When you’re a fitness enthusiast with a chronic injury, you constantly battle to keep your body from pain. You hate it, but your fitness life does become a cycle of good days and bad days. On January 30th I hit a particularly bad day and I’m still recovering from it (that ugly spinal curve in the x-ray below is evidence of my QL muscle shortening and putting me in considerable pain).
When those bad days hit, your doctor will most likely give you immediate pain medication but will also prescribe Physical Therapy to gain long-term mobility, strength and pain management. Every PT session ends with some ice or heat and TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to promote healing. TENS always feels like an intense mini massage (for me it’s one of the best parts of going to PT), so when Carex Health Brands reached out to me to test their at-home AccuRelief™ Dual Channel TENS Electrotherapy Pain Relief System, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.
In case you’re not familiar with how a TENS machine works, a low level electrical current stimulates underlying nerves via electrodes placed on the skin (see the 4 grey squares on the bottom left in the photo above) to assist with pain management.
There are two underlying ideas for the effectiveness of TENS:
- The Gate Control Theory: High pulse rates delivered to the nerves reroute pain signals preventing the brain from registering pain.
- Endorphin Production Increases: Low pulse rates stimulate the nerves to increase the production of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.
The idea that the technology of a medical grade device could be used in my own home was a game changer. In most medical facilities, you only have a specific time slot that can be utilized. My TENS sessions usually range between 10 – 15 minutes but with the AccuRelief™ Dual Channel TENS unit, I can have a 30 minute session (which is an ideal amount of time according to my Physical Therapist).
If you’re unfamiliar with using a TENS unit, the AccuRelief™ Dual Channel is actually very easy to use. After you insert the 4 batteries (which are included), determine your pain area and utilize the visual electrode placement guide (the sticky electrode pads aren’t too sticky and don’t hurt if you need to adjust placement) to ensure the best coverage of your affected area.
Once set with your electrode placement, check out the instruction guide to determine if you want to to tailor your own treatment or utilize one of six preset body programs available. The middle button helps you determine your program and the side buttons help you adjust to one of 25 intensity levels (levels do NOT have to be symmetrical).
I will say that I’m still not sure I’ve figured out which is the positive and the negative electrode in each pair when I place them on my skin (be happy that there are no photos of my lower back, right glute and hip) but I can say that my home treatment sessions have been nothing less than fabulous!
I’m usually a glutton for punishment when it comes to my treatments (I’m also that weirdo that likes massages to almost hurt) but when I went to level 4 on my Preset Lower Back Treatment, it was more than enough! Since I’m still on the mend from my re-injury in January, I know that the AccuRelief™ Dual Channel TENS unit will become a staple as I rebuild my strength and stamina going forward.
The AccuRelief™ Dual Channel unit is available without a prescription and FDA cleared for safety. It is a simple, drug-free solution for arthritic, muscular, joint and back pain relief but check with your medical professional to see if it is right for you. You can purchase a single or a double TENS unit directly via Carex for $52.49 or for $29.73 via Amazon Prime* AccuRelief Dual Channel TENS Electrotherapy Pain Relief System
Disclosure: I did receive a complimentary AccuRelief™ Dual Channel TENS unit for review but all opinions expressed here are 100% my own. This post does include affiliate links designated by (*).