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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

Sciatica Relief Using a TENS Machine

A TENS unit displaying its features.

Sciatica is a condition wherein the pain radiates from the lower back, hips, and glutes and it goes down to a leg or both legs. It can be pain, numbness, weakness or tingling in the leg. Pain can come suddenly or gradually. Thankfully, there are modern solutions through technology that have been discovered for sciatica relief, and one of those is the TENS machine. Aside from pain relief, you can conduct this therapy several times a day without side effects.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS is a therapy that helps reduce pain using low electrical currents. This therapy uses an affordable device and is non-invasive. TENS machines can treat acute and chronic conditions. Additionally, it can help treat sports injuries, spinal stenosis, herniated disc, and more. This article will go over the ways to use TENS for sciatica, its causes, and ways to prevent it.

Sciatica Relief Using TENS

Sciatica can be very painful and hard to deal with. Fortunately, TENS is a great option for sciatica relief. TENS is a non-invasive pain management tool. It sends electrical pulses to nerves through electrode pads. These pulses cut off pain signals from travelling through the brain. They also cause the body to release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers.

TENS is easy to use. The first thing to do is to identify where the pain is. The electrode pads should go as close to the painful area as they can without touching each other. Clean that area of the skin and remove excess hair. Then, attach the pads. Once they are connected, turn the device on and begin a treatment session.

TENS therapy is highly versatile. It can relieve pain from almost any cause. Wireless devices are also mobile. You can bring the pads with you when you go out so you can use them whenever you need them. These pads are controlled via a smartphone app connected over Bluetooth. The app allows you to customise treatment options, so you can use the settings that work best for you.

TENS Guidelines

There are few or no side effects of using a TENS unit. Having serious side effects is uncommon. Nonetheless, there are safety guidelines that you need to follow when using a TENS machine:

  • Always follow the directions in the user’s manual.
  • Make sure that the device is off before placing it on and taking off the pads.
  • Refrain from using the device when showering, sleeping, or driving.
  • Clean and dry your skin before placing the pads on your skin.
  • Do not leave the electrode pads for long periods of time.
  • Do not place the pads on irritated, infected or broken skin.

A woman experiencing pain in her leg.

Sciatica Relief: Causes and Symptoms

Sciatica is a symptom of a medical problem. It occurs when there is damage or pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve from the lower back and runs back the back of each leg. Thus, it controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower legs. Moreover, it provides sensation to the back of the thighs, the outer and back part of the lower legs, and the sole of the feet. 

One of the most common causes of sciatica is a slipped disc that results in the compression of the sciatic nerve which causes pain. Other causes may include lumbar spinal stenosis, fracture or pelvic injury, tumours, and spondylolisthesis. A pain disorder involving the narrow muscle in the buttocks called piriformis syndrome is another one. 

If you are exhibiting symptoms, you have to seek medical attention immediately for relief from sciatica. The symptoms include the pain that radiates from the back to the hip down to your leg, constant pain, and numbness or difficulty while moving your leg. Additionally, other symptoms are fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Factors that Make Someone More Likely to Get It

There are multiple factors that increase the likelihood of developing sciatica. Age is a factor, with elderly individuals or men between 30 and 50 being more prone. Wearing high heels for extended periods, as well as sleeping on overly soft or hard mattresses, can also contribute.

Jobs that involve prolonged sitting and a lack of exercise or unhealthy lifestyle choices also increase the risk of experiencing sciatica. Therefore, it is important to practice healthy habits, such as regular exercise and maintaining good posture. Wearing appropriate footwear and using the right mattress can also help to minimise the risk of sciatica.

A woman using iTENS units on her leg

Sciatica Relief: How to Prevent It

Preventing sciatica may vary on the cause of the nerve damage. The best strategy is to stop the condition before getting to the point of needing sciatica relief. Firstly and most importantly, you have to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Having strong abdominal and back muscles is important to avoid sciatica. This routine will be helpful as you get older. Additionally, having a healthy diet helps to keep a fit and healthy weight, which reduces strain on the back.

Secondly, having a proper sleeping position helps, too. Sleeping on your front creates an awkward position for the back and can worsen the pain. Sleep on your side or back with a pillow underneath your legs to create a more natural position for your spine. You can also conduct hot and cold therapy. This may help relieve pain and help relax muscles.

Lastly, observe correct posture. Try sitting in a high seat with both feet on the floor. You can use a lumbar cushion. When you carry heavy objects, slowly lift with your legs, not with your back.

Other Treatments

Aside from using a TENS machine, to treat sciatica, you can use anti-inflammatory medications. Most cases of sciatica can be resolved over weeks to months, depending on how severe the case is. You can also use muscle relaxants, narcotics, or antidepressants.

Overall, these medications are strong pain relievers that are widely used for treating low back pain or sciatica. They can also change the perception of pain by weakening pain signals, regulating pain signals or improving your mood. It is best recommended to talk to your healthcare provider first before starting any treatment to know your condition.


Sciatica is extreme lower back pain. It can happen to anyone. Injuries or lifestyle choices make someone more likely to develop it. Given how debilitating it can be, finding good sciatica relief can be very important. In fact, living a healthy lifestyle is the easiest way to prevent this pain from flaring up. Fortunately, there are ways to manage it like using a TENS machine. This uses electrical currents to block pain signals from reaching your brain. 

TENS is the easiest way to manage pain. It is a non-invasive and drug-free method and does not have major side effects. Furthermore, it is safe and easy to use. Its mobility means you can use it to treat pain wherever you are throughout the day. This gives it a huge advantage over medications for treating pain. For the best TENS units, check out iTENS Australia.  

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