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Forming the basis of 'transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation' (TENS), electrodes are wonderful little things. While they may sound complicated, how electrodes work is actually quite simple.
You may remember learning about electrodes in your high school physics class. Electrodes, at their most basic, are electrical conductors. Electrodes -- which are also referred to as 'electrochemical cells' -- simply provide a conduit for positive and negative electrons to travel through, from site A to B in a circuit.
These little electrodes form the basis of TENS therapy -- meaning that while they may be simple in principle, they are important for pain relief. In a TENS treatment, two sticky pads with conductors are placed at or around the site of pain. Then, a weak electrical current is run between the two pads.While this electrical current is barely perceptible for the patient, it does something very important: it activates electrodes. As the electrodes carry the weak current from one pad to the other, they interrupt pain signals to the brain. The patient may feel a tingling sensation as the electrodes work to change the brain's perception of pain. The results of these little electrodes is big. Through TENS therapy, electrodes work to provide effective pain relief.