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

TENS Machine for MS: A Guide in Managing Multiple Sclerosis

A woman holding her head and neck in discomfort

The Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine is a non-invasive and drug-free tool for pain relief. It can help manage symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by blocking pain signals, triggering the release of endorphins, and improving blood circulation. To use a TENS machine for MS, clean and dry the treatment area first. Next, place the electrodes on the skin, turn on the unit, and adjust the settings. This simple and effective device can provide relief for those with MS.

MS is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. It occurs when the immune system attacks the protective covering of nerve fibres. Symptoms may include fatigue, difficulty walking, coordination problems, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and cognitive impairment. While there is no cure yet, people can use TENS therapy to help manage the symptoms. This article will present the TENS unit for MS, including its mechanism of action and proper usage.

What is a TENS Machine for MS?

A TENS machine for MS is a portable tool that delivers low-voltage electrical currents through the electrodes for pain relief. 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, acute 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.

Types of Pain in MS Patients

  • Neuropathic pain: this type of pain results from damage to the nerves caused by MS.
  • Musculoskeletal pain: MS can lead to muscle stiffness, weakness, and spasms, which can cause pain in the muscles and joints.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia: the condition causes intense facial pain, often described as a stabbing or shock-like sensation.
  • Headaches: MS patients may experience headaches as a result of MS-related inflammation or changes in cerebrospinal fluid dynamics.
  • Back pain: MS-related muscle weakness, spasticity, and abnormalities in gait and posture can contribute to back pain.
  • Dysesthetic pain: unpleasant sensations, such as burning, itching, or tingling, often occurring without any apparent external cause.

iTENS small wing kit with written features

Mechanisms of Action of TENS Machine for MS

A TENS machine for MS works by tapping into the pain gate mechanism of the body. TENS sends mild electrical impulses through the skin, which helps block the transmission of pain signals to the brain. It aids in pain management for those experiencing ongoing pain due to MS. This offers a non-invasive treatment option that can lead to pain reduction.

Additionally, the TENS machine stimulates the release of endorphins, natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body. These endorphins act as painkillers, helping individuals with MS to experience relief from discomfort. The electronic stimulation from TENS triggers this effect, offering a proactive approach to managing pain without reliance on medication.

Moreover, TENS can boost blood circulation in the affected areas. Improved blood flow can help reduce inflammation and promote healing, contributing to overall comfort and mobility for individuals with MS. Healthcare providers may recommend TENS therapy as part of a comprehensive approach to managing symptoms and enhancing the quality of life for those with MS.

Benefits of TENS Treatment

Using TENS treatment provides several benefits. Firstly, this non-invasive treatment option can be used in the comfort of homes or on the go. It minimises the need to go to pain clinics and allows individuals to manage their pain independently. Secondly, the machine is portable and easy to use.

Thirdly, it allows for targeted pain relief. Individuals can apply the electrodes to specific areas of discomfort without affecting other parts of the body. Lastly, TENS offers personalised relief. The device has adjustable settings that users can manipulate to suit their comfort level or treatment needs.

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

How to Use a TENS Machine for MS

Using a TENS machine for MS is simple. First, make sure the device has enough charge or fresh batteries. Then, clean the skin where the electrodes will go with mild soap and water to remove oils and dirt. After drying the skin, apply a little conductive gel to the electrodes to help conduct electricity.

Next, they should place the electrode pads on the skin as instructed by their health professional or from the user manual. Usually, electrodes go around the area of discomfort or muscle spasticity. It is essential to follow these instructions to ensure the pads are in the right spots for effective treatment. Once the electrodes are in place, users can turn on the electrical stimulation device and adjust the settings.

During the TENS session, users should pay attention to any sensations they feel. It is normal to feel tingling or buzzing. But if they feel any discomfort or pain, they should lower the intensity or stop the session. Using TENS therapy for MS regularly, as part of a treatment program, can help manage symptoms like muscle stiffness and discomfort.

When to Seek Professional Help?

If symptoms persist despite using TENS and other home remedies for MS, it is essential to seek professional help. This could indicate that the condition may require more advanced treatment or management strategies that only a healthcare provider can provide. They can offer further evaluation and tailor a plan to address the health issue.

In addition, see a doctor if unexpected side effects or worsening symptoms while using TENS occur. This could include increased muscle weakness, skin irritation, or unusual sensations. These symptoms might signify an adverse reaction to the therapy or an exacerbation of the MS condition.


In conclusion, a TENS machine for MS offers portable pain relief through low-voltage electrical currents. It blocks pain signals to the brain, stimulates natural painkillers, and enhances blood circulation, aiding in inflammation reduction and healing. This non-invasive approach provides individuals with MS with a proactive method to manage pain, promoting comfort and mobility. Whether in physical therapy centres or at home, TENS devices serve as versatile tools for alleviating chronic and acute pain associated with MS.

Using a TENS unit for MS involves ensuring device readiness, cleaning the skin, applying electrodes, and adjusting settings. Regular TENS therapy can help manage muscle stiffness and discomfort. However, if symptoms persist or worsen despite home remedies, seeking professional help is crucial. Healthcare providers can offer tailored treatment plans and address any unexpected side effects. TENS therapy, when used correctly and alongside professional guidance, can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with MS.

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