Many people wonder if they are covered for TENS therapy. The answer is that they are almost certainly covered unless you are using something like a TENS machine for therapeutic purposes. TENS machines do not differ too much from electric current, so it should not matter whether you purchase a cheaper, more basic model. In addition, TENS equipment is generally exempt from VAT, provided that you sign the appropriate exemption declaration form before buying it (usually supplied by your chosen supplier).
So, the next question is what sort of benefits can you expect from your TENS machine. In general, most medical professionals will tell you that TENS is very safe and effective, providing that the individual receiving treatment is aware of the treatment and consents to it. Suppose the patient is uncomfortable with the machine. In that case, it may not provide you with the pain relief you were looking for – although this is a rare scenario and is usually due to personal choice rather than poor quality equipment. TENS machines deliver gentle, continuous pressure that directly targets the particular area of pain, reducing the pain in response and improving the patient’s quality of life. This means that TENS machines can be particularly beneficial to patients who have chronic, longstanding back pain, osteoarthritis, muscle spasms, migraine headaches, chronic migraines and more.
Generally speaking, the amount of discomfort experienced is directly proportional to how much pressure is exerted on the body. TENS machines deliver continuous positive pressure (CPAP), which means they naturally push the person’s airway forward without causing discomfort or pain. Most people find that using TENS machines immediately after a particularly painful or troublesome period of time can make the pain dissipate. This is because the body begins to replace the pain signals with less intense sensations as the body replaces the damaged nerves with new ones. Although this can be a temporary effect, most people find that TENS machines offer significantly better overall comfort and ease of use than using a CPAP machine for extended periods.
Although TENS machines are an alternative form of therapy for those suffering from debilitating conditions, some people remain concerned that the impact on health could be more serious than the potential side effects. For example, some people have a common complaint that they experience a flushing sensation from the face, heart, or both. These side effects occur because the TENS machine emits positive ions into the air rather than the static electricity produced by traditional machines. Although these side effects are not experienced as often as the other health benefits, they are a definite downside and could make some people consider whether TENS is the right choice. While it is true that many people report feeling a flushing sensation, the incidence of this side effect is minimal when compared to the other benefits provided, so the concern should not be put too much stress on it.
There are also some common concerns about the impact on safety when using TENS machines. Although most machines are safe and comfortable, some do cause more irritation than others, depending on their use. For example, when a patient is asleep, the power cord often has more pressure on the face than when using a CPAP machine while the patient is awake. This can cause irritation and discomfort. Another common concern is that a patient may become dependent on the machine. Finally, although TENS machines are not addictive, some people report the desire to continue using the machine to relieve certain types of pain.
TENS has been applied successfully to various health problems by both physicians and patients, but to date, there is no conclusive evidence that it is an effective method of pain relief. However, TENS machines have no proven adverse side effects and, in some cases, maybe beneficial to those who suffer pain. If you have a condition that requires TENS treatment or think of purchasing a TENS machine, discuss your condition with your physician to determine if TENS is correct for you.