A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is a battery-operated device used to treat pain with electrical impulses.
Electrodes are attached to the skin using adhesive pads, and small electrical impulses flood the nervous system, reducing its ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. These impulses also stimulate the body to produce natural pain relievers called endorphins.
A TENS unit has controls that allow you to select your level of pain relief.
Intensity: Adjust the intensity of the electrical stimulation.
Frequency: Frequency indicates the number of electrical pulses per second. High-frequency (HF) (80 to 120 cycles per second) may help manage acute pain. Low-frequency (LF) (1 to 20 cycles per second) are suitable for chronic pain.
Duration: The duration is the number of microseconds each pulse lasts.
TENS units may help treat the following symptoms:
- period pain
- labor pain
- postoperative pain
- joint pain
- neck and back pain
They may also alleviate pain that results from the following conditions:
- sports injuries
- multiple sclerosis
- painful diabetic neuropathy
- spinal cord injury