TENS therapy is an attractive alternative treatment for mesothelioma patients because it is approved by the FDA and almost always fully covered by insurance plans. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It is a therapy focusing on the unique bodily output of energy, and uses many of the same concepts as acupuncture and massage therapy. Mesothelioma attorneys would like to highlight the benefits of TENS therapy, especially for those seeking safe alternative treatments for asbestos-related illnesses.
This type of therapy is usually administered by a TENS therapist who places electrodes on the skin, either directly on the places experiencing pain or on related areas. Small electrical shocks are sent through the body to relieve pain and help with other medical ailments. These electrical signals stimulate skin nerves, and may activate muscles if placed in a certain manner. This type of therapy has been used by physicians since the 1970s, and is usually recommended in mesothelioma experiencing chronic pain. The aim is to generate electrical impulses that run parallel to nerve fibers, generating signals to the brain to block pain, and assisting the body in producing endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
This therapy can also be done at home if the patient feels at ease with the procedure. TENS uses a battery-powered machine attached with two electrodes that carry the current and are positioned on the skin. TENS devices have different frequencies of wavelengths, such as a steady flow or small bursts of current. For those practicing the procedure at home, all settings should be determined by your doctor and you should not deviate from these pre-sets. Inappropriate electrical current can burn or irritate the skin or cause the pain to become worse.
Though the FDA and the American Cancer Society have deemed TENS a safe therapy, some precautions must be taken. Those with heart problems, implanted pacemakers, infusion pumps, defibrillators, and other like devices should not use TENS, and women who are pregnant should consult a doctor before attempting to use it. Anyone with adhesives allergies may react to the electrode pads put on the skin and should also consult a doctor. Electrodes should never be placed on the eyes, brain, heart, mouth, neck, or on any open sores. Aside from these warnings, there are no adverse health or side effects associated with TENS therapy.
Unlike other forms of pain management, TENS is non-addictive and non-invasive. It can be used to treat, control and manage both acute and chronic pain. Because mesothelioma is so severe, its conventional treatments are often debilitating and result in extreme pain. Mesothelioma patients are often of advanced age, so non-invasive pain management techniques are especially attractive and sought after. TENS is used most often in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, to combat the negative side effects of these treatments.
Patients undergoing TENS therapy often describe the sensation as a type of tingling or warming. Procedures can last anywhere between five and fifteen minutes and can be administered as often as the patient requests. Fortunately, the cost of TENS treatment is very low, and machines are available at many doctors offices for rent. Other than pain management, TENS has been reported to alleviated mesothelioma symptoms such as shallow breathing and troubling swallowing.
Doctors often recommend TENS instead of pain relieving drugs because it does not interfere with chemotherapy or other treatment techniques, will not worsen symptoms, and will not produce any adverse side effects.
Mesothelioma lawyers recommend TENS therapy, in conjunction with other alternative and conventional methods, to those suffering from mesothelioma or any other asbestos related illness.