type of electrical stimulation it provides. It is a low level elctrical excitation of the tissues, encouraging a faster pacer of tissue healing, particulalry in patient who have 'lower battery power' where healing is taking longer. Some elite sports clubs are using this in their first aid and injury management programmes and are seeing good effects in speed of return to sport. It is particularly helpful in long standing tendon trouble such as achilles tendonitis and tennis elbow, where together with a multi-modal Physiotherapy approach, the effects are impressive. Discuss with your Physiotherapist whether this is a treatment option for you.
IMPORTANT: Please advise our physios if you believe that you could be pregnant and there are some other health problems where ultrasound would not be used so it is important to update your Physiotherapist fully on your medical conditions