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

Can You Use a TENS Machine for Headache?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is an electrotherapy treatment that uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate our nerves. This method of pain relief fails under the “Gate Control Theory” of pain management. This theory states that we have specific gating mechanisms within our bodies. Those “gates” are where are pain signals would typically pass through to reach our brains. Closure of these gating channels can prevent the signals from ever reaching the brain. Thus, reducing the pain sensations we would typically feel from body pain, injuries, and even specific health conditions. With all these positive and all-natural effects present during TENS therapy, many ask: Can you use a TENS machine for headaches?

TENS machines only use mild electrical currents. Therefore, it is certain that there are no dangers or health risks during TENS therapy. Aside from body pain, you may even use devices like iTENS to help you treat headaches. Furthermore, aside from the Gate Control Theory, the electrical nerve stimulation from a TENS device can also help induce endorphin release. Endorphins are our body’s natural painkillers. Professions often refer to these hormones as the “feel good” hormones because of all the positive effects they can provide. A TENS machine for headaches can help induce endorphin release, which can result in:

  • Pain reduction
  • Stress reduction
  • Improved relaxation (due to pain and muscle tension relief)
  • Improved sleeping patterns (due to the relaxation effects)
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved mood

TENS Machine for Headache: Is it safe?

Electrotherapy through a TENS device like the iTENS from iTENS Australia is an all-natural, risk-free, non-toxic, and entirely safe method of pain relief. There are no adverse side effects when using a TENS machine for headaches and any other injury or health condition. Therefore, TENS devices make a great alternative to oral painkillers that may have some side effects after long-term use. Moreover, users can ascertain safety by using devices like the iTENS with FDA clearance. Using an FDA approved device can ensure users that their devices undergo serious product tests before release. Furthermore, pain management treatments, like TENS therapy, that don’t have side effects can be used more often throughout the day. This can help TENS users improve their day-to-day comfort when dealing with pain. However, it is essential to remember to take 20-minute breaks in between sessions. 

Despite being a safe method for pain relief, precaution is still necessary. People with certain health conditions should avoid using a TENS machine for headaches and body pain. These conditions are:

  • Having a cardiac pacemaker or any metal implants around the body.
  • Being epileptic
  • Having any form of cancer
  • Have a history of seizures

Additionally, there are also specific situations where a TENS device should not be applied. You should not place TENS devices on: 

  • Open wounds
  • Damaged or broken skin
  • On the temple area (area between the ears and eyes)
  • Areas with limited sensation
  • On the top of your head
  • On your eyes

TENS Machine for Headache: Pad Placement

Pad placement can play a vital role in TENS therapy. The TENS machine electrode pads should be placed on specific areas to treat certain body parts for the nerve stimulation to be effective. It ensures that the electrical stimulation is directed towards the targeted nerves. Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches that occur. To treat this form of headache, users should place a pair of electrode pads on their traps (trapezius) muscles. These are the muscles directly between the neck and the shoulders. Easing muscle tension from the traps can drastically help reduce tension headaches. If users have another pair of pads available, they can attach them to the upper back. Using a TENS machine for headaches with these placements can help reduce the muscle tension near the cervical region and help alleviate tension headaches. 

Pad Placement with the iTENS

It is worth noting that TENS devices should not be placed directly on the head because it is a sensitive area even for mild electric currents. For sensitive areas like near the cervical region (under the neck on the traps), users can benefit from using flexible and compact devices like the wireless iTENS. Users can purchase the iTENS and its three different pad sizes from the iTENS Australia website. Different pad sizes for specific areas allow TENS devices like the iTENS to provide efficient electrical stimulation. Furthermore, this can also enable the device to treat various areas and health conditions effectively. Additionally, pad placement with wireless devices can be very convenient. Users would no longer need to angle the electrode pads specifically to accommodate the device and electrode connections. Without a doubt, using the iTENS TENS machine for headaches can drastically help make TENS therapy seem more convenient. 

When using the iTENS TENS machine for headache (specifically a tension headache), you can use the iTENS small electrode wing pads. You can place these pads right below your cervical spine, right on your trapezius muscle. The iTENS small electrode pads are flexible, so you can still move your neck around even during TENS therapy. 


TENS Machine for Headache: Convenience with the iTENS

The iTENS has various features that allow it to be the best TENS machine for headaches, injuries, and specific health conditions. Firstly, it has Bluetooth capabilities. Having Bluetooth connectivity will enable it to pair with other smartphones seamlessly. Users can easily activate and control the iTENS through their phones. Moreover, this feature can drastically help users treat hard-to-reach areas like the back of the neck (on the traps) and the upper back. Secondly, the iTENS app on your smartphone can access a variety of pre-set treatments. These pre-set treatments are optimized to treat specific health conditions and body areas effectively. Additionally, this feature can help users with limited electrotherapy experience (first-time users) treat themselves effectively without professional guidance. Lastly, the smartphone controls and the in-app features allow users to begin their TENS therapy with just a push of a button.


TENS therapy is an entirely safe method for pain relief. However, there are just some specific precautions and contraindications you should look out for when using TENS therapy. Nonetheless, using a TENS machine for headaches has no disadvantages and adverse side effects. Users can use the iTENS from iTENS Australia to help make TENS therapy seem more convenient. Moreover, the iTENS’ different pad sizes make it a versatile device. This versatility can allow users to use the device to treat various pain symptoms and body areas. Moreover, this feature makes the iTENS a worthwhile investment. Users can continuously benefit from owning an effective personal device like the iTENS. You can effortlessly find and purchase the iTENS and its accessories online through the iTENS Australia website.

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