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

Microcurrent TENS Unit: Mechanisms of Actions & Its Benefits

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TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is a medical treatment that involves the use of microcurrents through a portable device. It can help block pain signals from reaching the brain. It also triggers the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body, like endorphins. Additionally, it helps improve blood circulation in the targeted area. The benefits of using a microcurrent TENS unit include being drug-free, non-invasive, and portable, making it a convenient and effective option for managing pain.

Both chronic and acute pain conditions are widespread among individuals of all ages and backgrounds. It may occur due to sudden injury, muscle overuse, or an underlying illness. In addition, it can range from mild to debilitating pain, needing immediate relief. Fortunately, TENS therapy is one of the options available for managing pain without the use of medications. This article will provide an overview of the microcurrent TENS device, how it works, and the benefits it can provide.

What is a Microcurrent TENS Unit?

One popular tool that can provide relief from pain is the microcurrent TENS unit. It is a small, portable unit that delivers low-level electrical currents through the electrodes placed on the skin. The device has adjustable settings to give different pulsating effects for various types of pain. This ability allows users to use the device with the appropriate amount of stimulation for their pain level.

TENS machines are commonly used in physical therapy and rehabilitation centres to help patients with chronic pain or injuries manage their conditions. Fortunately, these portable devices are also available for home use. The machine is easy to use and is suitable for various body aches, making it a comprehensive pain relief system.

Moreover, there are two types of TENS devices: wired and wireless. Standard (or wired) devices require lead cables to connect the electrodes to the unit. Also, the handheld unit has buttons or dials to control the settings. Meanwhile, wireless TENS units integrate Bluetooth technology instead of cables, making them more convenient and discreet for people to use.

Treatable Conditions

  • Nerve pain: Also called neuralgia, this type of pain is caused by damage or dysfunction in the nervous system. It often feels like a burning, stabbing, or shooting sensation.
  • Joint pain: It is a condition that causes aches or soreness in one or more joints. The risk factors are inflammation and infections.
  • Muscle pain: It is a sign of injury, muscle overuse, infection, disease, or other health conditions like fibromyalgia. It can feel like a deep, steady ache or random sharp pains.
  • Musculoskeletal pain: This refers to discomfort or pain that affects the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves of the body.

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Mechanisms of Action Behind Microcurrent TENS Unit

Microcurrent TENS units use several mechanisms of action to relieve pain. The primary mechanism is nerve stimulation. The electrical pulses target the sensory nerves. These nerves are responsible for carrying information from the body to the brain and vice versa. During TENS therapy, it interferes with the transmission of pain signals to the brain, reducing the perception of pain in that specific region. This process is called the pain gate mechanism.

The second mechanism of action is endogenous opioid release. The brain releases endorphins, natural chemicals, in response to the electrical stimulation from the TENS machine. Endorphins act as natural painkillers and can help reduce pain sensations. This dual mechanism of action makes TENS machines an effective tool for managing chronic and acute pain conditions.

Furthermore, TENS microcurrent stimulation can help boost blood circulation. It increases blood flow circulation, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. This helps promote healing and reduce inflammation and swelling that contributes to pain. Some devices also have massage treatment modes, providing muscle relaxation.

Frequency and Intensity Modulation

Frequency refers to the number of pulses or cycles of electric current per second. The typical frequencies in TENS therapy range from 1 to 150 Hz. Lower frequencies at 1-5 Hz are suitable for chronic pain relief. Meanwhile, higher frequencies, such as 80-150 Hz, are for acute pain.

Intensity is the strength or power of the electrical currents, measured in milliamps (mA). It influences how deeply the electrical signals penetrate the body. Generally, TENS therapy starts with a low intensity and gradually increases to a comfortable level. Finding the right intensity is essential for maximising the benefits of the TENS microcurrent therapy.

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Benefits of a Microcurrent TENS Unit

There are several reasons why people use microcurrent TENS units. One of the main benefits is its ability to provide drug-free relief. It can be a natural alternative to pain medications for those who have allergies or those who prefer to avoid their associated side effects. Additionally, TENS machines provide a non-invasive method of pain relief. It does not involve intrusive procedures, making them a safe and gentle treatment option.

Another benefit is its versatility in treating various pain conditions. Whether it is muscle soreness or neuropathic pain, a TENS unit is customisable to target specific areas of the body and provide targeted pain relief. This flexibility enables individuals to customise their pain management approach and discover the most effective microcurrent treatment for their requirements.

Furthermore, TENS machines are portable and easy to use. It enables people with chronic pain to incorporate their pain treatment into their daily routine. This accessibility allows individuals to take control of their pain management and improve their quality of life.

Is It Effective and Safe to Use?

Using a TENS microcurrent device is generally safe and effective for many people. However, it requires operating the device as directed by the manufacturer and consulting with a medical professional before use. This is particularly crucial for those with certain medical conditions or implanted devices.

Additionally, it is crucial to adhere to safety protocols and avoid excessive usage to mitigate the risk of mild skin redness, irritation, or other potential adverse reactions. Furthermore, exercise caution around sensitive areas such as the eyes, head, and regions with diminished sensation. Lastly, refrain from using the device while sleeping, driving, or in water.


In conclusion, the microcurrent TENS unit is a handy device that offers relief from pain by delivering low-level electrical currents through electrodes on the skin. It works by stimulating nerves to block pain signals to the brain and triggering the release of natural painkillers called endorphins. Additionally, it enhances blood circulation to promote healing and reduce inflammation. With the easy-to-use design and adjustable settings of TENS, it is a convenient option for managing various types of pain at home.

Furthermore, the microcurrent TENS device offers several benefits, including its drug-free approach, non-invasive nature, and versatility in treating various pain conditions. Its portability and ease of use make it convenient for individuals to incorporate into their daily lives. While generally safe and effective, users should follow manufacturer instructions and consult a medical professional. Adhering to safety guidelines and avoiding excessive use can help mitigate potential risks.

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