Billions of dollars are spent each year on medication that helps to reduce the severity of headaches, migraines, and jaw pain. In addition, loss of income due to inability to work, lost productivity, and the medical costs of treating these common conditions are much more severe. Frequent headaches can cause depression, anxiety, stress, and result in frustration as these are often misdiagnosed and mistreated. Many patients suffer for years, relying on prescriptions for pain medication that does not treat the actual cause of their problem.
Some people find that using Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) units can offer some short-term relief and pain reduction. A TENS machine delivers current through electrodes that stimulate the nerves in the affected area, sending signals to the brain that block or “scramble” normal pain signals. In addition, the electrical stimulation may help the body to produce natural painkillers called endorphins, which can block the perception of pain temporarily.
There are different types of TENS units and not all are created equal. Different TENS units function differently. Many people use home units to help block pain temporarily but what most don’t know is that some TENS units can do much more than that – they can help diagnose, treat, and help to permanently eliminate pain forever.
When treating pain patients, especially those who suffer from migraines, jaw pain, and frequent headaches, we use a specific type of TENS unit during our Diagnosis appointment, as well as during treatment, and in post-treatment to help find the cause of pain, and to treat it and eliminate it. My purpose for TENS-ing is two-fold:
- To restore metabolism to create healthy muscle – TENS helps to pump waste and lactic acid from over-active muscles, stimulates blood flow, oxygen, ATP, glucose and calcium delivery, and changes muscle metabolism
- To remove muscle memory – this is important with chronic patients who have established patterns and muscle memory in order to manage their condition. By removing the memory of bad patterns or pathological position, it becomes much easier to find out the true cause of the problem quickly so that we can move forward with solutions to treating it.