Model: TENS TPN 200 Plus Premier
What is a TENS?
A TENS machine is a small portable, battery-operated device which is worn on the body.
TENS stands for
• Transcutaneous - Through the skin.
• Electrical - Small electrical pulses
• Nerve – Nerves thought to be carrying the pain
• Stimulation – Electrical signals that change or blocked normal signals passing through the nerve
Although there is little evidence showing how TENS works, many patients report TENS as helpful. Patients have found TENS to be easily tolerated, have almost no side-effects, and can be used alongside most other pain management treatments.
How does the treatment work?
Pain is a signal that travels along nerves from an area of injury to the spinal cord and then up to the brain. The pulses from a TENS machine are thought to reduce the number of signals traveling along the nerves to the brain and reduce the level of pain felt. TENS is also thought to help pain by encouraging the release of Endorphins, the body’s own naturally produced pain killer, encourage muscles to relax, and help to de-sensitise irritated nerves.
How does the machine work?
Small electrical pulses are transmitted to the body though small sticky pads that are applied to the area of your pain. The pulses are felt as a tingling sensation; the strength of the tingling can then be altered as required.
How do I use it:
1. Check that skin is dry and clean. Remove excess hair if needed by snipping, avoid shaving.
2. Make sure the machine is turned off and connect the leads to the TENS machine
3. Place the pads on the intact skin either side of the area of your pain, press firmly to ensure good contact. They should be at least 1 cm apart.
4. Normally continuous mode “C” with a Pulse Width of around 200µS and a Pulse Rate of around 90 Hz is used. Other modes and settings can also be tried.
5. Switch the machine on and turn up gradually until you feel a tingling sensation. The sensation needs to be strong but never uncomfortable. After a few minutes you may find the sensation will start to drop away slightly. When this happens, turn the machine up gradually until the tingling returns to its original strength. Care needs to be taken not to have the tingling sensation too high, this can cause over-stimulation of your nerves which may make your pain worse. You should never feel any muscle contraction / twitching.
6. At the end of the session turn the machine off before you remove electrodes from the skin. Disconnect the electrodes from the machine and return the pads to the plastic film provided. Check that you place them on the correct side of the plastic. The pads should then be disconnected from the machine for storage.
7. After the use of the device, wash the skin with soap and water. Ensure to dry the area carefully.
How long can I use it for?
TENS machines can be used for up to 6 hours a day. Usage sessions should be at least 30 minutes but last no more than 2 hours. Breaks between uses should be least 30 minutes.
After each use you should check the skin where the pads have been. If there is any redness or irritation from the pads, you should slightly change the position of the pads on each use to avoid any further irritation to the skin. Washing and drying the area after use may also help to prevent irritation developing.
If you notice any numbness in the area during use, stop the device and remove the pads. Leave the area for at least 20 min before reapplying the pads, with a slight change of position and restart the device. If the irritation gets worse or numbness persists, please stop using the device and contact the health care professional for advice.
You should not use TENS:
1. Whilst driving or operating heavy machinery
2. In bath or shower.
3. Whilst sleeping.
4. When pregnant without seeking medical advice. It should not be used during the first 3 months.
5. If you have a Pacemaker, Neurostimulator or other implanted electrical device
6. If you are an epileptic. TENS is generally not used in patients who have cancer unless advised by an healthcare processional.
You should not place tens pads:
1. At the front of your neck or near the throat
2. Over skin that is sensitive, damaged, broken skin or area of existing numbness
3. Over a joint replacement area e.g. knee replacement.
4. Near a tumour or active cancer
5. Near drug releasing patches and topical creams.
6. On the lower abdomen during pregnancy.
7. Directly over the spinal column
Patients are responsible for the purchase of replacement batteries and pads. The batteries are standard 9V batteries available from any supermarket. Replacement pads are available from your local chemist and from online retailers such as physiomed.co.uk and Amazon.co.uk. Simply type “tens pads” in to the site’s search bar. The pads for the device are 5x5cm.
Please follow the advice given by the health care professional. This leaflet if only for information and please read the information booklet that accompanies the TENS devise before use. If you have any side effects or are not sure how to use the TENS machine please stop using. The provider of this leaflet does not take any responsibility for any problems associated with the TENS machine or any side effects and complications that occur with the use of this device.