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Definition of TENS and its application in labor analgesia

2021.12.09 / Thursday
Definition of TENS and its application in labor analgesia





If it is necessary to classify the types of pain, then the pain of childbirth definitely belongs to the first step.


Pain during childbirth is a physiological response. Multi-dimensionality, subjectivity, and complexity are the main characteristics of childbirth pain. The pain is mainly caused by the cramping pain caused by the contraction of the uterus of the parturient.


Modern medicine advocates reasonable control of pain during childbirth, which is helpful to the physical and mental health of mothers and fetuses.


At present, the methods of labor analgesia are divided into two types: drug-based analgesia and non-drug-based analgesia.

Drug-induced analgesia is more reliable, but it needs to be provided by professionals. Mothers and their families are often worried about the adverse effects of drugs on the mother and fetus, which makes the development of intraspinal analgesia in the country always at a low rate.


Because of this, non-drug analgesia also occupies an important position in domestic clinical practice. We should pay enough attention to non-drug analgesia technology and learn to apply it better.


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is one of the important methods in non-pharmacological analgesia. Although it has been used for labor pain for some years, there are still many controversies so far.


Let us briefly understand what TENS is.

Broadly speaking, TENS is a non-invasive analgesic therapy that activates peripheral nerves through current pulses to reduce pain.

According to the type of stimulation, TENS devices can be divided into three categories: conventional TENS, acupuncture-like TENS and strong stimulation TENS .


The stimulus form of conventional TENS is high-frequency and low-intensity electrical stimulation, which selectively activates non-noxious afferent nerves (Aβ fibers);


Acupuncture-like TENS is low-frequency and high-intensity electrical stimulation, which activates small-diameter nociceptive fibers (Aδ and C fibers);


Strong stimulation TENS is a high-frequency and high-intensity electrical stimulation that selectively activates small diameter Aδ fibers. Because of its large current, the muscles are prone to fatigue and cannot be used for a long time.