Australian Registered Medical Device

Same day dispatch

12-month warranty

Professionally endorsed

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

TENS Machine What Is It?

A small and long wing iTENS and refill gel pads

Individuals are becoming more interested in knowing what is a TENS machine (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). It is an electronic device that aims to provide pain relief by delivering electrical currents to the body. These electrical pulses stimulate the nerve fibres in the targeted area. Accordingly, the activity can block the transmission of pain signals and trigger the release of endorphins. TENS can also boost blood flow and send impulses in different frequencies and intensities.

Pain is a debilitating experience many people have to live with daily. Every type of pain can significantly impact the quality of life. Hence, a method of pain relief is essential. Standard pain management techniques may include physical therapy and medications. Conversely, TENS therapy stands out as a safe and effective analgesia. However, many are still unfamiliar with this technology. The following sections will present what is a TENS unit, how it works, and how to use it.

What is a TENS Machine?

“What is a TENS machine?” It is a question that arises among individuals seeking an effective form of pain relief. A TENS unit is an electrical device that alleviates discomfort by sending gentle electrical impulses to the body. It streams the pulses through electrode patches attached to the skin. Accordingly, physical therapists and health professionals often recommend TENS therapy to patients.

TENS devices come in wired and wireless models. It accommodates different needs and preferences. Wired versions are typically connected to the electrodes via thin cables. Meanwhile, wireless models offer more freedom of movement. It eliminates the need for direct connections. Thus, it provides a more convenient and user-friendly experience. Individuals can connect it to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

The benefits of using a TENS unit are manifold. Primarily, it provides a drug-free approach to pain management. It reduces the reliance on medications and their potential side effects. Furthermore, TENS therapy is non-invasive. It makes it preferable for those wary of more aggressive treatment methods. Additionally, TENS is customisable. Users can adjust the pulse rate, intensity, and duration.

Treatable Conditions

  • Acute Pain: Sudden and arises in the short term. It often results from labour pain, menstrual cramps, tension headaches, and sports injuries.
  • Chronic Pain Conditions: Persistent discomfort extending beyond the usual recovery period. It may include arthritis pain, fibromyalgia, neck, and backaches.
  • Neuropathic Pain: Stems from nervous system damage or malfunction. Conditions like sciatica, diabetic neuropathy, and nerve entrapment syndromes fall into this category.
  • Musculoskeletal Pain: Affects the bones, muscles, and ligaments. It may involve knee joint pain, osteoarthritis pain, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Muscle Pain: Results from overuse, tension, or strain. TENS therapy offers a soothing solution.

An elderly woman using TENS on her wrist while reading

What is a TENS Machine and How Does It Work?

After knowing what is a TENS machine, it is vital to understand how it works. At the heart of its function lies the Pain Gate Theory. The TENS unit sends electric currents to the body. These signals travel faster than pain signals and reach the brain first. When the brain processes these signals, it temporarily closes the “gate” for pain messages, preventing their transmission. Thus, it leads to the reduction of pain.

Moreover, TENS therapy stimulates the natural production of endorphins. These are the natural pain-relieving hormones of the body. Endorphins bind to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. It is akin to how pharmaceutical painkillers work but without the side effects. Nevertheless, this boost in endorphin levels alleviates discomfort and promotes a sense of well-being.

In addition to mitigating discomfort, the electrical stimulation enhances blood flow to the targeted area. Improved blood circulation facilitates the delivery of oxygen and nutrients, which supports the healing process. It also helps flush waste products from muscle activity, reducing inflammation and encouraging recovery. Through these mechanisms, TENS is a safe and natural relief option.

Frequencies and Intensities

Frequencies in a TENS unit refer to the speed at which electrical pulses are delivered to the body. It is measured in Hertz (Hz) and can range from low (1 to 10 Hz) to high (50 to 120 Hz). Low-frequency TENS is believed to promote the production of endorphins. Meanwhile, high-frequency TENS works on the principle of the Pain Gate Theory.

On the other hand, intensities denote the strength of the electrical impulses, measured in Milliamperes. TENS units have adjustable intensity settings to suit tolerance and the depth of discomfort being treated. Nevertheless, this setting should be modified to a solid but comfortable intensity.

A woman manually using TENS on her back

What is a TENS Machine, and How to Use It

After understanding what is a TENS machine and how it works, it is crucial to know how to use it. Start by locating the treatment area and preparing the skin over it. Then, carefully position the electrode patches. It is essential to follow the electrode placement guide or recommendations provided by healthcare professionals. Next, connect the electrodes to the machine via lead cables or Bluetooth for wireless.

Accordingly, turn on the TENS unit and modify the settings. Start from a low intensity and gradually adjust the settings. It is advisable to increase the intensity until a solid but comfortable sensation occurs. The settings can vary depending on the model of the machine and the type of pain. Typically, a session lasts between 15 to 30 minutes.

After use, turn off the TENS device, disconnect the electrodes, and remove the electrode pads from the skin. Nevertheless, while TENS therapy is safe, they are not suitable for everyone. Individuals with a pacemaker, pregnant women, and those with heart disease, epilepsy, or skin sensitivities should consult with a healthcare provider before using a TENS device.

Pad Placement Guide

Firstly, determine the specific area of discomfort. Precise pad placement around or over this area is crucial for TENS therapy to be effective. Then, ensure the skin where the pads will be applied is clean, dry, and free from lotions or oils. Accordingly, place the pads directly on the skin. Typically, position the electrodes on either side of the pain or surrounding it.

Additionally, maintain a proper distance or spacing between the pads. It balances the delivery of electrical pulses. Furthermore, do not place the electrode patches on the head, mouth, eyes, chest, throat, bony prominences, spinal cord, and broken skin.


In summary, individuals seeking effective pain management often ask, “What is a TENS machine?” It is a wired or wireless device that dispatches electrical pulses to the body via electrodes placed on the skin. It is non-invasive and drug-free. Accordingly, TENS therapy works by interrupting the transmission of pain messages, stimulating the release of endorphins, and promoting blood flow. Furthermore, TENS units can deliver the pulses in different frequencies (low and high) and intensities (comfortable intensity).

TENS treatment can manage a wide range of conditions. It may include menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, and muscle tension. Moreover, using the TENS device is straightforward. Start by locating the treatment area and cleaning the skin over it. Subsequently, attach the electrodes to the skin, adhering to the pad placement guide. Next, connect the electrodes and turn on the TENS unit. Finally, adjust the settings and initiate the stimulation.

Best Sellers

Shopping Cart
Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
Calculate Shipping

We have detected you are from the United States

We ship to all locations within the United States.
Prices will be automatically converted into USD.

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?


The item you’re adding to your cart doesn’t have any gel pads.

Note: iTENS wings should always be used with a gel pad.