TENS & EMS INFORMATION
TENS Therapy e-booklet will sent free with every tens machine purchased from us. This e-booklet contains all you need to know about TENS therapy and will show you pad positions in relation to a number of conditions.
What is TENS?
TENS is a safe, easy to use and drug free method of pain relief used by hospital pain clinics and in physiotherapy since the 1960's. TENS is an
abbreviation of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. The TENS Device is a small battery operated box which produces
pain relieving electrical pulses.
Either 2 or 4 self adhesive electrodes are applied to the skin and attached to the TENS unit with lead wires.
The tiny pulses are then passed from the TENS unit, via the lead wires and electrodes, so that they are applied to the nerves
which lie underneath the skin surface. The electrodes are normally positioned over, or around, the area of pain but other more
advanced applications may often prove better.
How does TENS work?
TENS works through 3 different mechanisms.
First, electrical stimulation of the nerves can block a pain signal as they travel from the site of injury to the spine and
upwards to the brain. If these signals arrive at the brain we perceive pain - if they are blocked en-route to the brain we do not perceive pain -
this is known as 'closing the pain gate'. When using TENS to 'close the gate' we use Conventional Tens Mode. Conventional (or Continuous)
TENS mode produces a gentle and pleasant 'tingling' under and between the two electrodes. The 'tingle' sensation helps to block the pain
by closing the 'pain gate' and slowing down the painful nerve signals - this produces analgesia (numbness) in the painful area.
Secondly, the body has its own built in mechanism for suppressing pain. It does this by releasing natural chemicals called endorphins in the brain and spinal cord and these chemicals act as very powerful analgesics. When using TENS to help activate endorphins we use Burst Tens Mode. Burst mode produces a rhythmic pulse which should be strong enough to produce a 'twitch' in the muscles underneath the electrodes. This muscle 'twitch' helps to release the endorphins and enkephalins and also helps the pain 'switches' in the brain to be activated through muscular and reflex activity.
Finally, muscles which are in spasm, or have become short and hard as a result of long term hypertension, can produce much of the
pain associated with back related problems and arthritis. We can help these muscles to relax and soften by using the gentle massage effect of
Modulated TENS Mode. Modulation (massage) mode produces a gentle and comforting massage effect which exercises problematic muscles
and helps to reduce musculoskeletal pain.
What is EMS?
E.M.S. stands for Electrical Muscle Stimulation. EMS is predominately used by doctors and physical therapists to prevent, or reduce,
muscle atrophy. Atrophy is the weakening and loss of muscle tone, which is usually experienced after surgeries or injuries.
EMS has proven to be an effective means of preventing muscle atrophy. Doctors also see EMS as a means of increasing
blood flow to muscles, increasing range of motion, increasing muscle strength, as well as enhancing muscle endurance. EMS will have pain
management attributes in regards to muscle related pain, such as a spastic muscle, sore muscles, or tight muscles.
A TENS device is more suited for nerve related pain conditions (acute and chronic conditions).
While using the EMS, the brain sends a nerve impulse to the "motor point" of your muscle. This signal is a message
to the muscles to expand and contract. Electrodes are placed over the motor points of the muscle group to be exercised.
When the stimulation is applied through the pads, the signal finds its way to these motor points and causes the muscle to expand
and contract. This makes it possible to duplicate a conventional exercise, similar to an isometric exercise.
During an exercise, your brain sends a message down the spinal cord through the nerves with all the muscles you're
using that causes them to relax and contract. This is called voluntary muscle action. Your brain is controlling the muscle.Electrical muscle
stimulation uses an outside electrical source that stimulates the nerves to send signals to your muscle to expand and contract. This is
done by sending electrical current through self adhesive electrodes placed over the muscle. The current passes
through your skin to the nerves in that area, causing the muscle to expand and contract.
Studies have shown that EMS stimulates large nerve axons (long outgrowths of a nerve cell body), some of which you
cannot stimulate voluntarily. It is possible that EMS might allow for additional muscle hypertrophy (increased development
of tissue by enlargement, without multiplication of cells).
EMS can increase muscle hypertrophy (growth), endurance and strength. EMS may be used only for this or with
regular weight training by aiding recovery and helping muscles grow and get stronger. EMS can increase body temperature,
heart rate and metabolism (promoting energy and fat absorption from the body). This type of stimulation is characterized by a
low volt stimulation targeted to stimulate motor nerves to cause a muscle contraction. EMS differs from TENS in that
it is designed to stimulate muscle motor nerves, while TENS is designed to stimulate sensory nerve endings to help decrease pain.
How does EMS work?
Normally when you perform an exercise, your brain sends a message through your spinal cord to nerves indicating
muscles to contract. EMS uses electrical impulses to stimulate the nerve axons. These impulses reach the nerve axons, signaling the
muscles to contract and relax rhythmically as instructed by the EMS unit. EMS actually stimulates muscles that you can not normally
exercise voluntarily. This allows you to train muscles that may normally have little activity.
General Operating Instructions
1. Clean the skin surface of the body area to be treated. This will improve stickiness of pads and improve life time
of the pads.
2. Inspect the electrode cords and electrode pads for wear. If they are not in good condition, they should be replaced. If they are acceptable,
then insert the cord pins into each electrode pad.
3. Peel away the paper backing of the electrode and place it on the body. Please note: you cannot use 1 or 3 pads, only 2 or 4.
4. Turn each Intensity Control clockwise and SLOWLY increase the intensity level to that recommended by your clinician. Usually, that will mean
increasing intensity until you can feel the `tingling' sensation of the stimulation. If any muscles begin
to contract, turn down the intensity slightly. Note: Some forms of treatment may use a slight muscle contraction.
Your prescribing clinician will tell you how far they wish you to turn up the intensity.
5. If at any time the electrical stimulation begins to feel uncomfortable, use the Intensity Controls to turn down the intensity or turn the instrument off.
6. After a few minutes, it may seem that the sensation of the stimulation is diminishing. This is entirely normal as your body adapts to
the electrical current. Simply increase the Intensity controls slightly until the stimulation is once again at the proper intensity.
7. If desired, the unit may be attached to your belt or simply hung from your body using a cloth strap. This is a convenient
way of continuing treatment while performing your everyday activities.
8. When you are finished using the unit, turn down each Intensity Control until an audible click is heard and the pointer is on the word "OFF". This will
conserve battery life.
9. Following treatment session and the machine is off, remove pads slowly from the skin, disconnect wires and replace the
pads on the provided sheet quickly. Place in a sealed plastic bag. Never leave the gel exposed to air to prevent drying out. If you live in a hot and humid area, placing the pads in a plastic bag in the fridge will also prolong the life of your pads. If pads treated this way, our pads can last up to 3 months of regular use. So, dust, oils, creams and drying out are the main things that will destroy your pads quickly!
Care must be taken during long treatment periods to avoid the incidence of irritation under the pad site. While such irritation
is rare (approximately 1.6%), it can occur with sensitive patients or improper use of the electrodes. The incidence of skin irritation under the electrodes
can be reduced by washing and drying the electrode site before treatment. Firm electrode contact with the skin over the entire electrode surface
is very important. If the electrode is not secure, intermittent stimulation may occur, which might be uncomfortable to the patient and could result
in irritation. Trim any excess body hair which could interfere with smooth electrode contact with the skin.
Do Not place electrodes on cut, broken or irritated skin.
Consult with your professional about using alternate electrode pad positions on your body, so that one particular area of skin does not get constant use.
Sometimes changing electrode styles may also help. Different electrode manufacturers use different adhesives. Despite the fact that
TENS electrodes use hypo-allergenic materials, a patient may still have difficulty with a certain brand of electrode.
Moisturizing skin cream, applied after treatment, has been found to be helpful for many patients. If skin irritation still occurs, despite the
above recommendations, discontinue use.
Electrodes for your instrument are available from our online store or from our E-bay store.
The correct electrodes must be purchased to avoid complications.We have a large selection of pads to suit all conditions.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Check with your doctor before using ANY TENS MACHINE or EMS MACHINE
DO NOT USE if you have one or more of the following:
- Receiving medical treatment.
- Have heart disease or condition.
- Implanted medical metal devices, such as pacemakers.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
- Skin Conditions such as irritation, allergy or sensitive skin.
- Under the age of 18.
- Have an undiagnosed condition and the cause of pain is unknown.
2. Do not apply the device over the head or the heart.
3. Do not apply pads on top of damaged skin.
4. Check with your doctor first if you want to use tens during pregnancy.
The effect on the foetus has not been studied in details and therefore
we do not recommend its use during pregnancy. Just for use during
delivery or labour.
5. Keep away from children at all times and do not touch pads on the
conductive surface when the pads are connected to the machine.
Suggested Parameters for Various Locations
FREE COLOUR CHARTS WITH EVERY PURCHASE