What is a TENS device?
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is
a device that sends small electrical currents to targeted body parts. These
currents are used to relieve pain. Some TENS units are designed for use in a
hospital or healthcare facility. Others are safe to use at home.
TENS therapy subdues hyperalgesia, which is a high
sensitivity to pain. The pain may be located anywhere on the body.
does a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit do?
A TENS unit sends electrical pulses through the skin. These
pulses control pain signals in the body, creating temporary or permanent relief
from pain. They can control abnormally excited nerves and release endorphins.
TENS therapy is used for many conditions, including:
It’s also used for injuries and wounds.
are the side effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation?
TENS therapy is considered mostly safe. On rare occasions,
an electrical current will be too intense for a patient, causing burning or
irritation on the skin.
The effect of TENS on fetuses is unknown at this time. Pregnant
women should not use electrical stimulation for pain relief. People with heart conditions
should use caution as well.
Some people with skin allergies may react to the electrode
pads used with the units. People with pacemakers, infusion pumps,
defibrillators, or similar devices shouldn’t be exposed to the electrical
currents produced by a TENS unit.
is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation administered?
A TENS unit is an electrical device that sends low-voltage
currents into the body. Electrode pads are placed over specific nerves on the
body to conduct the currents from the unit to the nerves.
The frequency of the currents coming from a TENS unit can be
turned up or down, ranging from about 10 Hz to 50 Hz. Most sessions with a TENS
unit last less than 15 minutes and can be administered as often as needed.
are the benefits of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is considered
highly effective in controlling pain. It can reduce the feelings of pain and
prevent them from coming back in the future.
do you prepare for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation?
There is no preparation necessary for a TENS unit.
Electrodes are placed on the surface of the skin, above the overactive nerves.
For home devices, a patient will need to know where these pads go, but the
doctor will place them in a healthcare setting.
are the results of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation?
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may result in
instant and possibly prolonged pain relief. Through the release of endorphins
and the control of nerves, TENS sends relief directly to the site of pain.
Some people experience permanent pain relief after repeated
sessions with a TENS unit. Others need TENS therapy for a prolonged period of
time. The effectiveness ranges by condition and intensity of treatment.
TENS devices send small electrical currents to parts of the
body to control pain signals, creating temporary or permanent relief. The
effectiveness of TENS treatment varies depending on what condition you’re
treating, and how intense the treatment is. The treatment may be conducted in a
healthcare setting, or you may be able to use a device in your home. Before
starting this treatment, be sure to discuss any questions you may have with
your healthcare provider.