Painkilling medication is a daily part of life for people with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis. But those who experience disruptive side effects or drug interactions might turn to chronic pain relief devices.
Like with any pain-relief method, how useful a device is varies between individuals. Some people will experience little or no effect, and might even find devices to be irritating. Although there’s an extensive range of products marketed towards relieving chronic pain, most devices fit into one of these broad categories.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) involves placing electrodes on your skin, usually directly over painful areas. These electrodes then emit low levels of electricity, usually resulting in a tingling or buzzing sensation.
One theory behind TENS therapy is that electrical impulses block the pain signals that nerves send to the brain. Another idea is that electrical stimulation causes the body to release endorphins, which then target opioid receptors and act as natural painkillers.
Does TENS therapy actually work?
Reviews of TENS devices are mixed. Because there are so many different types of pain that TENS may be used for, a positive or negative outcome for one group won’t necessarily translate to others. This therapy has shown promising results for people with fibromyalgia and diabetic nerve pain, while osteoarthritis and low back pain draw more conflicting results.
TENS is generally considered a low-risk treatment, with very few people reporting side effects other than discomfort or skin irritation. But it’s important to note that anyone with a pacemaker or other type of metal or electrical implant should not use a TENS device unless expressly approved by their doctor.
2. PEMF Therapy
Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy is similar to TENS, but uses electromagnetic fields instead of an electrical current. These electromagnetic fields appear to have the potential to stimulate cellular repair. PEMF technology is sometimes used to help broken bones that won’t repair normally, although scientists aren’t exactly sure how PEMF does this.
Does PEMF work for pain relief?
In a 2016 study, wearable PEMF devices helped to significantly reduce pain and improve physical functioning in subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee. They may also be effective at reducing fibromyalgia pain.
There aren’t too many at-home PEMF devices available, and those on the market are fairly expensive. PEMF devices are usually larger and more suited for use at home rather than on the go.
Ultrasound has spent years a staple of physical therapy, under the assumption that it heats tissues and promotes healing. But not everyone believes therapeutic ultrasound for pain relief works.
Devices for home use usually cost from one to two hundred dollars, which may be worth a try depending on your financial situation. For chronic pain that comes from a specific site, home users should be able to concentrate the ultrasound probe in one particular area. But if you suffer from a condition that causes more widespread pain, ultrasound might feel like an expensive exercise in futility.
The price of chronic pain relief devices makes them unrealistic for many people, especially those who already pay hundreds of dollars each year for prescription drugs. With discounted prices and easy online ordering, CanadianPharmacyService.com is a more convenient source for drugs like Celebrex and Savella. Click here to search for your brand-name prescription drugs and see how much you’ll save.
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