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

Electro Pulse Machine: What Is It And How Does It Work To Relieve Pain?

A long wing iTENS electrode and refill gel pads

The Electro Pulse Machine is a medical device that uses electrical impulses for non-invasive and drug-free pain relief. It delivers these electric currents through externally applied electrode pads. Users may adjust the settings of these currents for optimal relief. Using high-frequency stimulation triggers spinal nerve cells to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Meanwhile, low-frequency stimulation induces endorphin production, which are natural painkillers. People may use this unit to relieve aches from many conditions.

Nowadays, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) has grown in popularity. It is an alternative pain management method to medication, which can cause adverse effects. TENS units are convenient, making them ideal for many people, like those with muscle spasms. To use it, the user places the electrodes near or on the pain source and adjusts the settings. This article will present what a TENS unit is, what it is used for, how it works, and how to operate it.

What is an Electro Pulse Machine, and What is it Used for

An Electro Pulse Machine is a medical pain relief device that uses electrical pulses to relieve pain. This electrotherapy device is also known as a TENS unit. It uses externally applied electrodes to deliver the electrical impulses to the body. Generally, there are two types of TENS units: wired and wireless.

Many people use wired or handheld TENS units in hospitals and pain clinics. These use lead cables to connect the adhesive electrodes to the power source and controller. Meanwhile, wireless units are known for their convenience. These use Bluetooth technology to remove the restrictions of wires. Many people use these for their convenience and portability.

TENS therapy is an effective pain management method for chronic and acute pain conditions. Nowadays, people buy personal devices to remove the hassle of going to medical settings. People may purchase TENS machines online, in pharmacies, and medical supply stores without prescriptions. However, consulting a medical professional is ideal before using one to ensure safety.

Types of the Device

There are several types of electrotherapy devices that people use for different purposes. Here are some of them:

  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machines alleviate aches from various medical conditions using low-voltage electric currents.
  • Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) units help build muscle strength and increase muscle toning. These use high frequencies to penetrate muscle fibres and cause involuntary muscle contractions.
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) uses electric currents on specific muscles and nerves. It helps to activate movements in paralysed muscles.
  • Spinal Cord Stimulators (SCS) are implanted devices that send electrical pulses to the spinal cord to relieve aches.

A person using a long wing iTENS electrode on their leg for Sciatica

How an Electro Pulse Machine Works

An Electro Pulse Machine uses different settings of electric pulses to stimulate the body to relieve pain. Typically, TENS machines have a frequency range of 1-150 Hz and an intensity range of 0-80 mA. They also have adjustable settings so users may customise their treatments to their conditions. These settings include frequency, intensity, and pulse-width settings. Alternatively, they may select a preset mode.

Using high-frequency stimulation (50-120 Hz) triggers spinal nerve cells to block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. This is the mechanism suggested in the Gate Control Theory of Pain. The effects of electrical stimulation vary from person to person, but many feel pain relief from this setting immediately. This is why many use it for acute pain conditions.

On the other hand, low-frequency stimulation (2-10 Hz) induces the production of endorphins. These natural painkillers build up and reduce the overall pain sensations. However, it does take longer than high frequencies to take effect. Many use these for chronic pain conditions because the effect lasts hours after the session.

Conditions that Can Be Treated

People use TENS for various health conditions. Firstly, it is effective on fibromyalgia. This causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, general fatigue and tenderness. Secondly, it works on joint pain from arthritis. This is the inflammation of one or more joints, and it causes pain in adults and children alike.

Thirdly, it is helpful for migraines, which are pulsating headaches that may last for days. Fourthly, people also use TENS for sciatica. This is caused by injury or pressure on the sciatic nerve. Lastly, it helps with period pains, which are commonly felt at the start of the menstrual cycle.

A person placing an iTENS electrode on an elderly woman's wrist

How to Operate an Electro Pulse Machine

Operating an Electro Pulse Machine is a simple process. People may refer to the manual provided by their device manufacturer. Moreover, they may consult a healthcare professional as a safety precaution to ensure that electrotherapy suits their condition. They may also advise on how to use the machine and how long the session should be.

Before starting, the person can wash their skin with soap and water to remove excess body oil. This also allows the electrodes to stick to the skin better. Then, they may place the pads near or on the origin of the pain. The user may check a pad placement chart or guide to ensure proper placement. Once the electrodes are secure, the user may turn the machine on. Then, they may gradually increase the settings for optimal relief.

Typically, TENS therapy sessions last between 20 to 30 minutes. This may vary depending on the condition and the settings used. Afterwards, they may turn the machine off and remove the electrode pads. Then, they may store the pads in a clean and dry place for future use.

Safety Guidelines When Using the Device

It is crucial to stay alert when using a TENS machine. This allows the user to promptly react if they feel unpleasant sensations. People must avoid sleeping, driving, or operating heavy machinery during a TENS therapy session. Furthermore, users should avoid coming into contact with water during the session to prevent electric shocks.

Observing proper pad placement is another safety guideline. Users must carefully avoid sensitive areas, such as the spine, chest, throat, and top of the head. In addition, they must not attach pads on infected or broken skin. Lastly, they must avoid overusing the machine to prevent skin irritation and mild burns.


An Electro Pulse Machine is a helpful electrotherapy device for alleviating pain. It uses electrodes to deliver electric pulses to the body and trigger it to relieve aches. High and low frequencies stimulate the body to block pain signals and release endorphins, respectively. Many people benefit from this drug-free and natural way of alleviating aches. It is effective for conditions like migraines, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and period pain. Furthermore, TENS units are portable and convenient to use.

To start a TENS therapy session, the user must place the electrodes on muscles near or on the pain source. Then, they can turn the machine on and adjust the settings. However, it is best to consult a health professional before using TENS to ensure safety. They may assess if it suits the condition, advise regarding how to use the machine, and recommend a product. One prospect is the iTENS from iTENS Australia.

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