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Can You Buy a TENS Machine Over the Counter?

News feature of TENS machine for pain relief

Various pain conditions affect millions of people daily. Pain can range from mild to moderate that is manageable through home remedies. However, intense pain may be immobilising and need intensive treatments. Therefore, many people want pain relief that is fast and safe. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) can help deal with a wide variety of conditions or symptoms. Luckily, you can buy TENS machines over the counter for personal use.

TENS is a type of therapy that uses mild electrical units to stimulate the sensory nerves for pain relief. It uses a compact device comprising a controller and electrode pads attached near the pain area. As a result, users feel the therapeutic effects right away. Moreover, TENS can be self-administered and does not need medical supervision. The succeeding sections will discuss the functions of a TENS machine, types of devices, availability, and features.

Why People Buy TENS Machines

Pain affects many people at different levels. It can range from mild to severe, depending on the cause or condition. People treat acute or short-term pain with home remedies and medicines. However, chronic pain may require intensive treatment. It may include prescription drugs and physical therapy. As an alternative, more people buy TENS machines to manage chronic pain without the adverse risks or side effects of medications. It is also a non-invasive form of pain relief method.

TENS therapy uses mild electrical pulses to alleviate pain and other discomforts. This method minimises the need for regular intake of drugs, which may develop into several health risks. In addition, TENS works by stimulating the body’s natural mechanisms against pain, namely the pain gate controllers and endorphins. A TENS machine uses high frequencies to activate the nerve fibres in the spinal cord to close, thus, blocking the pain signals from reaching the brain.

Moreover, TENS induces the release of more endorphins at lower frequencies. They are hormones that help elevate the mood, improve well-being, and minimise stress and pain. Furthermore, people buy TENS machines to boost blood circulation, which is essential in the rapid healing of damaged tissues. Additionally, individuals may use a TENS machine with other pain management methods like exercise, home remedies, massage, and acupuncture.

Benefits and Treatments


  • Drug-free pain relief
  • Improve sleep patterns
  • Non-invasive device
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Applicable to many pain conditions


A wireless TENS machine with smartphone connectivity

Buy TENS Machine – Over the Counter TENS

People with chronic pain or severe injuries go to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment. A physiotherapist may prescribe TENS therapy to patients undergoing physical rehabilitation. For instance, treatment centres provide TENS machines with strong stimulation levels. Because they can be powerful, these devices require medical supervision when used. Alternatively, individuals can buy TENS machines over the counter without a prescription. OTC TENS machines are more compact and have lower intensities.

Users can adjust the settings of a TENS machine, like the pulse rate and intensity, according to their pain level. Prescription TENS have higher frequency levels and can treat more conditions. On the other hand, OTC TENS, like the iTENS, are safe for personal or home use. Individuals may get TENS machines at pharmacies and use them right away. In addition, OTC TENS machines have regulated settings to prevent causing more harm.

Portable TENS machines also come with pre-set settings for easy access and convenient use. These built-in modes have fixed parameters, so users do not need to adjust manually at each use. For example, you can conveniently select the desired treatment from the menu and start the therapy immediately. As a result, it offers fast and efficient pain relief.  Likewise, you may also buy TENS machines and try different settings to find optimal results.

What to Consider

The following are essential aspects when buying a TENS machine:

  • Intensity – the power that a TENS machine can accommodate
  • Treatment modes – does the device provide pre-set options for your condition?
  • Electrodes – wired and wireless electrodes
  • Pad size – large pads are perfect for broad areas while smaller ones suit joint areas
  • FDA clearance or approval

Set of refill gel pads for replacement

Buy TENS Machines – Features

When you buy TENS machines, studying the features is important to choose the suitable device. Although TENS units have standard functions, not all devices are the same. Therefore, you can check each feature before committing to a device. Firstly, TENS machines may come with wired or wireless electrodes. A wireless TENS like the iTENS utilises Bluetooth connectivity to access treatment or manual settings from a smartphone. Furthermore, the ease of use depends on the device’s controls.

Secondly, the types of electrode pads. TENS pads vary in size, shape, and material. Some pads are made of cotton fabric while others are gel. For example, people with sensitive skin may develop redness or itchiness while using the device. Thus, some TENS units have hypoallergenic gel pads to minimise skin irritation. Furthermore, pad size matters in the effective application of TENS therapy. As previously stated, large electrodes can cover wide areas like the lower back.

Thirdly, replaceable TENS pads. TENS pads are reusable to some extent. However, it loses its adhesiveness over time. Therefore, people buy TENS machines with the availability of refill pads in mind. For best results, buy original replacement pads from the same brand. Lastly, extra features. As mentioned, wireless TENS units like the iTENS connect to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The app provides pre-set modes, manual operation, a tracking system, and more for efficient pain management.

Advantages of Wireless TENS

  • More portable and lightweight than standard units
  • Easy to apply the electrodes on hard-to-reach areas
  • Discreet when worn under clothing
  • Energy-efficient. Most devices use rechargeable batteries
  • Does not limit or restrict the range of motion
  • Ready to use at any time
  • Control pain relief from the convenience of a smartphone


More people apply TENS therapy to relieve pain naturally. A TENS machine is a cost-efficient device to help manage acute and chronic pain conditions. Therefore, it helps minimise the intake of oral medicines. Additionally, TENS does not develop adverse side effects even when used for the long term. It is present in therapy centres to help patients with severe pain. Fortunately, you can buy TENS machines over the counter to use in the comfort of your home.

OTC TENS machines with FDA clearance, like the iTENS, are guaranteed safe for personal use even without medical supervision. However, you must follow the correct usage and safety guidelines to avoid risks or further harm. In addition, there are many types of TENS machines to choose from, depending on your needs. You may select between standard wired and modern wireless TENS. For wireless TENS, you can get iTENS and its accessories conveniently at iTENS Australia without a prescription online.

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