What is a TENS Machine?
TENS is an abbreviation of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.
Transcutaneous means "across the skin". In simple terms, a tens machine stimulates your nerves via an electrical current through your skin.
A TENS machine is an electronic medical device. A TENS machine may assist you in modest short-term pain relief.
The use of a TENS machine should be as one part of a pain management program under the guidance of your healthcare practitioner.
How does a TENS Machine provide Short-term Pain Relief?
Pain is thought to be controlled by TENS in one of two ways:
Sensory Level Stimulation - The Gate Control theory of pain means that the electrical input of the TENS machine interferes with the transmission of pain signals, by blocking the neural “gate” through which the pain travels.
Motor Level Stimulation - The goal of motor level stimulation is to cause the release of the body’s own opiate-like substances to achieve pain relief.
What is TENS used for?
People use TENS to relieve pain for several different types of illnesses and conditions. They use it most often to treat muscle, joint, or bone problems that occur with illnesses such as osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, or for conditions such as low back pain, neck pain, tendinitis, or bursitis. People have also used TENS to treat sudden (acute) pain, such as labor pain, and long-lasting (chronic) pain, such as cancer pain.