TENS Machines

TENS MachinesTranscutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, disrupts nerve signals in order to relieve pain. Electrodes are placed on the skin around the pain site and conduct gentle, intermittent bursts of electricity into the underlying tissues. These pulses travel along nerve fibres to block pain signals and may also stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain-fighters.

TENS machines are small, battery-powered devices that you can use just about anywhere.



Common conditions treated with TENS therapy include:

  • knee pain
  • osteoarthritis
  • low back pain
  • sports injuries
  • post-surgical pain
  • neck or shoulder pain
  • period or labour pains

How to use a TENS machine

Your physiotherapist, kinesiologist, or other medical professional can show you proper TENS electrode placement for your specific condition.

To use your TENS machine, place the TENS pads as instructed. Connect the pads to the power unit and then simply turn the unit on. Depending on which TENS machine you have, you may also select various settings. Most units let you at least control the intensity. Start low and gradually increase until the sensation is strong but comfortable.

Always follow the instructions provided with your unit.

Benefits of TENS Units

TENS units are safe, affordable, and convenient. Most TENS machines are small enough to fit in your pocket, so you can use them any time, anywhere. (Do not use TENS while operating a vehicle or machinery, or while in or near water. Consult your doctor or medical professional before starting TENS therapy.)

TENS treatments provide natural relief of chronic and acute pain. While you should always check with your medical practitioner about your specific situation, you can generally use TENS therapy as often and for as long as you want.

For more information about TENS unit uses and the various units available, contact the staff at Main Street Health.

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