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What Conditions are TENS Machines Used For?

May 15, 2017 in TENS Therapy


A TENS device is a highly effective, safe, and completely non-invasive means of treating pain using basic electrical impulses. With new technologies advancing every day, TENS machines are advancing in their effectiveness and ease of use. They can even be used from the comfort of your own home.

Many people are eager to know if these devices can help their conditions, asking: what conditions are TENS machines used for? The truth is, TENS machines can treat a very broad range of symptoms and ailments from back pain to fibromyalgia and arthritis to headaches, cancer pain and more.

What Is a TENS Machine?

The term “TENS” is an acronym for “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.” A TENS machine is a device that uses small electrical currents to stimulate the nerve endings in the body. These nerve endings are those that send and receive messages for the pain to and from the brain, and stimulating them in the proper way can greatly reduce pain from a range of conditions, including wounds and injuries.

In addition to managing signals from the pain center of the brain, the device also encourages the release of endorphins, which is the body’s natural method of creating pleasure and dulling pain. The electrical impulses generated by the TENS unit are low-power and painless, sometimes resulting in a “pins and needles” sensation, but rarely more than that.

tens machine

What Conditions are TENS Machines Used For?

What conditions are TENS machines used for? These devices have been shown by a variety of studies to be effective for the treatment of many different kinds of pain from different conditions. They are most commonly used to treat pain from issues like:

It can also, however, be used to treat many other conditions ranging from mild and sudden to serious and chronic. Other conditions that TENS therapy can treat include:

  • Headaches 
  • Nerve pain
  • Poor circulation
  • Muscle tension
  • Knee, elbow and joint pain
  • Pain associated with cancer
  • Labor pain
  • Injury and wound pain

TENS therapy often results in an instant relief of pain in the affected areas and in many cases, one can feel at ease for a prolonged period. It works by sending signals directly to the site of the pain. It does not require drugs or invasive procedures and can be used as an important component in physical therapy and treatment of pain from a wide range of conditions.

Some people experience permanent relief following several sessions of TENS therapy, while others will require ongoing therapy to maintain relief. The effectiveness depends on a range of situations, including the specific condition, the intensity of pain and the intensity of the treatment.

tens machine

Who Shouldn’t Use TENS Devices?

There are a number of patients who should avoid using a TENS device.

  • Patients who don't understand and/or listen to their doctors or device instructions
  • People with a pacemaker
  • Those with allergies to the gel, tape or electrodes
  • Pregnant women and individuals with epilepsy should ask their doctors prior to use
  • Patients with open wounds, eczema or psoriasis

Get More Information on TENS

  1. TENS Machine: This is Everything You Need to Know
  2. DR-HO'S TENS Buyer's Guide: An Introduction to TENS Therapy
  3. How to Choose a TENS Machine.
  4. What is a TENS Machine?
  5. How Do TENS Machines Work?
  6. TENS Machine Side Effects: Is TENS Therapy Safe?
  7. What Is the Difference between EMS and TENS Therapy?
  8. Do TENS Units Really Work?
  9. Best TENS Machine: How to Find the Best Price, Quality, & Machine
  10. TENS Machine Reviews: Customer Reviews on DR-HO'S TENS Machines
  11. How to Use a TENS Machine - And How to Know You’re Using It Properly
  12. TENS Machine Prices: Compare Devices & Find The Best Deal
  13. TENS Vs EMS for Muscle Recovery
  14. What Does a TENS Unit do For Muscles?
  15. How to Use TENS for Muscle Recovery
  16. Can TENS Machines Help with Muscle Recovery Post Workout?
  17. Video: The Top 7 Questions People Ask About TENS
  18. How Does a TENS Unit Decrease Pain?
  19. Can You Use a TENS Unit While Sleeping?
  20. How Long is it Safe to Use TENS For?



  1. Healthline. “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Unit” http://www.healthline.com/health/transcutaneous-electrical-nerve-stimulation-unit#sideeffects3
  2. Physio-pedia. “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).” http://www.physio-pedia.com/Transcutaneous_Electrical_Nerve_Stimulation_(TENS)
  3. Spine-health. “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators (TENS).” http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/pain-management/transcutaneous-electrical-nerve-stimulators-tens
  4. WebMD. “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – Topic Overview.” http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/tc/transcutaneous-electrical-nerve-stimulation-tens-topic-overview
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