Neuropathy is a painful and uncomfortable condition. Those who are diagnosed with it often are prescribed tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) as a first line of treatment. Some are also prescribed serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), as well as a variety of other options. Many people, unsurprisingly, are looking for more natural ways to treat their neuropathy, particularly because this can help them avoid the various side effects that come with drugs. One such option is TENS (transcutaneous electrical stimulation) therapy.
TENS is an affordable way to treat your neuropathy without needing to see a doctor. A handheld device sends electrical impulses to the nerves, so that they are more stimulated rather than being in pain. Most people use this kind of therapy together with other forms of medication.
TENS is a very common form of treatment for pain. In fact, it was first developed towards the end of the 1990s. Essentially, electrodes are place near where the pain is, on the skin itself. Then, transcutaneous electrical impulses regulate how pain impulses are sent to the brain, by stopping pre-synaptic transmission of the spinal cord's dorsal horn. This, in turn, stops nociceptive stimuli. Additionally, it is believed that this therapy also provides endogenous pain control by stimulating dynorphins, endorphins, and enkephalins.
It has a number of key reported benefits, such as:
TENS can be applied for as short a period as half an hour, to continuously. The duration of the treatment can be a few days, or even months. Three settings are available:
How quickly the treatment will work depends on the setting, how often it is used, how long it is used, and on the individual.
TENS pain relief can last for anything from a few hours to a few days. Those who apply it continuously tend to have the greatest relief, as the impulses are sent all the time.
Scientists agree that this therapy can provide excellent pain relief, particularly when people first start using it. However, it is not clear how effective this will be on the long term. Unfortunately, there have been significant methodological inconsistencies during studies, not in the least that the sample sizes were very small. Overall, some patients will feel benefits that are enduring, whereas others will only feel it during the stimulation itself.
Generally speaking, there are few reported negative side effects associated with TENS. However, some drawbacks have been reported, including:
How common the side effects are will vary per effect. In general:
TENS therapy as a treatment method is particularly recommended for people with diabetic neuropathy.
Price depends on the brand of TENS machine. Most good models are available for around $100. You do also have to buy gel and tape to keep the electrodes in place, but those are minor costs.
Most pharmacies have machines that you can try. Your physician may also prescribe one for you for a short period of time. You can purchase the machines in most drug stores, larger department stores, medical stores, and online.
Conventional treatment for neuropathy involves the use of pharmaceutical products. The list of these options is almost endless, ranging from over the counter topical solutions to opioid painkillers. For many, however, these types of treatment options are not truly beneficial, and often only mask the problem.
As a result, they prefer to look for alternative options that are more natural and that actually solve the problem itself. The Nerve Renew supplement has proven to be particularly popular, as it is a natural solution without side effects.
Other options for treating neuropathy include:
Considering that neuropathy significantly reduces someone's quality of life, trying TENS may be a good option for them. It can be used at home without any dangers. This is particularly true when used in combination with a supplement such as Nerve Renew.