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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

Chiropractic Stim Machine – Definition and How it Works

A large wing iTENS electrode and refill gel pads

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a popular form of electrotherapy. It is non-invasive and uses externally applied electrodes to deliver electrical stimulation. A chiropractic stim machine is another term for a TENS machine that provides pain relief and loosens the muscles. People can achieve these effects through high and low-frequency stimulation. High frequencies cause spinal nerve cells to block pain signals from reaching the brain and produce a massage-like effect. Meanwhile, low frequencies trigger the production of endorphins.

TENS therapy is a drug-free supplement to chiropractic care. It helps people suffering from different chronic and acute conditions manage their pain. Moreover, they are available for home use. These devices come in wired and wireless options. To determine if electrotherapy is suited for the person, they may consult a healthcare professional. This article will provide information on the functions, operation, and proper use of a chiropractic stim device.

Chiropractic Stim Machine: Definition

A TENS machine is also referred to as a chiropractic stim machine. This device uses electric currents to provide stimulation to relieve pain and loosen the muscles. Externally applied electrodes deliver this electrical stimulation. Another component of TENS machines is the controllers. In many units, this is a separate device connected to the electrodes through wires or Bluetooth. However, others also offer control of the electrodes using smartphone apps.

This device typically has a frequency range of 1-150 Hz and an intensity range of 0-80 mAmp. People adjust these frequencies to gain the effect they want to achieve. They may also modify the duration of the therapy or select pre-set modes tailored for specific body parts. Typically, TENS sessions last between 20 to 60 minutes.

Moreover, electrodes are available in various shapes and sizes. There are many options to cover specific areas. Wireless electrodes remove lead cables for those who wish to retain mobility while using TENS. People may use up to eight electrodes using some devices to obtain optimal pain relief. However, do not use TENS while sleeping, driving, or operating heavy machinery.

Conditions TENS is Effective On

These are some conditions that TENS machines provide effective pain relief:

  • Fibromyalgia causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness. There is no known treatment for this condition.
  • Diabetic-related neuropathy causes numbness and pain in the legs, hands, and feet due to nerve damage.
  • Sciatica is the result of injury or pressure to the sciatic nerve. This causes weakness, tingling, and pain in the leg.
  • Post-operative pain is felt throughout the body and often occurs after surgery.
  • Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness.
  • Muscle strains and injuries due to repetitive actions.

A woman holding her lower back and lower neck area

Chiropractic Stim Machine: How it Works

A chiropractic stim machine uses low and high frequencies to relieve pain in chronic and acute conditions. High-frequency stimulation (50-120 Hz) causes spinal nerve cells to block pain signals from reaching the brain. This is the mechanism suggested in the Gate Control Theory of Pain. It results in lessened perception of pain within 30 minutes of the session. This setting is suitable for acute pain. Moreover, its effects last a few minutes after the session.

On the other hand, low-frequency stimulation (2-10 Hz) triggers the production of endogenous opioids. This includes endorphins or painkilling hormones that relieve pain in the area. It does take longer to show effects due to the need to wait for the hormones to build up. It is suitable for chronic pain because its effects last hours after the session.

The effectiveness of electrical stimulation does depend on some factors. It is vital to place the electrodes in the correct areas. Moreover, the sensitivity of the person to electrical stimulation is another factor. Lastly, people may build a tolerance to high-frequency stimulation after constant use.

Benefits of Using TENS

TENS therapy is a pain management method that reduces or replaces the intake of oral pain medication. This allows users to avoid the adverse effects of pain medicines. This includes anxiety, stomach bleeding, heartburn, nausea, and liver damage. Moreover, opioids are highly addictive and may cause substance use disorder.

Additionally, TENS improves blood circulation and reduces inflammation. This results from the massage-like effect of electrical stimulation and the production of endorphins. Together, they relax the muscles, reduce fatigue, and boost mood and energy. Lastly, this helps increase mobility and speed up muscle healing and recovery.

A woman operating a TENS device on her wrist.

Chiropractic Stim Machine: How to Use

There are many TENS machines designed for home use. Typically, device manufacturers provide instructions on how to use the device. These are some of the general steps to using a chiropractic stim machine. First, clean and dry the skin to remove body oils. Next, place the electrode near or on the pain area. If using more than one electrode, ensure that they are at least an inch apart.

Afterwards, the user can switch on the machine. They should start on the lowest setting to avoid shock or discomfort. Then, they may gradually increase the frequency and intensity. Alternatively, they may choose a pre-set mode. TENS therapy sessions usually last between 20 to 60 minutes. This depends on the settings used and what may be prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Once the time elapses, the user should turn off the device. Lastly, they may remove the electrodes. Users should avoid overusing the machine. If the individual wishes for multiple sessions daily, they may do so but breaks should be taken in between sessions. This allows the user to ensure safety and avoid mild rashes from forming.

Safety Precautions

Some conditions react negatively to electrical stimulation. Consulting a healthcare professional is the best method to ensure safety. Some people who should avoid TENS therapy include those with a history of cancer, seizures, epilepsy, and arrhythmia. Additionally, those with electrical and metal implants should also avoid using TENS. Moreover, pregnant women should abstain from using TENS before labour.

Furthermore, electrode pads should not be placed on sensitive areas. This includes the eyes, spine, throat, and chest. People must also avoid attaching the adhesives on irritated, damaged, or infected skin. Lastly, individuals should not use TENS while submerged in water.


Many people use chiropractic stim machines to alleviate pain and increase blood circulation to the targeted areas. These machines are also effective for chronic and acute conditions like headaches, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. Using high and low-frequency stimulation, users may have convenient and targeted pain relief without risks of addiction. In addition, endorphins improve moods. Furthermore, TENS may decrease or stop their intake of oral pain medication.

TENS machines are available in many physical and online stores. There are wired and wireless options that cater to the individual. Additionally, electrodes come in many shapes and sizes depending on the pain area. The iTENS from iTENS Australia is one option for a wireless TENS device. It has innovative wing-shaped electrodes in small, large, and long variations to suit the buyer. In addition, it uses a smartphone application equipped with features like pre-set modes.

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