Friday, 25 August 2017

All About ... TENS Therapy

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) machines are used as pain suppressors.  The machines deliver low voltage electrical pulses to the nervous system to help relieve pain.  

This type of therapy has been used on humans for many years but is relatively new to the horse world.  There is little research so this should probably not be your first choice of therapy.  There also seems to be people claiming to be qualified after little training but as I said there is not much research on horses and TENS treatment.  It is important to bear in mind that humans can easily tell us if something is causing more pain than before - it is more difficult for a horse.

However the principal is that the electrical pulses block or confuse the pain signals before they reach the brain.  It is important to know where and why there is pain in the first place or the treatment will purely mask the problem.

In humans it is used for:

·         Post operative pain
·         Osteoarthritis
·         Musculoskeletal pain

I have used it myself for lower back pain but would not consider using it on my horse until there is more research.  There are contraindications too, TENS must not be used when suffering from Sepsis!

As with other therapies I would recommend that treatment should only be given on the advice of a vet.

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