Muscle stimulation therapy eases pain and speeds blood flow to muscles that require healing, especially for those who have chronic pain. It involves the use of a Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation unit or other machinery that is small enough to fit in your pocket. Those who used TENS after hip surgery, combined with physical therapy, healed faster and had greater muscular strength in the area that was treated, according to "The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation."
Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about muscle stimulation therapy before using it to be aware of both the benefits and the risks. TENS can be very effective in increasing muscular strength and blood flow, but they cannot be used on your neck or when you're near water.
Place clean electrodes directly on the skin near the muscle that you want to stimulate. Muscle stimulation therapy is most effective when placed on the area of the body that has the most pain. Space the electrodes out just slightly so that they don’t overwhelm one area of the muscle. Ask your doctor or physical therapist for instruction on placement.
Put batteries into the back of the TENS unit and turn the TENS unit to the strength directed by your medical practitioner. Don't to start off with too high of a strength as this can shock the muscle or even lead to burns. Use a level where you feel nerve impulses and increased stimulation, with no pain or shocks from the muscle stimulation.
Use the machine as directed by your doctor. Some treatments require 45 minutes each day, other conditions require continual use of the TENS unit for up to 12 hours every day. Never use a muscle stimulation unit while sleeping, because the electrodes can be bumped off by accident.
Replace electrodes after every use, or as directed by the instructions on the box. Some electrodes are made to last for months, while many are made for only one single use.
Items you will need
- ✓ TENS unit
- ✓ Electrodes
- ✓ Batteries
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.