Guide on How to Use a TENS Therapy Device

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy can treat a multitude of pain conditions such as osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, labour pain, neck pain, and lower back pain. A TENS therapy device can effectively reduce pain and, in some cases, completely negate them. High-quality devices like the iTENS, available at iTENS Australia, are now increasingly available for personal use. Thus, people can follow guides on how to use them to get the most effective results out of their pain management treatments.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS Therapy Devices

TENS is a form of electrotherapy that uses low voltage electrical currents in order to provide pain relief. A TENS therapy device is a compact, portable, battery-operated machine. These devices send out mild electrical impulses through electrodes to the nerves under your skin. The electrical impulses are painless. Moreover, they stimulate the sensory neural signals that block and stop pain signals from reaching the brain.

This form of pain management using a TENS therapy device falls under the Gate Control Theory of Pain Management. The theory states that the constant electrical stimulation to the nerves can cause the closure of specific sensory pathways. Pain signals pass through these sensory pathways to reach our brain. Therefore, closing specific sensory pathways leads to fewer pain signals reaching the brain, which then causes reduced pain sensations.

Additionally, using a TENS therapy device to stimulate the nerves can cause the production of endorphins in our bodies. Endorphins are our body’s natural pain killers. Endorphins provide natural pain relief and can cause an increase in happiness or good mood. Hence, it is why they are often called the “feel good” chemical.


TENS Therapy Device: Pad Placement

Electrode pad placement for a TENS therapy device is one of the more essential factors to consider. It is because it can directly affect the area in pain. Generally, electrode pads should be placed directly above and below the area of treatment, placing the area of pain right in the middle of the pads. Moreover, the electrode pads are self-adhesive, and individuals should make sure to attach the pads before turning on the device. There are optimal pad placements for each pain condition. These are some general pad placement for TENS therapy device positioning of the most common pain conditions:

  • Neck pain – place the pads on either side of the neck.
  • Shoulder pain – place the pads above and below the site of pain.
  • Knee pain – place the pads around the knee joint above and below on each side.
  • Lower back pain – place the pads on the back on either side at the same level as where the pain is.

Safety Guidelines

TENS pain management treatments are generally safe. Pain management therapy using a TENS therapy device is a safe, non-toxic, and all-natural but highly effective method of pain relief. However, there are some safety precautions, such as where and when NOT to place the TENS electrode pads. These are:

  • Across the eyes
  • The front of the neck
  • Directly in front of the chest
  • If you have a metal or electronic implant such as a cardiac pacemaker
  • On an open wound or broken skin
  • In areas where there at tumours
  • Directly over the spinal cord
  • Internally
  • If you suffer from epilepsy
  • On numb skin or areas where there are nerve damage
  • Infected areas
  • If you suffer from dementia
  • If you are at an early stage of pregnancy

TENS Therapy Device: Usage Guidelines

You can conduct TENS therapy sessions for about 2-3 times a day. Moreover, its effects can last for about 5 hours up to 18 hours. Therefore, this alone is already a great reason why a TENS therapy device is now a more preferred method when compared to traditional pain relief treatments like ice or hot packs. But one should always take care when using a TENS machine. Some people may suffer slight burns or skin irritation when the intensity(current) is set too high. The iTENS unit from iTENS Australia has state-of-the-art- hypoallergenic electrode pads. Thus, making it less likely to cause any skin allergies to trigger, making them an ideal choice.

Additionally, you must also consider the proper hygiene and housekeeping conditions of your TENS therapy device. You can follow this as a guide:

  • Allot only one set of electrodes per person.
  • Record the name of the person and the dates of usage.
  • Wipe down the sticky electrode pads with antiseptic alcohol wipes to remove any oil or hail follicles that may be stuck on them.
  • Keep the TENS therapy device away in a safe place when not in use.
  • Make sure to place the safety film back in the electrode pads to preserve the stickiness when not in use.

The iTENS TENS Therapy Device

The iTENS unit from iTENS Australia is the world’s first FDA-cleared, true wireless TENS therapy device. Furthermore, the iTENS unit’s wireless innovation makes it have fewer restrictions regarding when and where you can achieve pain management treatments. Moreover, having a device with a wireless option could allow you to perform other activities while on your pain management treatment session. Activities such as household chores, watching tv, exercising and eating can now be done even during your TENS therapy sessions.

One should always consider using safer machines, like the iTENS unit. The iTENS unit has simple, ready-to-use pre-set settings available. You can set it through the iTENS app from an iOS or Android device. People owning a personal TENS therapy device should also note that placing the highest intensity does not automatically result in better effects. Each person has a different threshold. It would be best to always start with a lower intensity then move up towards your threshold. Thus, you should always only set up the intensity to the tolerated threshold of the individual. This method is applicable when using the iTENS on its “manual mode”.


The TENS devices’ advantages greatly outweigh their disadvantages and have little to no side effects, unlike pain-reducing medication. Thus, owning a personal TENS therapy device proves to be an invaluable investment for anyone looking to help improve their quality of life, whether you are suffering from acute (short term) or chronic (long term) pain. Furthermore, with quality devices like the iTENS wireless unit available at iTENS Australia, pain management treatments are now even more convenient without sacrificing efficiency.

Make sure to choose a practical device with an established brand like iTENS Australia to provide you with the best TENS therapy device for your convenience. Replacement iTENS accessories and interchangeable wings are readily available in our online store. iTENS Australia strives to provide the best customer service and keep clients satisfied. The iTENS TENS therapy devices are cost-effective and efficient health investments.