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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

What is the Best TENS Machine for Back Pain?

Elder woman with back pain after waking up

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is an effective way to manage back aches and other pain conditions. Portable machines enable individuals to treat their symptoms without going to a clinic or therapy centre. They come in various styles and features. Thus, many look for the best TENS machine for back pain. For comprehensive pain management, many health professionals and users choose the wireless iTENS from iTENS Australia to be convenient and efficient. 

Back pain may range from mild to debilitating. Several factors may cause the pain, including muscle overuse, injury, or an underlying health condition. Therefore, it may happen suddenly or develop gradually. A TENS machine is a helpful tool for different pain types, such as acute and chronic pain. In this article, we will present how TENS can help relieve pain and factors to consider when choosing a TENS unit. 

Best TENS Machine for Back Pain: How it Works

TENS machines are widely available in pharmacies or online. With the vast options, it can be challenging to find the best fit. However, knowing how it works and what to look for in a device may help individuals choose the best TENS machine for back pain. These devices use electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves and reduce the sensation of pain. The currents usually feel like a tingling or pulsating feeling that helps distract the brain. 

To relieve pain, patients may use varying frequency levels to elicit specific feedback in the nervous system. In high frequency, it stimulates the nerve pathways in the spinal cord to close. Thus, it impedes pain signals from reaching the brain. Meanwhile, low-frequency stimulation triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. More endorphins provide therapeutic effects which may last for hours. In addition, TENS boost circulation, prompting the faster healing of damaged nerves and tissues.

Users consider the best TENS machine for back pain according to the effectivity, range of functions, and friendliness of the features. To start treatment, place the electrodes on the pain area and turn on the device. Begin with the lowest setting and gradually increase the intensity until it feels strong but comfortable. However, the procedures may vary depending on the type of device. For example, wireless TENS units are controllable through a smartphone instead of a wired remote control.

Benefits and Advantages of TENS for Back Pain

  • Reduces inflammation leading to soreness and pain.
  • Aids in recovery of injuries and post-surgery.
  • Minimises the need for medication and intrusive treatments.
  • Does not have long-term or adverse side effects.
  • Targets specific pain areas directly.
  • It can be used at home.
  • Enables movement or flexibility while treating pain.

iTENS rechargeable battery and USB cord

Best TENS Machine for Back Pain: Features of TENS Machines

There are several types of TENS devices, each with its own distinct features. However, there are main aspects to look for when choosing the best TENS machine for back pain. These are types of batteries, electrodes, and channels. Firstly, TENS units may utilise single-use or rechargeable batteries. A rechargeable device is more cost-effective in the long run as it eliminates constant battery replacement. Additionally, it can last up to 24 hours and is easily rechargeable using a USB cable. 

Secondly, you may get a TENS machine in a standard wired connection type or a more innovative wireless unit. Although these devices work the same, the differences in electrodes may impact pain management routines. A wireless TENS unit, like the iTENS, does not need additional set-up. The device is ready to use as soon as the pain starts. Furthermore, its wireless electrodes connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth. 

Lastly, TENS machines differ in the number of channels. Standard units may have one or two lead cables. Each wire inserts into different channels and attaches two electrode pads each. On the other hand, wireless TENS is a single-channel device. However, you may use multiple electrodes simultaneously connected to one app. Overall, the best TENS machine for back pain is a device that can treat varying pain levels in the back without complicated steps.

Advantages of Wireless TENS Machines

A wireless TENS unit offers the following pain relief benefits:

  • greater mobility and flexibility. There are no wires to limit movement
  • easier to place the electrode pads in hard-to-reach lower back areas
  • more compact and lightweight. They can be worn discreetly under clothing
  • easier to adjust the settings through a smartphone app

Adjusting TENS settings through a smartphone app

Best TENS Machine for Back Pain: How to Program a Device

The best TENS machine for back pain should enable effective pain treatment through the correct use of programs. TENS units are adjustable according to frequency (pulse rates), duration (pulse width), and intensity (strength). These settings range from low to high to suit mild to extreme pain. Moreover, they can be set according to individual preferences and needs. It is advisable to start with a low-intensity level to allow the body to adapt to the electrical stimulation. 

As the treatment continues, you may gradually increase the settings. The ideal effect should be comfortable and strong but not enough to cause muscle contraction or increased pain. You may access this by pressing the buttons on the controllers. Using a smartphone app is more convenient as it has user-friendly features for customisation. To determine the right programs, you may consult a healthcare professional or check the unit’s instructions. 

In addition to customised treatment, the best TENS machine for back pain provides pre-set modes. These are built-in programs with pre-determined parameters, designed according to body aches or health conditions. In this mode, users only select a specific program to start the treatment. Furthermore, the number of programs varies in each unit. Thus, you may check if the device has a pre-set mode for your condition, such as osteoarthritissciaticafibromyalgia, muscle relaxation, and other back pains.

Are There Risks?

TENS are generally safe but may have the following side effects:

  • skin irritation or allergic reaction to the TENS pads
  • burns due to prolonged use of the electrodes on the skin
  • unpleasant sensations due to extremely high settings
  • dizziness due to pad placement in sensitive areas
  • may induce contractions over a pregnant belly


Finding the best TENS machines for back pain involves searching for a device with the right features and program settings. This may depend on an individual’s specific needs. Generally, you may get a TENS machine with wired or wireless electrodes. Each type provides several advantages. For wireless TENS units, pad placement is easier and quicker. The device also connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth to access TENS settings or pre-set pain programs.

Moreover, TENS devices are programmable. Finding the right levels of intensity is important to attain effective nerve stimulation. You may try various intensity settings to determine the best treatment for you. Additionally, you may consult your doctor or physical therapist before using TENS for the first time. For hassle-free pain management, you may get the wireless iTENS at iTENS Australia. iTENS provides interchangeable wing-shaped pads in small or large sizes to fit different body areas.

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