4/6/16 – See end of post for an update.
A few months ago, I was sent the HoMedics Rapid Relief Electronic Pain Relief Pads for review. I received the set for Arms and Legs and the set for Lower Back.
What is an Electronic Pain Relief Pad?
It’s a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) device for at home use.
Still confused? I was too. So I did some research. TENS is essentially electrical nerve stimulation that can reduce pain. The claims are that it blocks the pain signal from the nerves, though studies aren’t clear on whether or not it actually works. Some studies have shown that it’s not better than placebo. But hey, the placebo effect is a real thing, so I figured I would try it out!
The devices came packaged in handy carrying cases to keep the sticky side clean.
So how does it work? I stuck it to my calf and pressed the on button. I heard the sound indicating that it was on, but couldn’t feel anything. So I increased the intensity. There are a total of 15 settings.
Around level ten, I really started to feel it. It was an interesting pattern of about ten seconds of “buzzing” and then ten seconds of “blips.” For fun, I increased the intensity even more and could see my calf muscle start to twitch. Definitely an electrical current going on there. It automatically shuts off after 20 minutes.
So, did it work?
I… think so? My calf seemed less sore afterwards, though I didn’t have any “good” injuries to test it on. The back version had a different pattern of electrical pulses and I really wanted to try it out on a pulled lower back, but oh darn, I have yet to pull my back. I guess I’ve gotten good about proper lifting and movement. (Typically, I pull it while putting up or taking down holiday decorations, but not this holiday!)
So for an athlete’s normal muscle soreness, I’m not sure this helps all that much. It was fun to watch my leg twitch, so if nothing else, it was distracting. If you’ve got some severe post race soreness or a pulled muscle, however, it’s worth a shot. Especially for someone who has thrown out their back. When that happens, you’re willing to try anything, and this is a great non-medical remedy to add to the mix.
Okay guys, this thing is officially awesome. I end up with tightness in my shoulders and my lower back and popping the HoMedics Rapid Relief Electronic Pain Relief Pad onto my back definitely helped. It’s now a very valued piece of my health kit. I’m still a fan of heat, but I’ve added this into the mix and am very pleased with the results. Definitely worth it if you tend towards muscle strains.