Comparison of T.E.N.S. and T.E.A.M. units : a patient survey

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Rhoads, Stephanie A.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Biology
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The principal application of TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) and TEAM (Tannenbaum Electroanalgesia Method) units is basically identical. The primary difference in the units is the treatment frequency. TENS is considered to be primarily a low frequency modality, while the TEAM unit is considered to be a medium frequency modality. Conventional TENS units have adjustable parameters with a pulse width of 40-200 microseconds, a pulse rate of 1-160 Hz, and a pulse rise time of 4-20 microseconds. The TEAM unit has set parameters with a high frequency driving force of 100,000 Hz, a treatment frequency of 2500 Hz, and an interruption frequency of 286 Hz.This paper examines the literature of TENS and TEAM units to give an overall understanding of both and discusses patient questionnaires sent out to TEAM patients. The relatively new TEAM unit is evaluated by patients who have tried other unsuccessful means of treatment. The patients' evaluation is often considered to be the most valuable and lends the most insight as to whether treatment is effective or if the treatment at home is being done incorrectly. Many of the patients had previously used TENS units and therefore provide a true critical evaluation. This paper is aimed mainly toward physicians and physical therapists in an attempt to provide a basic understanding of the differences in these two different modalities.