September is Pain Awareness Month. For those living with chronic conditions, or even those experiencing an episode of pain more acutely, the impacts are far-reaching. Personal desperation is not uncommon. Family and friends may feel helpless. Additionally, the workplace is often negatively affected. Nationally, the conversation around pain and the expanding use of opioid drugs is front and center. However, a viable solution, TENS therapy, remains unfamiliar to many.
Omron sponsored this post. I received compensation and an Omron Avail wireless TENS device for the purpose of this review. All stated thoughts and opinions are my personal and professional impressions of this product. (And always ethical!)
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a non-pharmaceutical device that I first was introduced to in 1979 as a physical therapy (PT) student. Yes, it’s been in use that long. In my forty-year career, I have utilized TENS as part of a comprehensive treatment plan with a diverse patient population; from chronic low pain sufferers to postoperative patients, to runners battling iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). Throughout this time, I observed impressive results in pain management. So much so, I utilized TENS therapy during labor for my second son. Anecdotally I can share that childbirth was SO much easier the second time around! Because of my professional and personal successes, I was eager to partner with Omron Healthcare this Pain Awareness Month.
In the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2015 publication “NIH Analysis Shows Americans Are In Pain,” it was estimated that 126 million residents in the U.S. suffer from pain. Moreover, approximately 25 million of them experience chronic pain. Unfortunately, prescription painkillers and opioids are common treatments. In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a record 72,000 drug-related deaths, the majority of which were due to opioid overdose. It is no wonder that according to a Gallop Poll Report 78% of Americans are open to drug-free alternatives in the treatment of their pain.
TENS is a nonpharmacological intervention that can be used in the management of multiple pain conditions. By placing electrodes on the skin near the site of pain, pulses stimulate the nerve endings and in essence “block” pain signals from reaching the brain. In a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trails, authors Johnson and Martinson conclude that TENS has been clinically proven to alleviate mild to moderate musculoskeletal (knee and joint, for example) and chronic lower back pain.
TENS therapy has three main attributes that make it effective:
- Blocks the pain message signals to the brain
- Stimulates the release of endorphins – our bodies’ natural painkillers, and
- Improves blood circulation
The Omron Avail Wireless TENS Device
Throughout my time as a PT, TENS units were only available in medical settings. However, this technology can now be accessed outside of these facilities. Omron was the first brand to offer a TENS device for use at home. Furthermore, it has invested in creating a full range of TENS products to help pain sufferers alleviate their symptoms. Omron’s TENS devices use the same trusted technology that as a PT I have come to know and trust.
Omron Healthcare, Inc. is the global category leader in personal heart health and wellness technology, with a heritage of over 40 years. Their company is passionate about empowering people to take charge of their health at home. Thus, every individual should ultimately be able to live their healthiest life.
Recently, Omron launched its first wireless at-home drug-free pain management device, the Avail, an FDA-cleared TENS device designed to provide symptomatic relief and management of chronic and acute pain. The Omron Avail is completely wireless and uses two contoured pads that allow users to treat multiple pain sites simultaneously. It also features Bluetooth® connectivity for wireless control of settings via the Omron TENS iOS or Android App, for completely mobile personal pain relief.
Pain Awareness Month
TENS Therapy for Pain Awareness Month. There IS an safe, non-addicting alternative to drug prescription!
The Avail and other Omron TENS products are available for purchase at OmronHealthcare.com. Thankfully, throughout Pain Awareness Month, Omron is offering a special 30 percent discount on all TENS devices and accessories.
Follow me as I attempt my first half marathon post-pelvic fracture this coming Saturday. During this Pain Awareness Month, I will be testing my Avail unit thereafter for management of my residual sacroiliac discomfort. Perfect timing for my TENS therapy Omron!