A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is a battery-operated, compact, portable device worn on the body that relieves pain by sending tiny electrical currents to specific body regions.

Wires connect the box to sticky pads that adhere to the skin. These pulses modify pain signals in the body, offering pain relief in the short or long term. They have the potential to release endorphins and calm stressed nerves.

It contributes to healing Back Pain, Post-op Surgery, Neck Pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Shoulder Pain, Knee Pain, Fibromyalgia, Sports Injuries, Joint Injuries, Overuse Injuries, Inflammation, Tennis Elbow, Trapezitis, Frozen Shoulder, and Sciatica.

How does it work?

TENS machines work in two ways:

The TENS machine generate electrical impulses that block pain signals supplied to the brain at a high pulse rate of 90-130 Hz (the standard technique of use). The gate control theory of pain is responsible for this. This suggests that there is a gate mechanism in the brain and spinal cord nerves (the central nervous system).

Pain signals reach the brain when the gate is open, and we experience pain. We do not experience pain when the gate is closed and these pain messages are blocked.

. TENS machines are believed to close the gate by stimulating non-pain-carrying nerves. As a result, the brain is preoccupied with the messages received fast from the TENS machine rather than the slower (and more unpleasant) pain signals received from elsewhere in the body. If you damage yourself, it explains why touching the affected area can relieve pain briefly.

When the machine is set at a low pulse rate (2-5 Hz), it stimulates the body to produce endorphins, pain-relieving compounds. These block pain impulses in a similar way to morphine.

Types of TENS

Conventional TEN- It is a technique that uses low-intensity high-frequency electrical stimulation at the location of pain to provide a powerful but comforting sensation. To induce segmental analgesia, engage a large diameter non-noxious receptor. The stimulus must last at least 30 minutes.

TENS similar to acupuncture- To induce a forceful but pleasant contraction, use low frequency and Extremely high intensity over muscle or acupuncture points. Extra segmental analgesia is induced by causing muscle twitch to engage tiny diameter motor nerve fibers. The stimulation must last for not more than 20 minutes.

TENS-Brief Intense-High Intensity- To achieve maximum paresthesia, use a high frequency to trigger peripheral nerve blocking and extra segmental analgesia by activating tiny diameter noxious affronts. The duration should be around 5 minutes.

Whom all can use it

People with long-term (chronic) back pain or knee joint arthritis, are the most prevalent users of TENS units. They're also commonly used for pain management during the early stages of labour, especially if the mother is home.


TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a simple device that helps relieve pain caused by muscle, joint, and nerve disorders. Using a TENS machine has virtually no adverse effects, unlike many medications. But it is critical to select a suitable machine.

A machine that treats several body pain areas and has built-in modes for different types of pain should be chosen. It should have several intensity levels to accommodate different pain control requirements. It should be FDA-approved for safety and effectiveness, and it should be simple to operate with clear buttons and displays.

Author's Bio: 

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