TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Essentially, the therapy delivers ultra-low frequency electrical impulses to the nerves that control the muscles associated with facial expression and jaw function. It works by reducing inflammation, increasing blood flow, releasing endorphins, and stimulating muscles to function aerobically. When muscles are in spasm, as often happens in TMD, they contract and shorten, which hinders blood flow. When TENS therapy increases blood flow to the area, it promotes muscle relaxation. TENSing allows your dentist, not just to provide temporary pain relief, but also to move your jaw to a more proper resting position.
What to Expect With TENSing
By stimulating the facial muscles to relax, TENSing allows for significant pain relief. The pain relief goes beyond the jaw. You may find that the therapy reduces the number and severity of headaches and relieves TMD-related neck pain as well.
Since Dr Bryce uses the Ultra Low Frequency type of TENS , he can stimulate the nerves directly. Dr Bryce places the electrodes over Cranial Nerves V(5th), VII(7th), and XI(11th) stimulating the nerves directly , thereby stimulating all of the muscles associated with these nerves. The attached picture demonstrates the complexity of only the Cranial Nerve V .This is only one of the three nerves noted . If you count the other 2 nerves , it is astonishing of what all is affected by TENSING these nerves! The TENS that Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, and those commonly sold in stores are Bipolar TENS. This TENS only stimulates the particular muscle underlying the TENS pad electrode.
It usually requires a 1 hour session to fully relax and oxygenate through TENS, all the muscles of the head , neck, and upper back.
What are some of the problems that can be helped with TENS:
- Of course, TMJ (jaw joint Pain).
- Neck pain, of both acute and chronic nature.
- Trigeminal Neuralgia.
- Facial Paralysis.
- Shoulder and back pain.
- And much more!
About the Author
Dr. Bryce is a Physiologic dentist in the Potomac Falls and Sterling areas. He has an in depth understanding of TMD and it’s effects upon the entire body. He is adept at providing various therapies, that can provide relief for TMD sufferers.
If you would like to learn how Dr Bryce can help you, please contact our office today at (571)434-8000.