Neurostimulation reduces pain by interfering with electrical signals to the brain’s pain centers from the area of the body where the pain originates. I’m an unabashed fan of neurostim. My surgeon sent my home with a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit following complex rotator cuff surgeries on my left and right shoulders in 2013 and 2015. Thanks to frequent TENS sessions during the day and always at night, I was able to get through the painful recovery periods with minimal pharmaceutical assistance. The best way I can explain neurostimulation for pain is, “If your brain doesn’t know about the pain, it doesn’t exist.”
We’ve written about a variety of neurostim technologies and applications over the years. Ovira is a new wearable TENS device that has one purpose: to reduce primary menstrual pain. (The company does not recommend the use of the device on other parts of your body. )
Users place two compression pads on the lower abdomen or lower back. Ovira calls the pads “Love Handles,” but they’re small and flat and should not show through clothing. The pads attach to the Ovira controller by thin wires. The placement locations are the nerve roots for the uterus. When the pads are in place and the Ovira is running, the neurostimulation blocks the pain signals that would otherwise travel to the brain. The mild vibrations from the pads also help relax the muscles in the uterine area. The Ovira device gets power from a rechargeable battery that runs up to eight hours, so it’s suitable to use all day.
Caveats for using Ovira, other than using it only where intended, include use only on clean, healthy skin and not in the bath or swimming. Don’t use Ovira in or around water. According to the company, Ovira is registered by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Australia) and CE marked (Certification Europe). Ovira suggests the Love Handles pads will last for approximately 10 uses. Each Ovira devices ($119) comes with two Love Handles. Additional Love Handles cost $35 for three pairs.