How many of us have seen people suffering from knee pain before and after replacement surgery? It is no secret that knee replacement surgeries are agonizing and people are inquisitive to find remedies for it. The Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation unit also known as the TENS unit can be the best available therapy for such surgical pains. Read on to know more about the amazing impact of TENS unit for knee replacement pain.
The general working of TENS unit would involve small electrodes connected to your skin near the replaced knee. This is used to drive small electric pulses through your skin to the nerves where the surgery is done. These pulses can be of different modalities such as tingling, buzzing or mild throbs. It is advised to keep changing the modality since your nerves can get accustomed to one method, and the overall effect of the treatment may decrease significantly. The timer can be set to a suitable time, usually 30 minutes. The unit will turn off automatically after this time to ensure safety.
As these pulses are driven through the nerves, a ‘gate close’ phenomenon is said to occur. The theory is that, pain signals have to pass through a gate to reach the brain for decoding. Only after this, one can realise pain. The pain signals usually pass through this gate hassle free since they are the only ones passing through the gate. Higher the pain signals, more is the pain. The TENS unit uses the electric current to generate mild signals that overload the gate. This will make the gate close, and the pain signals are blocked from reaching the brain. So, one does not feel any discomfort.
There is another technique that the TENS unit incorporates to reduce pain. Low intensity pulses of about 2 to 5 HZ can be used on the knee to increase the secretion of our body’s own pain killer named endorphin. These chemicals can reduce the power of the pain signals thereby decreasing the level of pain realized.
When using this equipment to treat your knee replacement pain, you can use the following tips:
- Select the strength of the electric signal with caution. Seldom choose a very mild one or a very strong one. Mild ones may have no effect, and strong ones can create more discomfort. It is advised to go with mid setting initially and then go up or down the ladder based on your relief.
- Get good professional assistance before opting for the TENS treatment if you are pregnant or have any untreated pain, epilepsy or emotional problems.
- Most people bump into this situation. They would gradually feel the effect of the TENS unit diminishing or fading away. You may be tempted to raise the power, but don’t do that. This is a hint that the unit is working in full swing and is nullifying the pain.
With prior knowledge and mindset, one should be able to experience the TENS treatment with confidence and energy. It is a reasonably safe appliance and can produce worthy effects.