Drug-free pain management: MyTens and connected-health therapies

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…what is it and why is it important?

More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain each year. With the nation in the grips of a devastating opioid epidemic due to the misuse of addictive prescription pain medicines, there is an urgent need to provide safe, drug-free alternatives for managing pain.

In this first of a three-part series on safe pain management, we’re taking a closer look at one of the most popular pain management therapies, which is also one of the most sought-after tools for recovering from activity-induced injuries: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

TENS is a scientifically proven pain management treatment that uses electrostimulation to achieve localized pain relief. Use of TENS therapies is skyrocketing thanks to a new generation of smart, wireless, and mobile TENS devices, like the BewellConnect MyTens, which are non-invasive, inexpensive, and easy for consumers to operate themselves. MyTens is a wearable medical device that relieves pain through pulses that stimulate nerve fibers, blocking pain signals as they travel to the brain. MyTens not only helps relieve pain, it also massages and relaxes sore and aching muscles using a medically approved, FDA-cleared device, and is conveniently self-administered using the BewellConnect MyTens app.

TENS is an effective treatment that shows great results for those who use it. A recent national survey found that an overwhelming majority of Americans who have received treatments are firm believers. Approximately 60 percent of the 1,000+ consumers surveyed have sought treatments for back pain, bad knees, ankle sprains, and a host of other issues. When they did, nearly half (47%) used TENS units or similar electrotherapies, with 90% saying that it helped in their recoveries.

Patient empowerment
MyTens addresses an unmet need for people who want to manage their pain or as an added benefit in their training regimen, in coordination with their medical provider. It is part of a growing trend of blended care, which combines online components with face-to-face consultations in clinical practice. The app-connected MyTens unit can help health care professionals ensure compliance with physical therapy treatments.

MyTens is also part of a growing trend of consumers embracing connected-health technologies, including wearables, apps and other health technology devices with mobile communications capabilities. A recent Accenture survey found a rapidly growing use of digital technologies for self-service care, with 75 percent of consumers saying technology is important for managing their health. Consumers like connected health technologies like MyTens because of its portability, availability, and convenience, which allows them to make time for therapy treatments they might otherwise forego due to difficulty in making it happen or challenges in meeting with care providers.

And, of course, skyrocketing health care costs are an important driver of self-care technologies. In this respect, MyTens is helping to meet consumer demand for new therapy options that help reduce or eliminate the need for dangerous oral drugs and expensive surgical interventions, along with at home physical therapy treatments, once limited to in-office care.

Health care providers love connected-care technologies as well because, like consumers, they want drug-free options for treating patients’ pain conditions. Connected-health devices are giving clinicians a host of new capabilities for delivering care more efficiently and cost-effectively, including remote monitoring, e-visits, and e-prescribing of medications.

Next up: Staying ahead of injuries
Beyond pain management, TENS therapies can also help in muscle injury prevention. That’s why athletes, particularly those involved in elite sports and high-intensity training,

are increasingly turning to alternative therapies like MyTens’ electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) functionality to help in the prevention of sports injury pain, strengthen muscles, and enhance post-exercise performance recovery.

In our next blog installment, we’ll discuss tips to help prevent and avoid activity-induced injuries and using connected-health technologies to help keep muscles healthy and relieve pain associated with workout aches and strains.

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