Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that uses low voltage electrical current to provide pain relief. A TENS unit consists of a battery-powered device that delivers electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the surface of your skin. The electrodes are placed at or near nerves where the pain is located or at trigger points.
What is TENS used for?
A TENS may be used to help with many types of chronic (long-term) pain, such as:
- Arthritis or other joint pain
- Back and neck pain
- Muscle pain
- Neuropathic pain
When is it best to use TENS?
Research has shown that TENS is most helpful for chronic pain when used for at least 30 minutes while you are active. It is less effective when you are sitting still, lying down, or resting.
Do not use TENS if you have:
- A cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator
- Spinal cord stimulator
- In-dwelling pumps or monitors
- Any implanted metallic or electronic device