SCIATICA: PAIN MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Two lesser known but at times extremely successful methods of easing pain also worth considering are:

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).
This method works somewhat on the same principle that makes pain diminish when you rub an injured area. However, instead of rubbing the painful spot, the TENS unit – a small battery-powered electronic unit you can clip to your belt or carry in a pocket – sends small electrical impulses to conductive pads placed near where it hurts. The electrical impulses are transmitted through the pads to the local nerve endings and reduce the capacity of the nerves to transmit pain signals to the receptors in the brain, so effectively reducing your perception of the pain. Note, however, that although TENS treatment can lessen pain it does not cure the underlying condition responsible for it.

While TENS units are potentially available for loan to suitable patients under the NHS, they are usually in very short supply. You can, however, also buy a unit yourself (no prescription is needed) and one well-established supplier of these is Dezac Ltd, 54 Bath Road, Cheltenham, Glos GL53 7HG (Tel: 01242 583502), whose Rio TENS unit offers both variable intensity control and six different treatment programmes.

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