PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

Is TENS good for rheumatoid arthritis?

ANSWER

TENS is a small device that sends electrical signals into your body through electrodes placed on your skin near the area that hurts. It's not clear exactly how it works, but it gives some people relief.

One theory is that it interrupts pain signals in your nerves. Another idea is that it triggers the release of endorphins -- chemicals that are your body's natural painkillers.

A TENS unit in your home may get you through a flare-up. Most people hurt less while the device is on, but after they turn it off, the pain usually comes back.

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis Today: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Relief Without Drugs" and "Progressive Muscle Relaxation."

American College of Rheumatology: "Joint Injection/Aspiration."

Brosseau, L. The Cochrane Library: "Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the hand." Published online January 21, 2009.

University of Maryland School of Medicine. Cochrane CAM Field: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Lyster, F.  , February 2011. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Rheumatoid Arthritis." 

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society: "Sleep Improvement Strategies."

Reviewed by David Zelman on December 15, 2016

SOURCES:

Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis Today: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Relief Without Drugs" and "Progressive Muscle Relaxation."

American College of Rheumatology: "Joint Injection/Aspiration."

Brosseau, L. The Cochrane Library: "Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the hand." Published online January 21, 2009.

University of Maryland School of Medicine. Cochrane CAM Field: "Rheumatoid Arthritis."

Lyster, F.  , February 2011. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Rheumatoid Arthritis." 

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society: "Sleep Improvement Strategies."

Reviewed by David Zelman on December 15, 2016

NEXT QUESTION:

Should I talk to my partner about sex if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: