The COVID-19 pandemic has been the most widespread and devastating hit that the world has seen in a while. In all the chaos, everyone has been searching for ways to prevent catching the disease or at least reduce symptoms and shorten the length of the virus. Amidst all these new studies, it's easy to lose track of what has been actually scientifically proven, so when I found that there had been articles on the potential of electrical stimulation for the management of COVID, I decided to look further into the science.
Immunity & COVID-19
While there is no cure for the coronavirus quite yet, there have been studies that demonstrate how improving your immunity can reduce the risk of contracting COVID. In this study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, scientists looked into the effects of electrical stimulation (through the form of a TENS Unit) on immunity and respiratory function. What they found was that there are 3 main ways in which electrical stimulation could help prevent someone from contracting COVID.
The use of a TENS Unit along the spinal chord showed to improve breathing since the spine plays a large role in controlling the respiratory system. Since the diaphragm can affected through electrical stimulation in the spine, they discovered that this method aided recovery in those with coughing or breathing problems as it improved circulation. It works by contracting the muscles responsible for flushing out any toxins through the breath, causing the patient to cough and/or recover at a quicker rate than without the TENS Unit.
Immune System Improvements
In this same study, they found that the membranes of several different viruses actually were susceptible to being broken down by electrical charges. When they tested this theory with HIV-1, the results showed that while electrical stimulation doesn't completely break down the virus, it significantly reduced it's strength. Since the coronavirus is more easily spread when the immune system is affected by another viral infection, electrical stimulation can help prevent the spread by aiding the break down of milder infections.
The traditional use of a TENS Unit is for non-invasive and drug-free pain relief. COVID-19 patients have reported chest pain as a main symptom, and with the correct electrode pad placement, could greatly benefit from the natural pain relief provided by electrical stimulation.
Are you looking for a TENS Unit of your own? We highly recommend the Verve TENS/EMS Unit by Massage Therapy Concepts due to the many control factors it allows. It has 2 channels and includes 4 electrode pads so each session is completely customizable.