Electrotherapy uses the effect of electrical currents on the organism. The main field of application is in the pain and muscle therapy, for example, sciatica pain, rheumatism and osteoarthritis or muscle tension. The current can be passed through the body through electrodes that are stuck to the skin.
Full or partial baths are also possible in which the current is conducted through the water to the skin (for example, Stangerbäder, iontophoresis). TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is best suited for pain therapy.
In the case of TENS, the nerves running there are irritated by electrodes on the skin. This does not hurt and the patient only feels a slight tingling sensation. Presumably, the stimulus causes the body to activate its pain regulation system, thereby increasing the pain threshold of the entire organism. The pain is less noticeable or diminishes.
The electrodes are glued directly over the painful area. Then the current is chosen so that the patient will feel a slight but pleasant tingling sensation. Three to four treatments a day for half an hour are usually enough. After a few weeks, the effect may subside, then it should be paused or the electrodes used in other places.
The battery-powered pulse generator for the TENS is no larger than a pack of cigarettes, the electrodes are only a few square centimeters. The devices should be used only after medical instruction.
Cost of a TENS treatment
The TENS devices are considered medical aids and can be rented. The costs are usually covered when electrotherapy is ordered.