Treating Gout with TENS Pain Relief Machines
A big advantage of TENS pain relief machines for gout sufferers is that they do not interfere with the body chemistry in any significant way.
This is very important if you are trying to balance uric acid and/or pH levels.
What are TENS Pain Relief Machines?
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, meaning that a small electrical charge stimulates the nervous system through the skin.
The unit is a small portable device that attaches to a belt.
It delivers the electrical charge through one or more thin wires connected to pads that adhere to the outside of the skin.
The charge is harmless, but TENS pain relief machines should not be used by patients with pacemakers. Nor should they be used in conjunction with any other form of monitoring device, as they might interfere with the results.
How does TENS Pain Relief Work?
TENS units work mainly on the nervous system to block pain messages.
They can also promote the production of endorphins – the bodies own pain relief substance.
The units come with instructions to help position the pads to suit the particular pain you are experiencing.
You will usually need to try slight variations when positioning the pads to get the best pain relief.
Most importantly – Do They Work?
Everyones perception of pain is different, and so is the experience of TENS units for pain relief. Many people swear by them, others find they have little or no effect. My advice is to try and borrow or hire a unit from a local medical establishment (clinic, doctor, hospital etc) to see if it suits you before buying one.
My own experience was that I found little relief from the gout pain which was mainly in my knees and ankles when I tried a TENS pain relief machine (luckily borrowed from a friend). However, due to my hobbling and limping I developed lower back pain, and I found the TENS unit very effective for that. I’m certain that this has a lot to do with the complexities of the nervous system. Finding the right nerves to stimulate was, for me, a tiresome, trial and error process, requiring more patience than I had when I was in agony. Perhaps a consultation with a specialist, rather than borrowing a machine, would have been a better idea.
This TENS Pain Relief Machines page was first published before 2008, and is republished here as part of ongoing website upgrade. Please see the Gout Treatment section for latest information on TENS machines.