Anyone who has ever experienced a chronic pain condition knows just how debilitating pain can be. It’s hard to explain to someone who has never experienced chronic pain how different chronic pain is compared to a pain that is expected to go away, such as an injury or an accident.
Chronic pain wears the body down, stresses the adrenals and kidneys, and puts emotional and physical stress on the body and mental stress on the brain. Unfortunately, the predominate way of treating chronic pain in a medical setting is to use medication, many that are quite harsh and have undesirable side effects.
Possible side effects of painkillers
Taking painkillers is good only to a certain extent. While side effects vary from painkiller to painkiller, it helps to be aware so that you may ask your doctor the right questions before taking these drugs:
- Constipation is the most common side effect of painkillers.
- Many painkillers also cause drowsiness.
- Painkillers may cause damage to the liver and kidney.
- Cardiovascular and respiratory systems get affected; due to the slowing effect painkillers have on the heart and respiratory rates.
- Painkiller addiction is a serious problem globally, as the numbing of pain and the sedative effects of painkillers can be pleasurable and therefore habit-forming.
- Painkillers with opiates can also cause hallucinations, disturbed sleep and confusion.
- Many pain medications evoke skin itchiness and dryness.
For those suffering from chronic pain, there are some ways to reduce pain and manage it, without resorting to medication, or ways to manage pain while limiting the need or dependence on pain medication.
T.E.N.S. or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is a small device that many people find effective in relieving pain. TENS has become a recognised and well-proven method of treating pain.
How does TENS work?
TENS relieves pain in two ways. Electrical pulses pass from the machine through electrodes placed over the nerve centres. Benefit is felt firstly by blocking the pain signals normally sent to the brain through the nerve fibres, thereby interrupting the brain’s awareness of pain. Secondly, the body is stimulated to increase its own production of natural painkillers known as endorphins and enkephalins.
What are the advantages of TENS?
TENS is an effective form of pain relief
TENS is safe
TENS is drug free
TENS is non-addictive
TENS is portable and ideal for home use
So before you next “pop a pill” consider using a TENS machine to help relieve your pain.