There is no doubting that some sporting injuries can be a real pain, literally. Not only could it mean that you will be sat out on the sidelines for some time but day to day life can be a struggle.
I remember when I was younger in the the 90’s and suffered a sporting injury whilst doing some running. It just happened to be my last school sports day before leaving.
I took part in the 100m sprint and as most kids do I didn’t bother with warming up. As soon as I set off I felt an awful tearing pain in my leg but due to the adrenaline, carried on. In fact I even took part in the triple jump straight after.
It was at that point I knew there was something wrong. After the adrenaline wore off I was in agony and could barely walk. That was my first sports injury and the first time I tried using a TENS machine.
Back in those days TENS machines were very bulky items that were still a pretty new technology. However it still offered me some brilliant pain relief to my injury.
A TENS machine is great for sport injuries.
Many athletes or even hobby sports people will at some time feel aches and twinges. The problem is as time goes on these can mount up into something more troublesome.
Now whilst there is no better way to remedy than resting, sometimes you just want some pain relief and physical therapy. This is where a TENS machine could be the correct option for you.
The majority of true athletes do not like to take medication. After all who wants to get to peak physical fitness only to have to fill your body with crappy chemicals?! Using a TENS machine will mean you can get that vital pain relief for your sports injury in a natural way.
I am sure you are now wondering how a TENS unit can treat your sporting injury.
This is how a TENS unit works on sports injuries.
TENS units are great at helping to relieve pain for some chronic illnesses. So helping to treat a sport injury is a real walk in the park.
The way that a TENS machine does this is in two parts.
Blocking the pain signals from the injury.
The sports injury that you received will cause some pain. The pain is created by signals sent from your nerve endings in your soft tissue and through to your central nervous system. Ultimately these signals will reach your brain and then that is when you feel the pain and discomfort.
A TENS unit works by sending small and pleasant electrical charges into your nerve endings. The electrical charges actually cause a disruption to the pain signals which can redirect the pain or block it off completely. By doing this you will feel a gentle tingling in the skin where the electrodes are placed instead of your sport injury pain.
The body releases endorphins to help ease the pain.
The second way that a TENS machine help to block the pain from your injury is by the release of endorphins.
Endorphins are the bodies natural pain killer and are usually released during intense pain. The electrical current created by your TENS machine stimulates the nerve endings, tricking the body into releasing natural pain relief.
This provides incredible pain relief and will have you forgetting about your injury in no time. The added bonus to this is that your body has released its own natural painkiller instead of having to taken nasty and addictive medication.
Using a TENS machine for sports physical therapy.
A lot of people who take part in physical sports will at some time feel symptoms of discomfort in their muscles and joints.
This can usually make the effected areas feel tight and restrictive and even sore to use. This is the reason why some people may visit a physical therapist who will help with exercises to loosen up the stiff joints and muscles. Also massages can help to ease the discomfort as well.
What many people do not know though is that a TENS machine can do all of these things as well. This is because the vast majority of TENS units also feature modes that are EMS. What EMS stands for is electronic muscle stimulation.
This works much the same as TENS however the electrical charges are at a different frequency and are also slightly more powerful. The electrical charges of an EMS machine actually penetrate much further than the nerve endings and actually reach into the muscle fibres.
The result of this is contractions within the muscles and dependant on which mode you use this can massage and relax tight muscles and joints. Sports therapy physicians around the world are now prescribing the use of TENS and EMS machines for athletes and sports people for this exact reason.
Using EMS and TENS machines to build muscles.
Not only are TENS and EMS machines perfect for treating sports injuries and stiff or tight muscles, they are also great at building muscles.
This can be very beneficial to athletes and sports enthusiasts who may not get enough time to go down to the gym. It also provides a great way to increase mass and stimulate muscles that are a little harder to train by normal methods.
The way that a TENS machine does this I by using the EMS function. As I mentioned earlier this mode releases feel seeking pulses that are received in the muscle fibres. This causes big muscle contractions and releases much the same as when lifting weights at the gym.
We have seen great results whilst using abdominal muscle specific EMS units. However the same results can be replicated on any muscle group using a standard EMS and TENS machine.
Our recommended TENS and EMS machines for sports injuries and therapy.
For sports injury therapy using a TENS machine we have one unit that we truely recommend. It is available in both the US and the UK although it does have a different model number for both regions.
This TENS machine is actually our favourite unit for many different conditions and injuries. If you would like to read our full review of this amazing TENS machine please use this link.
Otherwise if you would like to view it on Amazon at the best prices available please click on the link below for the country that you are in.
The Med-Fit Premier TENS and EMS machine US version.
Med-Fit BAL-906A Premier 4 Channel Easy Rechargeable
Below is the link to the UK version of the Med-Fit Premier TENS and EMS machine.
Med-Fit Premier EV906 4 Channel Rechargeable TENS Machine and Muscle Stimulator with 24 Pre-Set Programmes manual adjustment
Hopefully this article has given you the information that you need to begin your journey into TENS machine sports therapy.
I believe that many athletes and sports enthusiasts could benefit greatly from using one. Being able to manage the aches and pain that have resulted from sports without the need for conventional medication is a huge benefit. The fact that TENS machines can be used to actually build muscle as well which could be handy for many athletes.
Plus there are all of the other benefits that were mentioned above. TENS machines should be a major part of anyone’s equipment who participates in sports.
Sources of research and further reading.
TENS machine therapy NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/transcutaneous-electrical-nerve-stimulation-tens/
TENS machines Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/self-care-approaches-to-treating-pain/art-20367322
EMS machine therapy for sports injuries: https://www.thegoodbody.com/what-does-a-tens-unit-do-for-muscles/