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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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What is a TENS Machine Used For?

A man suffering from back pain.

Many people would ask what a TENS machine is used for. TENS is a relatively recent development in medical science that helps treat pain. It is a method of treating and managing pain. It is a method of pain relief. A TENS machine is a battery-powered device that delivers electrical currents to provide pain relief through adhesive electrodes. These electrodes are placed on the skin where the pain is and employs stimulation to the nerves.

This is what you call TENS therapy and it targets specific nerves to cancel out pain. It can treat a wide array of afflictions. Using a TENS machine is a convenient and effective device to use for reducing pain along with other benefits which will be covered as you continue to read. This article will cover all about the TENS machine and its uses, how to use it, and how to take care of it.

What is a TENS Machine Used For

To begin with, it is important to know what a tens machine is used for. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Transcutaneous means through the skin. Electrical nerve stimulation is a therapy that uses low electrical currents to stimulate nerves for therapeutic purposes. TENS therapy is a method of treatment for delivering electrical signals through the skin by means of a machine and adhesive electrodes.

A TENS machine is used for pain management. Its main purpose is to stimulate nerves for pain relief and other purposes. This unit is connected to electrode pads. The electrode pads require proper placement in order to achieve the desired effect and its beneficial effects. Wherever the pain is in your body, you can position the pads in such a way as to intercept it.

It has been known to be a popular non-invasive method of treating pain. This makes TENS a very versatile tool to counter many different types of pain like arthritis, period pain, knee pain, and sports injuries. Furthermore, it may also alleviate the pain that results from spinal cord injury, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and other chronic conditions.

Health Benefits of a TENS Machine

Aside from pain relief, there are several benefits of using a TENS machine and it may include the following:

  • Treats migraine, headaches, and other injuries
  • Retrains your nerves
  • Boosts athletic performance and reduces muscle fatigue
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Decreases pain signals to the brain
  • Reduces feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Enhances your mood
  • Improves blood circulation, cardiovascular function and blood pressure
  • Reduces acute and chronic pain
  • Improves post-operative pain surgery
  • Reduces the need for medication
  • Enhances recovery from stroke and improves motor function
  • Helps those with prostheses and phantom limb pain
  • Produces endorphins
  • Few or no significant side effects

A woman using iTENS manually on her back.

What is a TENS Machine Used For – How To Use It

What a TENS machine is used for is to relieve pain. In the case of TENS, it sends electrical pulses to specific points on your body, and block pain signals between nerves and your brain. To use this machine, you have to connect pads to your body surrounding the area where the pain is strongest. These pads are connected to a central controller, either wirelessly or through cables. The pads send electrical pulses directly to your nerves.

TENS therapy can treat a wide array of afflictions. Correct pad placement is critical to ensuring proper treatment. Pads cannot touch, and should not go over your bones or joints. They also cannot be used on wounds or around your face. Placing the pads as close to the pain as possible without breaking these guidelines will allow for the best and safest treatment.

Overall, a TENS machine is easy to use. You can conduct a therapy session almost anywhere if you have your own machine. This convenience makes a great tool for pain management.

Safety Guidelines

It is necessary to follow the safety guidelines in using a TENS machine. To start with, do not place the TENS unit on your head, temple or face, throat, over your spine or joints, open wounds or broken, infected or irritated skin. Additionally, do not use TENS while you are driving, sleeping, showering or operating heavy machinery.

Lastly, it is not advisable to use a TENS machine if you are epileptic, if you have heart conditions, or if you have any metal or electrical implants. You are not also allowed to use it while you are pregnant but you can use it when labour starts.

A reusable and replaceable gel pad

What is a TENS Machine Used For – How to Take Care of It

In order to maximise what a TENS machine is used for, you need to know how to properly take care of it. Correct maintenance is key to ensuring your device lasts a long time and accomplishes its goal. If you do not keep it clean, it will not work as efficiently. It may lose its effectiveness over time as well.

Firstly, practice good hygiene with your device. Before attaching the pads, clean the area of the skin you are applying them first. In addition to that, remove any excess hair. Not only will this increase the strength of the connection, but it still keeps the pads clean. After your session, wipe the pads down to remove any particles. Store them in a cool, dry space.

Secondly, monitor your use of the TENS. Never use it somewhere it may get wet. like in the rain. Not only can this create a safety issue, but it may also damage the device. Charge your unit between uses, and follow good battery health practices like not overcharging it.

What to Remember When Buying

If you are to buy your own TENS unit, you have to pay attention to its different features. If handheld, check what settings the controller unit has. For wireless devices, you can see what the app allows you to do. If you plan to bring your TENS with you, make sure it has a long enough battery life to get you through the day.

Also, consider the pads that it comes with. Depending on your body type and the type of pain you want to target, you may want different-sized pads to use. Ensure that you know which ones the device you buy comes with.


TENS is a remarkable modern pain relief tool. There are a lot of possibilities when considering what is a TENS machine used for. A TENS device can relieve almost any type of pain. The electrical currents it uses work wonders at blocking pain signals. The endorphins it induces the body to release help a lot as well. It has no major side effects. This makes it ideal over oral medications, which may have a bigger impact on the body.

Overall, simply follow the basic safety directions and set up the device. You will feel pain relief in no time. However, the best call to action when considering using a TENS machine is to consult your doctor. Your doctor can determine if TENS therapy is applicable to your personal pain condition. Moreover, they can check if electrical stimulation does not cause further harm to any other conditions you may have.

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