What is the Difference Between TENS and Scrambler Therapy?

TENS machine being used on foot
Those with peripheral neuropathy understand the discomfort associated with their condition, how it can be infrequent and frequent at this same time, and how it can dissipate just as quickly as it can arise. Surely, you can relate to just how confusing the discomfort can become. With a number of proposed therapies that are available, a person can be overwhelmed with choosing the right treatment, and by the right treatment, we mean the treatment that is the most effective and will have lasting results.

For instance, many people utilize a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit, which is a small battery-operated device to block the pain signal being transmitted to the brain. Alternatively, many other people use Scrambler Therapy for the same purpose. So what’s the difference?.

At Prairie Star Functional Health Center, we are genuinely interested in helping you find the right kind of therapy for the discomfort you are suffering from as a result of your peripheral neuropathy. That is why we have decided to compare these two types of therapy in a brief article to determine which is the most effective. Although the TENS unit and Scrambler Therapy device both send electrodes through the body to block the pain signal from being sent to the brain, the main difference is that they distribute the electrodes at different rates of impulsion.

With the TENS unit, electrodes are typically distributed at 30 milliamps to start, and the person using the device will have to manually adjust the amperage higher to a maximum amount at 150 milliamps. The problem with doing this is that sometimes a person will increase the amperage over the recommended amount, which will cause muscle contractions, resulting in more discomfort. Unfortunately, after continued use of the TENS unit, the brain will be able to distinguish the electrode as an artificial signal and it will eventually become rejected by the brain. Overall, the signals transmitted through the TENS unit seem to only disrupt the pain signal being transmitted to the brain, but it does not offer a rejuvenated signal to assist the damaged nerve that is not transmitting signals properly.

Scrambler Therapy, on the other hand, concentrates the electrodes to be distributed through a normal “no pain” electrical signal to the damaged nerves, essentially, replacing the signal that is transmitting chronic pain. The main component of Scrambler Therapy is the device itself, which, through its intelligence, allows users not to worry about having to manually adjust the amperage. The reason this is important is so the brain does not reject the scrambled signal in the chronic pain area. The focus of the Scrambler Therapy device is not only to remove the pain signal and replace it with a non-pain signal but it is also aimed at allowing the body to heal naturally through the distributed electrical signal that helps the nerves adapt to the non-pain signal in a natural environment. This process may also help reduce the inflammation that is connected to the chronic pain signal being sent from the damaged nerve.

Ultimately, the commonality between the TENS unit and Scrambler Therapy is only electricity. However, the difference is the level and accuracy of electricity being distributed into the body. That is where the Scrambler Therapy device rises above the TENS unit: its innovative electrode distribution that adapts with the body rather than intruding and becoming rejected by the brain.

If you have developed peripheral neuropathy from diabetes and are becoming depressed as a result, we may have a solution for you. Contact Prairie Star Functional Health Center today at (913) 562-6100 to schedule a free consultation. Don’t wait! The sooner you can treat peripheral neuropathy; the sooner you will feel better.