19 02 2013
Using TENS Units for Athletes
Athletes are familiar with pain. Many have pain and sore muscles they deal with on a daily basis. The best athletes in the world are able to perform even when they are in pain and some people believe that is what makes them so good at what they do. Eventually the pain becomes too much for the body to handle. Relief is available through medication, physical therapy and other products. Muscles stimulators and TENS units for athletes are two helpful medical devices that can aid recovery and eliminate pain.
Most athletes will try pain medication first. Taking anti-inflammatory medicine once every eight hours is helpful to most. Research shows that some people take drugs several times per day to stay pain free. This provides short-term relief but can lead to long term medical problems. Naproxen, sold over the counter as Aleve, disrupts the circulation system and can cause bleeding in the intestines and stomach when taken for a long time. Prescription medications can cause worse problems because some people are at risk of becoming addicted and are unable to stop taking them without suffering serious withdrawal symptoms.
Older athletes with chronic pain are dealing with more than just ordinary sore muscles and the occasional injury. Physical therapy can help but using a TENS unit is another option that some people have never heard of before. This machine can help individuals avoid the need to take pain medicine. This device delivers electrical impulses to the muscles and provides relief from chronic pain. These electrical impulses block pain signals traveling from the injured area on the body to the brain. Users can attach the machine to any area of the body including the arm, leg, shoulder, back and neck. The silver electrodes attach to the body in the affected area. The user has control over the pulse provided by the machine and can choose the frequency, rate and width necessary to relieve the pain.
A muscle stimulator is another helpful tool for athletes but it is useful for other reasons. Muscle stimulators do not control chronic pain. What they do is increase recovery speed after injuries, which professional athletes suffer from on a regular basis. This device is helpful for building strong muscles and prevents muscle atrophy, which happens when a muscle is not used on a regular basis. The muscle stimulator has silver electrodes that attach to the skin but the pulses contract the muscle, which increases blood flow to the injured area and speeds up recovery.