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

TENS Machine For Paralysis: Purpose, How It Works, & Safety Considerations

A large and long wing iTENS electrode and refill gel pads

Paralysis is often the result of a serious injury or a neurological condition. It can severely decrease the quality of life since it reduces mobility. Fortunately, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is an effective treatment method that can help with it. A TENS machine for paralysis aims to alleviate post-stroke pain. It triggers the pain gate mechanism and endorphin release for natural relief. However, consulting a healthcare professional is crucial before using TENS.

There are many benefits to using TENS. For one, it is complementary to other treatment methods. It is helpful because traditional treatments for paralysis can be limited and have severe side effects. In comparison, TENS is a non-invasive and drug-free method. It can help with neuropathic pain and induce mechanisms to aid with healing. This article will present the purpose of a TENS unit for paralysis, how it works, and the safety considerations.

Purpose of TENS Machine for Paralysis

Paralysis is a condition that affects the motor functions of an individual, leading to loss of voluntary movement and sensation in certain parts of the body. There are various causes for this, and it can range from partial to complete. This condition can severely decrease the quality of life. Common treatment options include surgery, medications, and physical therapy.

A TENS machine for paralysis is an electrical stimulation device that sends low-voltage electric currents to the body. Its main purpose is to provide symptomatic pain relief. It is a cost-effective alternative pain management method to traditional treatment options. TENS therapy works on various acute and chronic pain conditions.

Another purpose of a TENS unit is to improve the health and well-being of individuals. TENS therapy has several beneficial effects that can help individuals suffering from different types of paralysis. Moreover, individuals can use these in various settings. Many hospitals, physical therapy centres, and pain clinics offer these for the management of pain.

Types of Paralysis Applicable for TENS Therapy

TENS therapy works on several types of paralysis. This includes paralysis from these conditions:

  • Spinal cord injuries: These can cause monoplegia, paraplegia, or quadriplegia. It is often a result of car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. However, conditions like osteoporosis, tumours, and multiple sclerosis may also cause it.
  • Stroke: It occurs when a blood vessel leaks or bursts or when a blockage prevents the brain from getting oxygen and nutrients. It typically causes hemiplegia and difficulty speaking or swallowing.
  • Facial paralysis: this condition occurs due to damage to the facial nerve. It can affect one or both sides of the face.

female newscaster reporting about TENS

How a TENS Machine for Paralysis Works

A TENS machine for paralysis works by sending electrical pulses to the sensory nerves. These pulses can trigger various mechanisms that can benefit the individual. The user can adjust the frequency, intensity and pulse width to trigger different effects and suit their pain level.

High-frequency stimulation (50-120 Hz) induces the spinal nerve cells to block pain signals from reaching the brain. This is also known as the pain gate mechanism suggested in the Gate Control Theory of Pain. It works well to stop immediate or severe pain since it can work within minutes. Moreover, this electrical stimulation setting can cause vasodilation. This improves blood circulation, aiding in healing injuries, reducing muscle spasms, and lessening muscle fatigue.

Meanwhile, low-frequency stimulation (2-10 Hz) triggers the production of endorphins. These are natural painkilling hormones that bind to opioid receptors, resulting in pain reduction. Moreover, endorphins also improve the sense of well-being of an individual by decreasing stress and improving moods. They can also help reduce inflammation, which can help with regaining functional movement.


There are several benefits to using a TENS unit. Firstly, it is a natural and drug-free approach to pain relief. It is particularly helpful for individuals seeking to reduce or replace their oral medicines. Secondly, TENS is complementary to other treatments. Hence, it is convenient to add to treatment plans for additional positive effects.

Thirdly, TENS is a non-invasive therapy. It does not require injections or incisions to deliver the electric stimulation. Moreover, it does not cause significant discomfort or increase the risk of infections. Lastly, TENS is effective even with long-term use. It does not cause adverse side effects like dependency.

A man holding his pained knee

Safety Considerations When Using a TENS Machine for Paralysis

Individuals must follow safety precautions when using a TENS machine for paralysis. Foremost, they should consult a healthcare professional before using electrical stimulation devices. This is crucial for ensuring their compatibility with TENS as a method of pain relief.

Individuals should also ensure their TENS unit and the accessories are in good condition before starting a session. They should also ensure the skin is clean and dry before placing the electrode pads. Furthermore, the pads should be secure and properly connected to the control unit before turning it on. Although users can do some light activities, they should ensure the wires do not come off to prevent sudden shocks.

Moreover, they should not drive or operate heavy machinery while using TENS since the electrical stimulation can be distracting. In addition, they should not sleep during treatment to avoid overusing the machine. It also helps them react promptly if they feel an adverse effect. Lastly, they should not use TENS in the shower or when submerged in water.

Importance of Consulting a Medical Professional

Consulting a health professional is crucial to ensure safety before using TENS. They can properly diagnose overall health conditions and advise on settings and electrode placement to maximise the benefits of TENS. Moreover, although TENS is safe for many people, others should avoid using it, such as those with a history of heart disease, epilepsy and seizures.

Furthermore, pregnant women and individuals with implants, like pacemakers and defibrillators, must also consult a medical professional before using TENS so they can guide them on when and how to use TENS machines. It is vital to seek medical help if this or any other adverse effect occurs.


A TENS machine for paralysis is a helpful tool for patients suffering from this condition. It uses external electrode pads to deliver low-voltage electrical signals to the body. These signals can activate the pain gate mechanism and release endorphins to reduce pain in patients with paralysis. It can also help improve the range of motion and stimulate spastic muscles. This is why many doctors and physical therapists include TENS in treatment plans.

The purpose of TENS machines is to alleviate chronic and acute pain conditions. This is also true when using it for paralysis. However, individuals must follow safety guidelines before and while using TENS. They must consult a medical professional before using TENS to ensure their compatibility with electrical stimulation and get advice on how to use it. They may also advise on what type of machine to use and proper electrode placement.

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