The TENS Do’s and Don’ts

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) helps relieve chronic pain. However, there are some do’s and don’ts that you need to consider in using the TENS.

The TENS Do’s

Here is some proper usage of TENS units:

  • Ensure that the device is fully charging before attempting to use it. It prevents sudden inoperability during a pain-relieving session.
  • Apply a tiny amount of conductive gel to the electrodes at the bottom of your unit. It facilitates sufficient subcutaneous electrical flow necessary for optimal results.
  • Place attached electrodes on the skin surface just above the area wherein you desire pain relief.
  • After ascertaining that all device settings are correct, turn the unit on. Most portable TENS devices feature automatic timers to switch them off after a certain period.

The TENS Don’ts

Here are some things you should avoid in using TENS:

  • Do not use it on broken skin.
  • Do not use if not only for the intended purpose.
  • Stop using it if your skin develops a rash after treatment, and it does not get better after six hours.
  • Do not drive while undergoing the treatment.
  • Do not use it while sleeping.

Some of the medical don’ts before using TENS:

  • Do not use it if you have a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator.
  • Do not use it if you have a spinal cord stimulator.
  • Do not use it if you have in-dwelling pumps or monitors.
  • Do not use it if you have any implanted metallic or electronic device.

TENS is used in various clinical settings and has become popular with both patients and health professionals. It may be prescribed in combination with other treatments, primarily to provide relief from acute forms of nerve pain. The main benefit of using the TENS machine is that there are no side effects. But this treatment is strictly to be administered under the guidance and supervision of the physician only. If you have cancer, diabetes, cognitive impairment, epilepsy or are pregnant, speak with your doctor first before using the TENS machine.