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TENS, also known as transcutaneous electrical neurostimulation, is a physical therapy method that can be performed in the treatment of chronic and acute pain, such as low back pain, sciatica or tendonitis, for example.
This type of treatment should be performed by a specialized physical therapist and consists of the application of electrical impulses at the site to be treated with the aim of activating the nervous system to exert an analgesic action, helping to combat pain without the need for it. of treatment.
What is it for
The TENS technique serves mainly to relieve acute and chronic pain, being mainly indicated in the physical therapy treatment of:
- Pain in the lumbar and/or cervical region;
- Sciatic pain;
- Neck pain;
- Sprains and strains;
- Pain after surgeries.
Thus, when performing TENS for these situations, it is possible to promote muscle stimulation and vasodilation, which favors the reduction of pain, swelling and the healing of soft tissue injuries.
How it's made
TENS is a technique in which electrical impulses are applied to the skin through specific devices, which activate internal control mechanisms of the nervous system, exerting an analgesic action. This is a non-invasive, non-addictive method with no he alth risks and in most cases does not cause side effects.
Its physiological mechanism of analgesia depends on the modulation of the current applied to the affected region, that is, if low-frequency and high-intensity electrical impulses are applied, endorphins are released by the brain or spinal cord, which are substances with similar effects to morphine, thus leading to pain relief.If electrical impulses with high frequency and low intensity are applied, analgesia occurs due to a blockage of nerve pain signals that are not sent to the brain.
The application of TENS lasts from about 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the intensity of the stimulus and can be done in an office by a physical therapist or at home.
When not indicated
As it is a treatment method that involves the application of electric current, performing TENS is not indicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women, nor for people who have a pacemaker, cardiac arrhythmia or epileptic disorders.
Furthermore, the application should not be made along the carotid artery path or in areas of the skin that have alterations due to disease or sensitivity alteration.