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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

Electric Pulse Machine for Back Pain: A Guide on Managing the Discomfort

A person holding his lower back with both hands

Pain in the back can be unbearable at times. It affects daily activities and overall quality of life. Thus, finding relief is essential for many individuals. An electric pulse machine is an appropriate option. They can visit a physical therapist to experience using it or purchase a unit and operate it themselves. They only need to attach electrode patches directly on or near the pain site. Also, they can manage the discomfort by adjusting the settings.

Factors like poor posture, muscle strain, or underlying medical conditions can cause back pain. Medical professionals typically prescribe pain medications to patients. However, constant intake may bring about adverse side effects. Hence, alternative methods of pain relief are crucial. One example is an electrical stimulation device. Before acquiring it, people must understand the components surrounding it. Thus, the article will present what it is, the different types, and its operation.

What is an Electric Pulse Machine for Back Pain?

An electric pulse machine for back pain is a battery-operated device. It delivers low-voltage electric currents to the affected area. These electrical pulses help block the transmission of pain signals. Hence, a unit can relieve various types of back pain, including muscle spasms and tension. Due to its versatility, this portable device can also manage acute and chronic pain conditions. These include joint pain, labour pain, and stump pain.

Electric stimulators have sets of electrodes and a small device with controls to change the modes. Traditional machines come with wires, but more modern models are wireless. The latter consists of rechargeable batteries, which can be convenient for long-term use.

Individuals can utilise pulse machines as an alternative or in conjunction with other effective treatments. For instance, they can incorporate it into an exercise program before or after physical activity. However, consulting a medical practitioner before deciding on undergoing a session is essential. This is especially true for those with a pacemaker, are pregnant, or have any other medical condition because the device may not suit them.

Causes of Back Pain

  • Chronic pain conditions, such as osteoarthritis, can affect the lower back. This causes pain and stiffness.
  • Osteoporosis is a medical condition that causes the bones to become brittle and porous. It increases the risk of compression fractures in the spine.
  • Another condition that can lead to back pain is scoliosis, where the spine curves to the side.
  • Kidney stones, infections, and other medical issues can also cause discomfort in the back.
  • Tears in the muscles or ligaments in the back.
  • Slouching or sitting hunched over for long periods can strain the back muscles.
  • Stress, depression, and anxiety can contribute to or exacerbate back pain.

A TENS machine with necessary information

Types of Electric Pulse Machines for Back Pain

Various types of electric pulse machines for back pain are available. A Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit is one of the most popular. It stimulates the nerves to stop pain messages that travel to the brain. This is based on the Gate Control Theory of Pain. Moreover, it boosts the production of endorphins. These are natural painkillers of the body. Consequently, people with back pain can rely on this battery-powered device.

Another type of electric stimulator is the Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) machine. It targets specific muscle groups using mild electrical pulses. Then, this reduces muscle stiffness in the affected areas of the back. In addition, it helps many athletes recover from injuries and improve their performance. Furthermore, an EMS unit can improve blood circulation.

To further manage persistent pain, individuals can buy combination devices. They have TENS and EMS functionalities. This means that not only can they provide pain relief by stimulating the nerves, but they can also help strengthen and rehabilitate the muscles in the back. Some have massage options for relaxation, such as iTENS from iTENS Australia.

A Closer Look at TENS

TENS is a non-invasive and drug-free method of pain relief. This therapy works by stimulating the nerves through the skin using electrode pads. Doctors and physical therapists have been using it to manage acute pain conditions like period pain and post-operative pain. Also, it helps with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Many people choose TENS because it has low risks. Compared to medication for pain relief, it has minimal side effects and can be used at home. Furthermore, it is cost-effective because once they own a unit, they can use it multiple times without additional medical appointments or prescriptions.

A person attaching a TENS machine on the lower back of another person

How to Use an Electric Pulse Machine for Back Pain

Using an electric pulse machine for back pain is straightforward. First, make sure to read the user manual to understand the proper usage of the device. Then, prepare the skin by cleaning the pain area. Afterwards, position and apply the electrode pads on the back. Firmly attach them and ascertain there are no air gaps between them and the body.

Once in place, turn the electric pulse device on. Adjust the intensity and frequency according to individual comfort levels. However, it is necessary to always start with the lowest setting to avoid sudden electrical shocks. Users may feel a tingling or buzzing sensation in their muscles, but it should not be painful. Use it for the recommended duration, usually around 15-20 minutes.

Be sure to monitor the skin surface for signs of irritation. Discontinue use if people experience adverse effects and contact a doctor. After a treatment session, turn the unit off and carefully remove the electrodes. Store the kit in a dry place for proper maintenance. With regular use, a pulse machine can provide ongoing relief for back pain.

Pad Placement

When using an electric pulse or TENS device for back pain, correct electrode placement is essential. Attach the pads to either side of the spine at the pain level. Make sure to apply them on clean, dry skin. Also, avoid placing them directly on the spine or over bony areas. Experiment with different placements for optimal results.

Following the instructions for pad positioning is vital, as this can vary depending on the specific TENS machine. Some machines may recommend placing the electrodes in a diamond or square pattern around the painful area because it can help distribute the electrical pulses more evenly.


An electrical pulse machine for back pain is a valuable tool. It is portable, cost-effective, and user-friendly. It sends electrical currents to the affected area, helping relieve muscle tension and discomfort. Various types are available on the market, including TENS, EMS, and combo units. Each has its unique features and benefits. People can easily use one at home, offering a convenient and non-invasive way to alleviate back pain without drugs or invasive treatments.

The operation of an electrical stimulation device is simple, and users should start with clean skin and device. Then, attach the electrode pads to the skin. Select the appropriate settings to maximise the benefits of the machine. However, it is vital to check for signs of skin irritation or allergic reactions. Always consult a doctor beforehand, especially for those with medical conditions. Likewise, seek help if there are concerns about its usage.

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