Acupuncture involves inserting extremely fine needles in your skin at specific points on your body. Typically, the needles remain in place for 15 to 40 minutes. During that time they may be moved or manipulated. Because the needles are hair thin and flexible and are generally inserted superficially, most acupuncture treatments are relatively painless.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
A TENS unit delivers a tiny electrical current to key points on a nerve pathway. The current, delivered through electrodes taped to your skin, isn't painful or harmful. It's not known exactly how TENS works, but it's thought that it might stimulate the release of pain-inhibiting molecules (endorphins) or block pain fibers that carry pain impulses.
Mar. 10, 2015
- Skinner HB. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Orthopedics. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=675. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
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- Prestgaard TA. Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
- Acupuncture. National Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Jan. 22, 2015.
- DeSantana JM, et al. Effectiveness of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for treatment of hyperalgesia and pain. Current Rheumatology Reports. 2008;10:492.
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