Nerves can be seen as the wiring system of the body, carrying messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Damage to a nerve can occur as a result of many kinds of injuries and ailments. The most common of these injuries being spinal injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, or any kind or rough fall/injury that often occurs in sports.
How can a TENS Unit help?
In simpler terms, a TENS (short for transcutaneous nerve stimulation) Unit can be used for a very wide array of injuries or chronic disabilities. It is viewed as a more holistic approach to pain relief as it is a non-invasive and drug free solution.
The reason nerve stimulation is so important is because muscles contract when the nerves that control them are activated by electrical impulses sent from the brain. This is especially relevant for those that suffer from frequent numbing due to nerve damage. The brain loses some if not all control after any damage to these nerves (such as a spinal cord injury) since they are already difficult to activate.
A TENS Unit can be extremely helpful in aiding this kind of nerve re-firing that is necessary in the attempts to repair nerve damage. This is especially important as time goes on, since longer amounts of time without muscle contraction could worsen atrophy/breakdown and other complications.
In this recent study conducted by Plos One Journal, scientists tested the sciatic nerve on rats specifically and concluded that "electrical stimulation of injured sciatic nerve can enhance nerve regeneration and hasten functional recovery."
In addition, this Science Daily article breaks down and demonstrates that electrical nerve stimulation (through an e-stim or TENS Unit) can reverse spinal cord injury nerve damage in patients, going as far as to say that it should be introduced into every physical therapy session.
What TENS Unit should I buy?
When looking for a TENS Unit, there are a couple things you should be on the lookout for. Multiple channels and intensity settings for each individual's needs are some must-haves when looking to buy an electrical stimulation unit. We recommend the Verve TENS/EMS Unit by Massage Therapy Concepts. It is a very powerful machine with 12 programs and 20 different intensity settings and a built in timer, so your recovery session is entirely customizable to you. The Verve can be purchased through the link above or visit massagetherapyconcepts.com to see all of their other recovery products.