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

Turn On TENS Unit and Adjust the Settings for Comfortable Pain Relief

A TENS machine kit with necessary information

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive, drug-free option for pain relief. It uses low-voltage electrical currents to alleviate pain. However, it’s essential to know how to properly turn on a TENS unit and adjust the settings to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness. People can simply click the button on the device to turn it on. Afterwards, they can modify the intensity and duration manually or through their mobile phones for wireless units.

Dealing with pain can be challenging. This is especially true for pain in adults as they have to navigate it while doing their responsibilities. Fortunately, this can be more manageable with a TENS device. They can have a session and work on their tasks at the same time. To learn more about TENS, the following sections will present what it is, how to adjust the settings, and how it works.

Turn On TENS Unit – What is TENS

TENS is a method that provides pain relief. It is a type of electrotherapy that sends electrical pulses to the nerve endings by placing electrode pads on the surface of the skin. People only need to turn on TENS units, and they can block pain signals from reaching the brain. The therapy also triggers endorphins. This helps reduce pain sensations and promote relaxation.

A TENS device is commonly used to relieve acute and chronic pain in adults. In particular, they can use it for musculoskeletal pain, neuropathic pain, and postoperative pain. They can adjust it to control the intensity and pulse rate of the electrical stimulation to suit their comfort level. It is important to consult with a doctor for proper pad placement and settings for optimal pain management.

The therapy utilises a battery-operated device. Traditionally, there are handheld units. People commonly see one at a hospital, but some devices are available for personal use and are wireless. A vital part of a machine is the electrodes, as this is the bridge for the impulses to reach the body. Moreover, the pads have various sizes to fit different body parts.

How it Works

TENS generally works in these two ways:

  • Motor-level stimulation – This works at low frequencies at less than 10 Hz. The electrical nerve stimulation boosts the release of the natural painkillers in the body. This is appropriate for people dealing with chronic pain as it can provide them with constant relaxation.
  • Sensory-level stimulation – On the other hand, this uses high frequencies at greater than 50 Hz. It is also known as pain gating. The way this works is by flooding the nervous system with the currents so that patients feel little to no pain. This makes it suitable for acute pains.

A woman clicking the button of the TENS device on her wrist

Turn On TENS Unit – Adjusting the Settings

Adjusting the settings on a TENS unit is crucial for optimal pain relief. The device allows users to control the intensity and pulse rate of the electrical stimulation. This ensures a comfortable and effective therapy session. People should start with low frequencies and raise them gradually to avoid discomfort. Turn on a TENS unit with the button on the device. Then, they can adjust the frequency and duration of the electrical pulses to suit their needs.

Trial and error may be necessary for success with TENS. People should experiment with different settings and modes to find what works best for them. Alternating the patterns of pad placement can also be beneficial. Proper adjustment of the TENS unit settings can improve overall comfort during use.

It is important to follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Each person can have different comfort levels, so it is essential to find the right balance. In addition, they can adjust the settings manually or using a smartphone. Bluetooth-enabled units come with a mobile application for convenience.

Pre-set Modes

Pre-set modes on a TENS unit offer convenience and simplicity. These pre-programmed settings are designed to target specific types of pain, such as labour pain and neck pain. People can select the mode that aligns with their condition and desired level of pain relief.

The pre-set modes typically vary in pulse rate, duration, and intensity. This allows individuals to customise their treatment within a safe and effective range. The feature eliminates the need for manual adjustments, making it easier for those who may be new to using a TENS unit or those who prefer a hassle-free experience.

A person attaching a TENS device on the wrist of an elderly woman

Turn On TENS Unit – Safety Precautions

Turn on a TENS unit and enjoy the effective relief it provides from acute or chronic pain. TENS is generally safe, but it is important to take certain safety precautions to avoid potential risks. Firstly, make sure to properly place the pads on clean, dry, and non-irritated skin. Avoid placing them on broken skin or over varicose veins. Additionally, be careful not to place the pads near the spinal cord or any metal pins.

Secondly, when using a TENS unit, start with a low pulse rate and adjust it gradually. This can help prevent sudden shocks. Moreover, do not increase the intensity of the electrical current beyond what is necessary for pain relief. It is important to note that TENS units should not be used by individuals with pacemakers or spinal cord stimulators unless instructed by a doctor.

Lastly, adhere to the recommended duration of use. Following the instructions provided by the manufacturer or healthcare provider regarding the period the device should be used is crucial for successful pain management. By taking these safety precautions, people can confidently turn on their TENS unit and experience the relief they deserve.

When to See a Doctor

If pain does not improve with at-home treatments, it may be time to see a doctor. Additionally, if there are any concerns about the safety or effectiveness of using a TENS unit for a specific medical condition, consulting with doctors is recommended. They can guide the appropriate use of electrical nerve stimulation and help determine if it is the right treatment option.

Healthcare professionals have the knowledge and expertise to assess pain and provide appropriate medical treatments. When it comes to managing pain, it is always best to seek professional advice to ensure overall health and well-being.


Using TENS can help people achieve immediate pain relief. It is a type of electrical nerve stimulation. Hence, it sends mild electrical currents to the body through the electrodes. Individuals can turn on a TENS unit and adjust the settings as they deem fit. However, it is essential to begin with low frequencies to prevent skin irritation and other concerns. Consulting a doctor is also helpful to avoid serious complications.

Pain can hinder people from doing their daily tasks. Thus, they need to relieve pain. To avoid experiencing adverse side effects from traditional painkillers, they can use TENS. Specifically, wireless TENS units are beneficial in allowing them to work while getting relief and relaxation. They are also discreet, so they can comfortably be in session without anyone knowing. iTENS devices from iTENS Australia are FDA-approved. Hence, they can be assured of their reliability.

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