Anyone with Rheumatoid arthritis will agree how painful it can be. For those whose hands and fingers are affected, the smallest things like opening a jar can be painful. Those who have it in their hips or knees can find going on a short walk to the local newsagent very challenging. It can be debilitating and therefore depressing. I’m sure any sufferers who are reading this are nodding their heads in appreciation of these difficulties.
It is the inflamed joints, due to the activity between the inflamed protective fluid sac around the joints and its destructive effect on the collagen in the joint’s cartilage, which become painful and need pain relief.
Massage has proven to reduce pain. It’s even something we do instinctively to ourselves when we have a headache or a leg cramp; we rub our foreheads with our fingers or emphatically squeeze our legs. Our bodies have been designed to respond to massage. What we are doing when we rub, is stimulating our touch receptors in the skin. These are connected to sensory nerve fibres which are attached to the central nervous system in a way that they inhibit the pain signals. Pain is coming in one way but being counteracted by the effects of the massage.
TENS machines is a very efficient and effective way of stimulating these touch receptors. Pads are placed on the area of pain, the battery powered unit is switched on and soothing pulses begin to penetrate through the skin stimulating these nerve fibres and counteracting pain signals. As well as counteracting, it encourages the body to produce its own natural pain killing chemicals called endorphins and encephalitis which are also produced when we exercise, giving us that ‘feel good’ feeling.
It’s a very cheap method of pain relief and doesn’t involve any drug taking which can have negative effects on parts of the body that were once fine. On the contrary, it can feel somewhat like a massage and even better, you can continue with daily activities at the same time. Plus, you’re always in control of the unit and being in control of your pain relief can be beneficial in itself.
We would love you to share with us your pain relief experiences and any you have had using TENS machines.