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

Muscle TENS Unit: How It Helps to Improve the Quality of Life

A muscular man holding his wrist

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) has been shown to effectively relieve various forms of pain, both acute and chronic, including muscle pain. This therapy provides a drug-free and non-invasive option for managing discomfort, thereby improving the quality of life of people with muscle aches. With TENS, people can experience relief and engage in routine activities more comfortably. Treatment is available in pain clinics, but individuals may also purchase a TENS unit for muscle pain for personal use.

Muscle pain is a feeling of discomfort or soreness in the muscles. It can happen after exercising too hard or from an injury. Many people choose to take pain medications to alleviate muscle aches. However, these medications can have side effects and may not always be effective. Fortunately, people may opt for TENS therapy, a natural method of pain relief. This article will present a TENS device for muscle pain, including how it works and proper usage.

What is a TENS Unit for Muscle Pain?

A TENS unit for muscle pain is a portable tool that can provide natural pain relief. It is a drug-free, safe, non-invasive, and effective treatment option. This medical device produces mild electrical pulses to target body areas through electrodes. As a result, people experience reduced muscular aches and discomfort.

People can buy a TENS unit in a wired or wireless model. Wired TENS typically has two pads connected to the machine via cables. On the other hand, wireless devices use Bluetooth technology to connect the patches to the main unit. They can obtain these from pharmacies, local medical supply stores, or online retailers.

Users have the option to modify settings or choose from pre-set modes based on their comfort level and pain intensity. They can modify them safely at home. However, they should consult a healthcare provider before a single treatment session because the pain threshold and response to TENS therapy may vary from person to person. Also, professionals may further guide on correct TENS usage.

Causes of Muscle Pain

  • Muscular discomfort may result from overuse or straining the muscles beyond their limits. This often occurs during strenuous physical activities.
  • Muscle aches often occur due to acute injuries like strains, sprains, or tears. These injuries can result from accidents, falls, or sudden movements.
  • Some medications, such as statins, may cause muscle pain as a side effect.
  • Chronic stress, anxiety, or poor posture can lead to muscle tension, causing pain.
  • Lack of proper hydration may lead to muscle cramps. When the body lacks hydration, it can alter the balance of electrolytes, affecting function.
  • Conditions like fibromyalgia can cause muscular aches due to an immune system malfunction.

iTENS large wing kit with written features

How a TENS Unit for Muscle Pain Works

There are various mechanisms of action behind a TENS unit for muscle pain. It involves the electrical stimulation of nerve fibres, helping modulate pain signals and promote pain relief. TENS delivers gentle electric currents to the affected area via electrode patches people place on the skin. Then, it can activate the pain-gating mechanism, which essentially blocks transmitting pain messages from reaching the brain.

Additionally, TENS can stimulate the production of opioids within the body. Opioids, such as endorphins, are natural pain-relieving substances that bind to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. The electrical currents can stimulate these receptors, enhancing the pain-relieving effect. This mechanism promotes longer-lasting pain reduction.

Moreover, electric nerve stimulation can induce muscle contractions. This can increase blood flow to the affected area. Improved blood circulation allows the delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients to the muscle tissues. It reduces inflammation and promotes healing. Furthermore, muscle contractions from TENS may relax stiffness and tension, increasing mobility and range of motion.

Benefits of TENS Therapy

People can receive various benefits from TENS therapy. Firstly, it can help manage a wide range of health issues aside from muscle pain. These include chronic pain, acute pain, neuropathic pain, musculoskeletal pain, and even labour pain. Secondly, TENS does not require incisions or surgical procedures.

Thirdly, TENS can avoid potential side effects associated with medication. It only has minimal side effects reported, such as temporary skin irritation. Thirdly, people can administer a session at home, providing flexibility and convenience in managing their muscular pain. Lastly, the electronic device is cost-effective when compared to traditional pain management methods.

Step-by-step guide on how to operate the iTENS app

How to Use a TENS Unit for Muscle Pain

Generally, using a TENS unit for muscle pain is simple. However, users must follow the guidelines for optimal results. Initially, users must identify the specific area of muscular discomfort. Subsequently, they should cleanse the affected site with mild soap and warm water to enhance electrode adhesion. Finally, they can apply the electrode pads to the skin and turn on the electrical device.

Users should adjust the TENS unit settings according to their pain level and preference. As the treatment progresses, they may enjoy the positive effects of TENS. However, they should remember that TENS therapy should not cause discomfort or pain. They can lower the intensity or try a different setting if the sensation is too intense.

Take note of the recommended treatment time, usually 20 to 30 minutes per session. People can administer TENS multiple times per day. Nevertheless, they should wait a few hours between each session to allow their body to rest. Also, they must never sleep with the TENS unit on or use it in water. When the therapy is over, turn off the electrical device and remove the electrode patches.

Electrode Placement

People should ensure correct TENS electrode placement to maximise the therapy. They must attach the pads on either side of the painful area for general muscle pain. They should position them symmetrically for balanced stimulation. However, they must avoid areas with broken skin.

Moreover, users should remember to practice proper spacing when using multiple pads. Some traditional units have dual or more channels, which allow owners to attach up to eight electrodes. There are also wireless units, like the iTENS, that can control four pads at once. However, these should be applied at least an inch apart. Otherwise, it could cause interference.


A TENS unit for muscle pain is a medical tool that uses gentle electrical pulses to provide natural pain relief. It works by blocking pain signals from reaching the brain, stimulating the production of natural painkillers in the body, and improving blood circulation to the affected muscles. With adjustable settings and various modes, users can customise their treatment. Nevertheless, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider before use to ensure safety and proper guidance.

Using a TENS device for muscle aches is straightforward. Users must first identify the affected area and cleanse it before applying electrode pads. Adjusting the device settings according to pain level and preference is crucial. They should ensure the therapy is comfortable and adhere to recommended treatment times. Proper electrode placement, symmetrically on either side of the painful area, is essential for effective stimulation. When using multiple pads, maintaining proper spacing prevents interference.

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