Why Shocking Helps Get Rid Of Pain

The term “shocking” is a bit strong but it does press a major point in why tens pain machines are generally not as effective as portable interferential pain machines are. The better choice of words would be “pulses of electricity” instead of a term engendering thoughts of more pain, BUT, now you will understand better after attracting your attention!!

Tens machines are small devices that can be worn regularly by a pain patient to control the pain impulses being sent to the brain. The tens device goes off and on, emits small electrical charges, in the range of 1 – 150 times per second. The term for going “off and on” is called “frequency” or “rate” or “PPS”. Those terms simply average how many times per second the small tens units is going off and on. A standard 9 volt battery has enough energy to sustain that frequency for days before it loses its strength. 1 – 150 PPS is not a very large drain on the energy source, the battery.

The individual pulses of electricity are intended to stimulate non pain nerves which then are allowed to be transmitted up the spinal cord to the brain. The theory being by stimulating non pain nerves then one “blocks” the pain message and if confined then it never gets to the brain and consequently there is no pain. This is referred to as the “Melzack/Wall Gate Control Pain Theory”. It is the prevailing theory of how a tens unit works.

The issue for a pain patient is, if the patient is not wearing the tens machine then there is no interference, and consequently, absence interference, one has the pain return or never stop. That is the drawback of tens therapy.

An interferential machine truly has a pulse frequency in the ranges of 8,000 to 10,000 times per second. That method the interferential machine goes off and on that many times per second. That frequency is significantly greater than a tens machine has. With a frequency in the higher 000’s range it becomes necessary to have a reliable strength source such as plugging in the interferential machine to a wall outlet. A 9 volt battery last approximately 1-3 minutes with such a high frequency.

Considering a typical clinical interferential session lasts approximately 12 – 20 minutes then it becomes unrealistic to do an interferential treatment with a machine that can only use batteries, not an AC adaptor plugged into the wall.

The assistance of interferential therapy is it changes the inner chemistry of our body by stimulating body tissues deeper in the body itself. These more frequent pulses of electricity conquer the resistance of the skin and allow greater thoroughness of penetration to change the chemistry and to stimulate nerves, including the pain nerves – C fibers. That physical and chemical change allows the brain to learn to chemically alter the pain area and by doing so the changes create “carryover pain relief”. Carryover simply method that after the interferential treatment the chemistry has changed and the patient may go for hours, days, or a week or so without needing another interferential treatment.

The theory of how interferential provides carryover relief is called the “DeDomenico Descending Pain Theory”, named after Dr. Giovanni DeDomenico. The alteration of transmission of non basic pain messages is controlled by the brain creating chemicals to retard the creation of pain chemically by descending messages from the brain to the area, or, by a descending pathway. Tens operates on an “ascending”, upward limitation of pain messages and is not long-lasting, only permanent.

The combination of higher frequency and pulse polarities, alternating positive and negative charges, allow for true elimination of pain. It is the ability to use a portable interferential pain machine that allows one to teach the brain, prior to onset of pain, that the chronic pain message is not to occur.

The new advances in chronic pain control have occurred due to the newer technologies allowing a patient to self treat with a portable interferential machine and prevent pain. The theories of pain are not new, only the advancement of the electrical technologies now allow patients to treat and prevent pain.

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