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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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Digital TENS Pain Reliever: What It Is, How It Works, And How To Use

A large iTENS electrode and other necessary information

Living with chronic pain can be debilitating and frustrating. Thus, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) has started to gain popularity. A digital TENS pain reliever uses externally applied electrodes to deliver electric stimulation to the body. Users must place the electrodes on the muscle areas near or on the pain source and switch the device on. Then, they may adjust the settings for optimal relief. High frequencies block pain messages from reaching the brain. Meanwhile, low frequencies trigger endorphin production.

People may use digital TENS machines online, in pharmacies, or in medical supply stores. However, they should consult a medical professional before using one to ensure safety. TENS units allow people to relieve aches from various conditions. With portable and easy-to-use units, people may experience relief in different settings and at any time. This article will present what a digital TENS machine is, how it works, and how to use it.

What is a Digital TENS Pain Reliever

A digital TENS pain reliever is a medical device that delivers low-voltage electrical currents for pain relief. The digital aspect of the device refers to its advanced technology, such as customisable settings and digital displays. They are also known as TENS machines. Typically, these machine units have a frequency range of 1-150 Hz and an intensity range of 0-80 mA. This makes it a versatile device able to treat many conditions.

Generally, there are two types of TENS machines: wired and wireless. Wired units use lead cables to connect the controller and power source to the electrodes. These are often seen in hospitals and physical therapy clinics. Meanwhile, wireless units utilise Bluetooth technology to control the electrodes. Many use these at home because they are portable and easy to use at any time.

There are many options for TENS machines available in the market. People may purchase these products online, in pharmacies, or in medical supply stores. The price range is between $30 and above $300, depending on its features. Interested individuals may read the customer reviews and consult healthcare professionals about which product suits their needs.

Treatable Conditions

  • Period pain: is often felt at the start of the menstrual cycle. It causes aches in the lower back and abdomen.
  • Sciatica: a condition caused by injury to the sciatic nerve. It causes lower back and leg pain.
  • Arthritis: the inflammation of one or more joints. It causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness and affects mobility.
  • Fibromyalgia: causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, general fatigue, and tenderness.
  • Post-traumatic or Post-surgical acute pain: is severe and felt throughout the body after a traumatic event, such as an injury or surgery.
  • Various body aches: neck pain, hip pain, knee pain, foot pain, and others.

A woman using the iTENS smartphone app

How a Digital TENS Pain Reliever Works

Using a digital TENS pain reliever is an alternative approach to pain management. Many professionals often recommend them for non-invasive, natural pain relief. Moreover, people may feel effective relief from different types of pain when using the apt settings. A digital TENS machine should have adjustable intensity, frequency, and pulse-width settings.

Generally, high-frequency stimulation triggers the spinal nerve cells to block pain signals from reaching the brain. This suits acute pain because the effects are fast-acting. However, it may only last a few minutes after the session. Meanwhile, low-frequency stimulation induces endorphin production. This is more suitable for chronic pain because its effects last hours after the session. However, it does take longer for the user to feel its effects.

Furthermore, many machines are now equipped with preset modes. These are tailored for different body parts and conditions, making the session more convenient. Some program modes include burst mode, continuous mode, and modulation mode. Burst mode delivers short bursts of electrical impulses. Meanwhile, the continuous mode provides constant pulses. Lastly, the modulation mode has varying pulse frequency and intensity.

Benefits of Using the Device

There are many benefits to using a digital TENS machine. It allows people to reduce or replace their intake of oral pain medications. This is helpful for those who wish to avoid its many adverse effects, which include stomach bleeding, nausea, and headaches. Moreover, many portable options provide effective pain relief in different settings.

Furthermore, using TENS units has a massage-like effect that improves blood circulation and reduces muscle stress. In addition, endorphins help reduce inflammation and improve moods. Altogether, this contributes to the healing process and increases the quality of life. This is why many use TENS therapy together with other treatment methods.

A woman using a large iTENS electrode on her lower back

Pad Placement Guide and Operation Instructions for a Digital TENS Pain Reliever

It is recommended for people to consult healthcare professionals before using a digital TENS pain reliever. They may advise on how to use the machine and how frequent and long sessions should be. For pad placement, individuals may also check a placement guide. It may vary depending on the pain source. Generally, users should place the electrode near or on the origin of the pain.

After the pad is secured, they may turn the unit on. It is ideal to start on low settings to avoid sudden shocks or discomfort. Afterwards, they may gradually increase the settings or select a preset mode. Sessions typically last between 20 to 30 minutes. Users may set a treatment timer to ensure they follow the prescribed time. When the time elapses, they may switch off the device and then remove the electrodes.

People can maximise the use of their adhesive pads by maintaining hygiene when using TENS. This involves washing the area before attaching the adhesives and cleaning the pads afterwards. Another tip is to store the electrodes in a cool and dry place when not in use.

Safety Precautions When Using the Device

Users should stay alert while using TENS. This will allow them to react promptly if anything unusual happens. While some may feel relaxed during TENS sessions, they avoid sleeping. Furthermore, users should avoid contact with water to prevent electrical shocks. If the user feels excessive discomfort or muscle spasms, they should stop the session and give their body a break.

Moreover, users should be careful of where they attach the electrodes. They must avoid sensitive areas like the throat, chest, spine, and top of the head. In addition, they must refrain from placing adhesives on irritated, infected, or broken skin.


Many may benefit from owning a digital TENS pain reliever. It is an alternative pain management method for those who wish to reduce or replace their intake of pain medications. Moreover, it is non-invasive and uses externally applied electrodes to deliver the electrical stimulation. With proper pad placement and settings, people can experience relief from aches brought by conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and sciatica. It also treats aches from various body parts like knee pain, hip pain, and leg pain.

Some individuals may feel an increase in their quality of life due to TENS therapy. This is because it can help increase mobility, relax tense muscles, and improve moods. However, people interested in TENS should consult a health professional to ensure safety. They should also invest in reliable machines that suit their needs. There are many wired and wireless options available in the market. One prospect is the iTENS from iTENS Australia.

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