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Electric Stimulation as a Drug-Free Option for Managing MS Pain

June 6, 2017

Tamara Sellman, RPSGT, CCSH, writes about the benefits of managing multiple sclerosis (MS) pain with transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS). She explains her experience with TENS, and gives insights to this possible effective treatment. TENS can be utilized as a therapy to treat muscle and joint pain, and can be independent of a clinical setting. She describes how she found a wide range of TENS units available between $20 and $200, no prescription needed.

TENS delivers short bursts or patterns of electricity that safely stimulate the nerves. This application of neurostimulation can reduce the pain signals delivered from the pain source to the central nervous system, which helps to relax muscles and provides pain relief. TENS also stimulates endorphin production, which are natural pain relief hormones.

A TENS unit is typically composed of:

  • A master handheld control
  • One or two patches that are lined with adhesive gel to help conduct electricity
  • Cables or receiver units that snap onto the patches, then deliver electrical pulses

You apply the patches to your skin on the areas you experience pain. Every unit is different, but they generally allow some range for adjustment so you can set your treatment for the level of nerve stimulation you best tolerate. Sellman explains her positive experience with TENS, saying with confidence that this therapy has helped with her daily aches and pains in her muscles and joints. If you decide to try TENS, Sellman urges to explicitly follow directions that come with the unit, since you are sending electrical currents to your body.

Via MS News Today