TENS application for arthritis

Hands of an elderly person with arthritis that can be treated with a TENS machine

Arthritis is a disease of the joints caused by inflammation. In monoarthritis, only one joint is affected, in polyarthritis, multiple joints are affected. The inflammation usually occurs in flares and can then manifest itself in stabbing joint pain, redness, swelling, morning stiffness, exhaustion or joint effusion.

The symptoms often restrict everyday life, as do sporting activities. In conventional therapy, the pain of those affected is treated with strong drugs that have both analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, such as diclofenac, ibuprofen, indomethacin or piroxicam, so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These and other anti-inflammatory drugs often have severe side effects.

Pain treatment using transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can be a side-effect-free alternative to NSAIDs[1][2]. A TENS device transmits electrical impulses to the skin via electrodes, which has two effects. For one thing, the electrical impulses can block the transmission of pain to the brain, which may mean that the pain caused by arthritis can no longer be felt. On the other hand, the TENS application can support the natural pain control mechanism of our body so that its own painkilling substances, the so-called endorphins[3], are released. TENS can also promote blood circulation[4].

Electrode placement in arthritis

Attach the electrodes to the painful area to use the electrical stimulation therapy effectively. Since joint pain due to arthrosis can occur in different places, we have shown you an example of the electrode placement for the knee. The versatile pain point electrode, which was specially designed for use on joints, was used for this.

To the right electrode

Please note when using TENS:

The intensity should be adjusted so that it is felt as a pleasant tingling sensation. The duration of the application should be approx. 40 minutes in order to be able to achieve a lasting reduction in pain. It also makes sense to switch programs every now and then.

Causes of Arthritis

The so-called diseases of the rheumatic type, also called rheumatism or rheumatism for short, include many different clinical pictures. All of these diseases have in common that the patients suffer from severe, prolonged pain. The terms rheumatism or rheumatism go back to the ancient Greek word "ῥεῦμα" (pronounced: revma). That means stream, river, flow. Rheumatism therefore stands for flowing, tearing and pulling pain. The most common form of rheumatism is rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an inflammatory disease of the joints. The joints of the fingers or toes are very often affected, but other joints in the hands, shoulders, feet, knees, shoulders or hips can also be inflamed. In so-called monoarthritis, only one joint is painfully inflamed. If two to four joints are affected, it is called oligoarthritis, if more than five joints the disease is called polyarthritis. The causes of rheumatoid joint inflammation are mostly autoimmune reactions of the body to its own tissue, which means there is a malfunction in the immune system. In psoriatic arthritis, the joint inflammation is caused by psoriasis. Arthritis can manifest itself through a variety of symptoms. Some of them are: - sharp pains in the joints - Fever - Morning stiffness - Redness - swelling - fatigue - fatigue - joint effusion

  • From everywhere

    You can use TENS therapy anywhere. It doesn't matter whether you're sitting comfortably on the sofa or in the office.

  • Drug free

    TENS pain therapy is an alternative to drug pain treatment

  • At any time

    You can use TENS flexibly and at any time. Success can already be achieved after the first treatment

  • Free of side effects

    When used correctly, pain treatment with TENS has practically no side effects

Studies and scientific sources

[1] Bello, A.I., Crankson, S. & Adegoke, BOA (2014). Comparative Treatment Outcomes of Pre and Post-exercise TENS Application on Knee Osteoarthritis: A Preliminary Report. Rehabilitation Process and Outcome, 3, 4. https://doi.org/10.4137/rpo.s13794

[2] Cetin N, Aytar A, Atalay A & Akman MN (2008). Comparing Hot Pack, Short-Wave Diathermy, Ultrasound, and TENS on Isokinetic Strength, Pain, and Functional Status of Women with Osteoarthritic Knees. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 87(6), 443-451. https://doi.org/10.1097/phm.0b013e318174e467

[3] Ortu, E., Pietropaoli, D., Mazzei, G., Cattaneo, R., Giannoni, M., & Monaco, A. (2015). TENS effects on salivary stress markers: A pilot study. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 114-118. https://doi.org/10.1177/0394632015572072

[4] Cramp, Gilsenan, Lowe & Walsh. (2000). The effect of high- and low-frequency transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation upon cutaneous blood flow and skin temperature in healthy subjects. Clinical Physiology, 20(2), 150-157. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2281.2000.00240.x

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