Cramps are defined as an involuntary, sudden and painful tightening or contraction of muscles. These contractions can cause severe pain and immobility in the affected areas. The muscles that are commonly impacted include those in the back and front of your thigh and in the back of your leg.
The cramp pain may last from a few seconds to 15 minutes or even hours. Cramps are experienced in different parts of the body like; feet, hands, legs, abdomen walls and arms.
Depending on the where the cramps occur, they are categorized into two different categories – skeletal muscle cramp or smooth muscle cramp. Typically, cramps in skeletal muscle occur due to deficiency of electrolytes like Sodium, potassium, or magnesium muscle fatigue.
Cramps in smooth muscles in the body are usually due to gastroenteritis (intestinal infection) or menstruation (monthly discharge of mucosal tissue and blood from the inner lining of the uterus).
TENS Unit machine is extremely useful in relieving cramp pains. The below article gives some detailed insights into TENS Unit usage.
Muscle cramps could be caused due to several reasons
• Rigorous exercises or physical activity, especially in extreme conditions;
• Certain medications, leading to medical conditions;
• Inadequate blood supply due to narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to your legs;
• Compression of nerves in your spine generating cramping pain in your legs. This pain could worsen, if you continue to walk longer;
• Depletion of minerals like potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet.
Mostly muscle cramps tend to occur in the calf region of your legs. You might experience an acute pain or feel a lump of tissues, under your skin as a result of this.
In most women, their monthly periods due to menstrual cycles could be quite painful. In some cases, this could cause discomfort, disabling them to perform their daily chores properly. If experiencing menstrual cramps, you probably know how adverse it could get. However, most women hate to take any pain-relieving drugs to reduce pain.
Menstrual pains could cause devastating muscle cramps in your lower tummy area, eventually spreading to the back and thigh regions.
Please read further down, if you are keen to get relief from muscle and menstrual cramps pain using correct placement of iReliev TENS Unit pad.
Relief from cramps using TENS Unit
A TENS Unit is recommended for treating cramps. It is a non-interfering, drugless method of getting rid of cramps.
Hence indeed, a TENS Unit is the most preferred treatment for relieving cramps.
However, make sure you go through the safety measures and probable side effects of TENS Unit listed, before purchasing them – mentioned further down the post.
Using TENS Unit for muscle cramps
1. Check where the pain is originating from and place the electrode pads on the cramping muscle;
2. Initially turn the Unit on, with a high setting;
Note: on a high setting, the TENS device may cause some jerking and contracting of muscles;
3. Reduce the setting to low speed, if needed.
Using TENS Unit for menstrual cramps and pains
1. Place both the electrode pads over the abdomen;
2. Turn the Unit on with a low setting – gradually increasing the settings;
3. Manoeuvre the setting, as needed to high or low depending on your comfort level.
Using TENS Unit pad for relieving menstrual pain
TENS Unit transmits calming vibration from the pads, through the skin to the nerve fibres. This relaxes muscles in the uterine area, gradually relieving the pain. The pulses sent also suppresses menstrual pain signals sent to the brain. TENS Unit also aids in releasing pain killing toxins that help in reducing pain.
If you have any doubts or confusion in using the TENS Unit for relieving cramps and pains, please post your question in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
Placing the electrode pads for cramps and pains
In order to get maximum benefit of using TENS Unit, you will need to place the electrodes pad in the right position as indicated in the post. I have shown the list below for your ready reference.
It is highly advisable using two electrodes consisting of single channel or four electrode pads that come with double channels.
Safety precautions: Make sure the electrode pads never come in contact with each other when the Unit is switched on.
TENS Unit safety tips for optimal performance
Before operating the TENS Unit on the back, please go through the safety tips in order to avoid any accidents.
1. Do not place electrodes very close to each other or in any inappropriate positions;
2. Switch off the TENS Unit, prior to attaching the electrode pads;
3. Read instructions of using TENS Unit from the sections above, to ensure you are placing the pads in the right position;
4. Make sure the electrodes are placed at a safe distance from each other;
5. Use the TENS Unit for no more than 30 minutes continuously. Over using of the Unit can cause issues.
Side effects of using TENS Unit inappropriately
Make sure you read this section carefully before using TENS Unit to avoid any side effects.
1. Allergy caused due to electrode pads: it was noted in some cases that the adhesion on the electrode pads, causes irritation of the skin. If you experience this, try using hypoallergenic pads, instead.
2. Reusing electrode pads: if you are using the electrode pads for a longer time, there is a possibility of irritation on the area of application. Clean the pads carefully with water, before reusing them again. Also try and leave it for a little longer time, before application.
3. Placement of electrode pads: prior to using the TENS Unit, do some research on where to place the electrode pads. Ensure you do not place them near sensitive or inappropriate regions.
4. Pregnant women: it is absolutely safe for expecting women to use a TENS Unit. However, avoid using the Unit in abdominal and pelvic regions.
5. Epileptic users: if you are suffering from epilepsy, TENS Unit can be used anywhere else except the neck and head region to avoid complications.
6. Cardiac conditions: for people suffering from cardiac issues, PLEASE AVOID USING TENS Unit.
7. Pacemaker users: people who have had pacemakers installed, should AVOID using TENS Unit.
8. Discomfort to users: TENS Unit produces vibrations, which may cause a buzzing, tingling, or prickling sensation, bringing discomfort to few users.