“Let me know when you start to feel this.” I heard a muffled voice above me say, as I lay with my face in a padded cradle and my shorts ever so discretely tucked up to expose my sore right hip.
Moments later a light vibration and we have liftoff. It was my first experience with electrical stimulation (hereafter the cooler name e-stim) and for years it was only really available via a doctor’s office. Luckily in recent years, companies like Omron started making at home models…but they were just that at home.
You weren’t taking all those wires to race day, I mean you’d never get through security without a bag check and you definitely weren’t popping it on during the plane ride. Until the Omron Avail Wireless TENS unit!
All right, I’m ahead of myself because I’m excited. Let’s back up and start at the beginning…
What is e-stim?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (hence the name TENS unit) uses small electrodes on the skin to deliver low-frequency, pulsed electrical currents. It’s designed as a way to relieve pain without the use of drugs (you read my post on not taking pain relievers before workouts, right?!), is completely non-invasive and now very cost effective to do at home.
You place the electrodes on the specific area of pain and use the controls to dial in the specific mode or intensity level of the treatment.
What does a TENS unit do?
Think of it a bit like when the fire alarm goes off in your office. Blinking lights, noise that won’t stop…that’s your brain when dealing with pain, it can’t get away from the signal and a TENS unit helps to break the pattern.
Here’s what it does:
- Interrupting the pain signal to your brain, allows for pain relief.
- Interrupting that pain cycle can also help you to start moving and focusing on recovery.
- Can stimulate the body to produce endorphins (our own natural pain killers)
- Can enhance blood circulation, which promotes healing
This doesn’t mean it’s going to allow you to ignore injuries that require time, physical therapy or rest to recover. But it can help you get through the recovery process more easily.
Who should use TENS?
- Pre or post workout to recover without drugs
- Athletes who will undergo drug testing
- Any athlete looking for drug free options
- Pregnant runners looking for drug free pain relief
- Post surgery recovery
- Those with arthritis, tendonitis or chronic pain
As a runner, I am absolutely interested in this for enhanced recovery and moving on from those taper niggles faster. But the timing is fabulous as my Dad is visiting and has arthritis that I’d love to see if he feels is better through using this consistently!!
Drug free pain relief is right up my alley and so important as we know that over 25 million Americans are dealing with chronic pain issues.
Does it really work for pain relief?
This is the ultimate question we all want answered right?! I’m going to be testing out the Omron Avail over the next 30 days to give you an exact idea of how well it works (especially since I’ll be traveling!).
I’ve done A LOT of research on this already and of course, I’d experienced it some via past Physical Therapy or Chiropractor visits. And I can say before even starting the trial that I believe two things:
- Just like not everyone believes in compression and others swear by it, these things are individual.
- Even if there is some amount of placebo effect, I DO NOT CARE. I mean if it’s a drug free option that allows us to feel better, that’s a winner in my book.
Omron Avail Wireless TENS Device
As noted, this is the device I’m going to be testing out specifically over the next 30 days. I’ve got two areas that have been bugging me consistently: my shoulders (hello computer work) and my left glute (no photos of that, sorry!). So let’s just see what happens!
I love that this device can easily travel with me for consistent use. It’s easy to control via an app on my phone and has two pads which can be independently controlled!Even after surgery, I used pain pills only 1 day because I didn’t like the way they make me feel. And on a general day, pain relievers make me sleepy…yah I just don’t like taking things if I have other natural alternatives, which is why I’m excited to share this with you.
Anyone interested in joining me, act fast! Throughout Pain Awareness Month, Omron is offering a special 30 percent discount on all TENS devices and accessories.
A full review of this device is coming in October, after I’ve had time to test it out.
Don’t miss part 2: My full review of the Omron Wireless after using it for 30 days
Have you ever tried e-stim?
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This post in sponsored by Omron, all opinions and thoughts and nerves tested are my own.