#45: Physiology of PowerDot Smart TENS and Pain

#45: Physiology of PowerDot Smart TENS and Pain

PowerDot is breaking barriers and disrupting the technology and medical spaces when it comes to human performance, recovery, and now...pain! The PowerDot smart muscle stimulator has harnessed the technology of Smart Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS). This means that one wireless and portable, all encompassing, device acts as both a TENS unit and Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulator (NMES). 


It’s estimated that 50 million Americans, meaning over 20% of the adult population, suffer from chronic pain. And about 20 million of them have pain severe enough that it frequently limits common activities of daily living. Pain is getting in the way of us living our lives. 


What kind of pain are people, maybe you, suffering from? 


Low back pain and knee pain are the most prevalent. Approximately 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their life while knee pain will affect 25% of adults, not to mention that the prevalence of knee pain is on the rise, so that number will continue to increase. This is a problem we need to address and PowerDot has the solution.


The average person spends approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone. What if, with some of that time, you could use an app on your phone to provide pain relief, improve your recovery, and increase your performance? PowerDot is a sleek and wireless unit scientifically designed to do all those things with pre-set and customizable protocols allowing you to maximize your results and minimize your pain. 


Now, some form of electrical stimulation has been around for centuries! The Egyptians initially discovered that certain fish could emit electrical impulses that would treat pain.

So, let’s focus on the new Smart TENS feature with PowerDot. But you may be wondering…


Isn’t it all just a bunch of electrical impulses? Aren’t NMES and TENS basically the same thing? Well...not really. And we will get into the physiology of both NMES and TENS and how they both can help decrease pain in a moment, but the main difference is that NMES is designed to elicit the contraction of both Type I and Type II fibers whereas TENS is designed to target sensory pain nerves to bring an end to pain.

Physiology of Pain

Our skin, muscles, joints, bones, and viscera (organs in the body) all have free nerve endings that respond to noxious (unpleasant) stimuli. These receptors are called nociceptors. Nociceptors are sensory receptors for painful stimuli. 

Nociceptors are stimulated at the periphery (think near the muscles, away from the brain) by proinflammatory molecules producing peripheral hyperalgesia (enhanced pain response). 

So, these proinflammatory molecules will sensitize nociceptive receptors which will in turn send a signal to higher brain centers to be processed. Now, there’s a modulation system set-up so that not every signal elicits a pain response. This modulation system has constituents in place that act as excitatory or inhibitory mechanisms regulating the pain response. 

Taking all of this into consideration, the maintenance of pain is not only the result of continued and increased nociceptive activity in the periphery but also depends on the increase of excitatory or reduction of inhibitory pain modulation mechanisms. 

NMES Reduces Pain

NMES is a highly utilized device that aids in both the improvement of human performance (cycling, weightlifting, or life) and recovery. For instance, NMES is used within various rehab clinics and human performance centers and has been shown to reduce both structural and functional losses of the quadriceps muscles in those with osteoarthritis. What this means is that NMES helps people (no matter who) to live their best life. Though, not as highly mentioned, is the ability of NMES to also provide pain relief. Both short and long term. 

Long term, by increasing the strength of certain muscles (like the quadriceps mentioned above). NMES may also help provide a postural solution by aligning the joints of the body, thus decreasing pain caused by poor posture. 

Short term, by contracting skeletal muscle, which produces heat, and in essence “warms-up” the joint or the body. Also, going back to inflammation, we know that inflammation triggers pain receptors. NMES creates an electro-induced hyperfusion that may help to wash out and clear away cellular debris accumulated during the inflammatory response thereby decreasing pain. 

Theories Behind TENS Modulating Pain

The PowerDot Smart TENS unit is specifically designed to focus on pain relief. How does TENS technology decrease or mitigate pain? This question can be answered based on two theories.

The first theory, called the Gate Control Theory, suggests that there is a neural mechanism in the spinal cord that acts as a gate. This gate can swing open or closed, opening up or shutting down the flow of signals from the periphery to the brain. TENS sends a frequency signal via sensory nerves that block the transmission of pain signals to the brain, thus closing the gate. How this relates to the physiology of pain is that TENS reduces central neuron sensitization which may reduce hyperalgesia caused by inflammation.

The second theory is called Endorphin Release. This theory suggests that electrical impulses, via TENS, promotes the production of endorphins (our feel good hormones/chemicals). Endorphins then block pain messages from reaching the body. Endorphins make us feel good. Maybe you’ve heard of the runners high (weightlifters and powerlifters don’t experience running as a high). But endorphins get released with exercise, meditation, eating chocolate, laughing, etc. Basically anything awesome, like using the PowerDot TENS, which may block pain.


PowerDot TENS vs the competition


Keep in mind that PowerDot harnesses the technology of both NMES and TENS all in one device operated by using an app on your phone. No wires or going back and forth between various devices. Utilizing bluetooth technology, the power to decrease pain, enhance recovery, and improve performance is in the palm of your hands on an app on your phone. 


The use of TENS technology to treat pain is a safe and effective means compared to the harsh alternative. The most common pain treatment includes the use of prescription or over the counter drugs. People take these drugs and they may not even address the underlying cause of the pain. The PowerDot Smart TENS offers an alternative, sustainable, and natural means of pain management for enhanced quality of life in the long run. #bestlife


As previously mentioned, using NMES and exercise can help to decrease pain. However, just using TENS has been shown to significantly reduce pain more so than exercise. This is an important finding as pain can increase even more when starting an exercise program. TENS technology is a necessary complement to NMES.


Since the majority of people suffer from some type of pain, everyone should have access to both the NMES and TENS technology of PowerDot in their pocket. Snag the Pro Bundle today to ensure you have all the necessary equipment to take care of multiple pain spots and enhance your life.

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