Now they are searching for drug-free treatment for alleviating their pain & aches. Concerning this, different intelligent manufacturers have expanded their helping hands with some tools that are safe &, in some cases, an alternative to addictive painkillers.
The TENS machines are the most popular & widely used in different parts of the regions.
These machines are highly effective for foot neuropathy as a pain healer. It's crucial to know the TENS unit placement for foot neuropathy accurately for experimenting with better performance.
Neuropathy is the dysfunction of three central nerves- sensory, motor & autonomic nerves. This neuropathy affects not only the hands & feet, but also affect other parts of the body. According to a fact sheet provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), neuropathy affects some 20 million people in the United States (USA). Another source reveals that about 25-30% of Americans will be affected by neuropathy.
Table of Contents
What is a TENS unit machine?
The TENS stimulates your central nervous system for relieving pain via the self-adhesive electrodes or pads which are placed on to the skin & fixed with the TENS unit with wires.
This stimulation is operated by a remote that is affixed with wires to the pads or electrodes.
Wireless TENS machines are also available in the marketplace for the convenience of the users. To sort out which wireless TENS machines can be the perfect choice for you, you can follow our article on the best wireless TENS unit.
A TENS unit can be a perfect preference for foot neuropathy or foot pain. A TENS unit is a pain reliever that works through the nerve stimulation process. Here we are going to tell you about the TENS unit placement for foot neuropathy.
How Do TENS Machines Work?
It is a 9-volt battery-operated tool that is considered to be benign & the alternative to non-addictive painkillers. A TENS machine works depending on two theories that relax your muscles.
- The Gate Control Theory: In this theory, the spinal cord closes & opens up the flow of electrical stimulation from the brain. The electrical frequencies constrain the transmission of the communication at the time of using the TENS machine; as a result, the pain signals are obstructed.
- Endorphin Releasing Theory: This theory involves stimulation of the electrical impulses to generate the production of encephalin & endorphins. These natural pain releasing chemicals act like morphine and block the pain signals. Although it is similar to drug therapy, it is out of drug-related side effects.
The two theories act as a great pain relief tool. The most straightforward adaptable settings of the TENS machine aids placing electrodes. Or pads at your specific painful area & to govern it according to your requirements.
What is neuropathy?
What is neuropathy? According to the Oxford Dictionary,
“Neuropathy is a disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness.”
Neuropathy, also called peripheral neuropathy, affects the central nervous system, which is the combination of your brain & spinal cord. The way the neurons communicate with each other & with the brain is disrupted when nerve cells or neurons are damaged. It usually starts in the hands & feet. However, other parts of the body can be affected too.
- Causes of Neuropathy:
The causes of neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy cover:
- Physical trauma
- Repetitive injury
- Vascular and blood problems &
- Exposure to toxins
- Signs and Symptoms of Foot Neuropathy
The following signs & symptoms arise due to foot neuropathy:
- Numbness & prickling in your feet or hands,
- Feeling heaviness in your hands & feet
- Acute sensitivity to touch
- Muscle weakness in hands & feet
- Paralysis if motor nerves are destroyed
- Muscle twitching, cramps & spasms
How do TENS machines work for foot neuropathy?
It can be a successful treatment for foot neuropathy because it reduces the pain from the feet & legs.
TENS therapy executes by fixing pads or electrodes to the feet or calves that transmit very small electrical pulses.
The electrical pulses help the muscle nerves in the feet & legs to shrink & expand at intervals. This process increases the flow of blood&interfere the pain signals of your body.
These pulses also enhance the production of pain, releasing a chemical named encephalin & endorphins in your feet & legs. The combination of these two chemicals blocks the pain signals.
As a result, you feel a mild pulsing sensation with some vibration in the soles of your feet when the TENS machine starts to work. Three types of machines are available in the marketplace for treating foot neuropathy:
- like a cell phone with pads attached with it
- like a pair of sandals that you slip onto your feet
- like a small platform that you place your feet
TENS therapy is not anticipated to be a cure for foot neuropathy but a pain reduction method. For better performance, you need to know the TENS unit placement for foot pain as well as the effective use of it.
This therapy aids you to ease inflammation, stiffness, pain & decrease the pain while walking and other physical actions.
TENS unit placement for foot neuropathy
The electrodes or pads are self-adhesive that generally placed over the area of pain or near to the pain spot. The TENS unit placement for foot neuropathy is important for getting relief from the pain of your feet & legs. Before discussing the TENS unit placement for foot pain, you need to know the general setting of TENS replacement.
- Mode Setting
- Standard: For ordinary use
- Burst: For chronic pain relief
- Modulation: For acute pain
- Pulse Rate (Frequency) Setting
The measurement of frequency is Hertz (Hz). Pain relief can occur at various frequencies. The following settings are suggested:
- 80-120Hz-acute pain
- 35-50Hz-muscle stimulation
- 2-10Hz -chronic pain
- Pulse Width Setting
Generally, pain releases with low to mid-time periods. Muscle stimulation needs a longer pulse width for the appropriate reproduction of a muscle contraction.
The period is too small. It's measured in microseconds that you may not notice the variance, but your nerves can.
The recommended Pulse Widths: 175-200uS. You can reinforce the power of your TENS machine by escalating the pulse width.
Duration of using a TENS Machine
- Acute pain:20-60min up to four times daily
- Chronic pain:20-30min up to five times weekly
This is the general setting of the TENS. You may learn specific usages of the TENS machine for specific treatment. For shoulder pain, you can read how to use a TENS unit for shoulder pain.
And for neck pain, you may read how to use a TENS unit for neck pain.
For TENS unit placement for foot pain, you need to place the pads on your heels or arches of your feet to comfort pain in the adjacent area. Ensuring the cleanliness & dryness of your feet and ankles carefully is compulsory for you before applying electrode or pads.
Place your pads a minimum of two inches away from each other. You can position both pads on the bottom or top of the foot, or one on foot & one on the lower ankle.
- Foot/Ankle Pain
- 30 – 60 minutes
- 3 – 4 times per day
- Pads Placement
- Set up your electrodes or pads in the groove between the Achilles tendon and both malleoli.
- Position your pads or electrodes on the center of the dorsum of the forefoot and the plantar phase of the forefoot.
- Place one pair of pads just superior and inferior to the sideways malleolus;
- Set the second pair just superior and inferior to the medial malleolus.
TENS may not be safe for you if you have a pacemaker or metal implant in your body, epilepsy or a heart problem, or if you're pregnant.
Avoid insertion the electrodes on irritated or broken skin; using TENS while you are asleep: using the TENS machine while driving; using high current while electrical pulses are applied on the skin.
Using a TENS unit for foot neuropathy is considered to be safe &comfortable; you must be aware of its incorrect & overuse.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can I let someone else try my TENS unit?
No, as it is used by you & you are accustomed to it, it’s not right to let someone try to use your TENS unit.
- Is it satisfactory for leg numbness?
The TENS unit machine is useful for leg numbness.
- What is included in a package of a TENS machine?
- TENS unit (dual channel)
- Four electrode patches
- Belt clip
- Two wires with a total of 4 connectors
- Power source/batteries
- Why can't I use it in the shower?
It's because there is a scope of getting an electrical shock. And you know this machine is not waterproof and would be damaged.
The TENS machines are frequently used as a tool for foot neuropathy treatment owing to the advantage of drug-free & harmless therapy for foot pain,. It blocks the pain signals temporary for relieving pain from your foot & legs. Also, it improves the production of pain releasing chemicals to mitigate pain.
Learning the TENS unit placement for foot neuropathy can be essential for any user to use it appropriately. A TENS unit is a substantial device to appease pain in your feet & legs. If your TENS unit placement for foot pain is perfect, you may experience great comfort in your feet & legs.
The concept of this article can be a helpful guideline for acquiring knowledge of the TENS unit placement for foot neuropathy.