What Does a Tens Unit Do for Muscles?
Most athletes have suffered from some form of hamstring injury, whether it be a tear, a strain, or just some light soreness. This is usually attributed to over stretching the muscle under strenuous conditions, leading the muscle to pull and potentially tear some of the muscle fibers (which is what attributes to the pain.) Although hamstring injuries typically do heal on their own the pain can still seem unbearable, so here are some ways in which you can relieve the pain naturally with no medication.
- Ice/Heat Therapy
- Ice is a crucial first step to most muscle injuries as the cold therapy will aid in preventing swelling and inflammation. 15-20 is usually enough, but depending on the injury feel free to go longer.
- In the days following the injury when the muscle begins to tighten up again, it is beneficial to then integrate heat in the form of a heat pack or warm water. This will increase blood flow and when paired with light stretching, can rehabilitate muscle elasticity.
- A compression wrap is another way to reduce swelling, as well as compression shorts. The soft pressure keeps the muscles warm and prevents further injury by slightly limiting movement.
- Paired with elevating the injured leg, these steps help blood flow as well as provide pain relief.
3. TENS Unit Pad Placement:
- TENS Units can help with pain relief as well as injury healing and muscle rehabilitation. According to the US National Library of Medicine, application of TENS electrodes at sites of pain and/or soreness increases analgesia (the inability to feel pain.)
- Electrical stimulation can help improve how the muscle contracts, so you can heal and get your muscle back in the shape it was before the injury. Like the previous two steps, a TENS unit will also help reduce inflammation and promote circulation, both of which are highly important when recovering from a muscle injury.
- For muscle rehabilitation- pad placement recommendation is typically one pad above the larger muscle, and a second pad one-third along the length of the muscle you need to strengthen. Since this is a large and powerful muscle group, you will need a powerful TENS Unit to be able to feel it do it's job.
- If you're looking for a high-quality, high-strength TENS Unit to recover from you hamstring injury, I use the Massage Therapy Concepts VERVE Unit. It has 2 channels, 12 modes, 4 pads, and additional pads are available for purchase.
Lastly, make sure to get enough rest and stay off of the injured muscle until the fibers have come back together healthily.