Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a nerve stimulation therapy that involves low voltage electric currents to treat pain. The TENS machine is a small, battery operated device that has leads connected to the sticky pads. These  pads, called electrodes, are the mediums through which the electricity travels through the body. The electric current blocks the pain receptors from being sent from the nerves to the brain. 

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can be used to treat both long term and short term pain and is most commonly used for conditions like:

  • Neck pain
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis pain
  • Back pain 
  • Fibromyalgia 

Usually every patient receives their own TENS machine for use at home. In most cases, the doctor or physical therapist will adjust the machine settings and show the patient how to use the machine at home. 

TENS is a safe treatment with no side effects. Although people can buy it on their own, it is better to speak with a doctor and get a referral to a physiotherapist or pain clinic where they can loan a TENS machine for a short period, adjust the settings properly, and monitor the condition.