According to the definition of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain is defined as “an unpleasant, sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”
Pain is subjective. One person may find something to be painful while another will not. Many factors (physical, mental and social) ultimately determine the severity of the pain.
Nociceptive pain is pain stemming from actual or imminent damage to non-neurogenic tissue and is the result of the activation of nociceptors (reference: Behandelstandaard Pijn NHG [Pain Treatment Standard NHG]).
Neuropathic pain is the result of damage or disease of the peripheral or central nervous system and can manifest as an abnormal pain experience or hypersensitivity to stimuli that normally do not cause pain. Characteristics of neuropathic pain are: a burning, prickling or tingling sensation, a sensation of “electric shocks”, numbness, hypersensitivity during touching, hypersensitivity to heat or cold (reference: Behandelstandaard Pijn NHG [Pain Treatment Standard NHG]).
TENS is an abbreviation for Transcutaneous Electro Nerve Stimulation and means that an electrical current is emitted through the skin (transcutaneous) that can influence (stimulate) the nerves in order to decrease pain.
TENS is administered using a device with batteries connected to two wires containing an electrode, which can be affixed to the skin. These electrodes emit electrical current through the skin at an intensity that is controlled by the patient him/herself. The patient receives instructions in the use of TENS, which allows him/her to apply the treatment at home.