Pain is not an uncommon condition. As people get older, pain may be experienced more often. There are different types of pain but the main two are acute and chronic pain. Acute pain is the most common. It's your brain's natural response to injury and is usually short lived. Chronic pain is sustained over a period of time, typically caused by medical conditions like arthritis. While pain is a completely natural response, it's not very comfortable. Naturally, people tend to find ways to cope with pain or alleviate it in some way or another.
A transcutaneous electical nerve stimulator, or TENS unit, is an experimental pain treatment device. It sends pulses of electricity through the skin via electrodes that jumpstart your body's natural painkillers. These pulses release endorphins to stop pain signals in the brain, therefore, reducing the pain experienced. While a TENS machine is generally seen as a safe procedure, it has risks just like any other. Placing the electrodes on the wrong part of the body can irritate or possibly even burn the skin. A TENS unit should never be used on the head, heart, eyes, genitals, or throat.
External pain relief is simply relieving pain through external measures. Relief for this type of pain typically comes in the form of creams or gels, although, you can see it take the form of kinesiology tape. This type of pain relief is used by physical therapists to lift the skin over tense muscles. Once this area has become decompressed, your brain recieves new signals from pain receptors, decreasing the pain and tension on the target area.
Other types of pain relief include gels like Biofreeze. This cooling gel provides fast acting pain relief to sore joints and muscles, back aches, and arthritis. Used by physical therapists, chiropractors, and athletes around the world, Biofreeze is free of NSAIDs, parabens, and propylene glycol.
Treating pain with different temperatures has proven to be a very effective pain relief method. The hard part is knowing when to use heat and when to use cold treatments. Generally, it is recommended to use cold therapy for acute pain and inflammation or swelling, whereas muscle pain and stiffness is treated with heat. Also known as cryotherapy, using cold therapy to treat pain works by reducing the flow of blood in a particular area which then reduces inflammation and swelling. This can also reduce nerve activity by numbing the target area. Heat therapy works in the opposite way. Instead of reducing blood flow, the idea is to increase circulation. Increasing the temperature even slightly can ease discomfort and increase muscle flexibility. There are cases where heat therapy should not be used. Talk to your doctor about your pre-existing conditions and how they could conflict with this kind of therapy.
Managing pain is easier with the right devices. Fortunately, there's plenty of options for different kinds of pain. We hope that this guide has been informative enough to help you to decide what kind of relief would work best for you. At Broadway Home Medical, we believe no one should suffer through pain without relief. So, if you're looking for pain relief, come see us today!
We are located in Wichita, Kansas.