Anyone who is unfortunate enough to be afflicted with sciatica will know what an absolute plague it can be on your day to day life. It makes performing even the most simple tasks a tedious drudgery. Happily, there are many steps that can be taken in order to soothe sciatic pain, and there's at least one which you can do every day, in your own home, at your own convenience. TENS machines are a valuable weapon in the fight against sciatica; they work quickly and effectively to soothe discomfort, and have tangibly improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. In slightly more simple terms, it involves using electricity to stimulate your sciatic nerve and thus reduce the pain radiating from it. The TENS machine works by pumping low levels of electricity into the areas of your body that are causing you pain, hopefully relieving you of your discomfort. It doesn't necessarily sound the most enjoyable thing in the world, but actually TENS systems are entirely safe, and have a consistent track record of bringing immense relief to sufferers of sciatica. At the very low levels used in a TENS machine, electricity becomes a catalyst for a positive change in your body. The machines are easy enough to find, and some health insurance plans may cover the procurement of one, so there's little to lose by trying one out as a complimentary strategy to the therapy prescribed by your doctor. In fact, it's a good idea to let your doctor know you're planning on using one, as they may be able to advise on the specific areas of your body you should be targeting for the most productive pain relief.
TENS machines are very easy to use. On a day to day basis you just need to make sure the battery is charged, and it will always be ready for action. When you feel like you could do with using it, you should clean the areas of skin you intend to apply the pads and wires to, and then place the electrodes on the necessary parts of your body. To get the best from the TENS machine you need to be accurate in your placing of the TENS pads. If they're placed even slightly haphazardly you'll probably just feel a useless tingle, rather than anything that is doing any good for your sciatic problems. Unsurprisingly, the majority of sciatic pain spreads from the sciatic nerve, so as a rule of thumb place two pads on your lower back and two on the hamstring of whichever leg is feeling the most painful. As the weeks progress, you can make small adjustments here and there to most precisely target your relief. You control the strength and type of the current through a simple remote control, allowing you to make instantaneous adjustments if you deem them necessary. The three main settings on your average TENS machine are 'normal,' 'acupuncture,' and 'pulsed.' The standard setting involves a short spell of high frequency, low intensity electricity therapy for instant, if not necessarily long lasting pain relief. Acupuncture is low frequency and high intensity, and while this can be quite uncomfortable, it can lead to more sustained benefits. There is debate about whether the pulsed setting has any real advantage over the other two, and it might not be the one you use the most.
TENS machines aren't a miracle cure. While you will hopefully experience some form of benefit on your very first attempt it will probably take a few sessions for your body to really respond to the electrical current. Perseverance is important, particularly because there shouldn't be any side effects beyond a noticeable tingling sensation and the involuntary contraction of your muscles while the process is ongoing. As we've already touched on, it would also be wrong to view TENS machines as your primary weapon in the fight against sciatic pain. Not even the most passionate TENS advocate would argue that it will cause your pain to disappear for ever. The main, significant benefit of a TENS machine is that it provides immediate relief. You don't deserve to have how much you enjoy every day determined by whether a nerve in your body randomly decides to flare up. When you buy a TENS machine, you get the comfort of knowing that there is something define and tangible you can do to relieve your pain in the short term, and get you really enjoying life again. Sciatica is not going to go away through the efforts of a TENS machine alone, but the machines can provide genuine, lasting relief to help make going about your day to day tasks a more comfortable prospect.
The experience of a TENS machine is genuinely liberating. It can feel at times like there is nothing you can do to beat sciatic pain- it's something that emanates from inside of you, rather than from a bruise or injury you can physically see, and so it's easy to conceive it as an internal process that you are helpless to stop. All you can do is trudge back and forth to the doctors and wait with gritted teeth for some relief. The TENS machine changes all of that. It allows sufferers of sciatic pain the ability to control their therapy any time they like. If you're all too familiar with the incessant nagging of the sciatic nerve, the TENS machine is just