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Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that uses mild electrical current to treat pain.

Current is delivered through small pieces of material that conduct electricity (electrodes). These are placed on the skin near the source of pain. When the current is delivered, some people experience less pain. This may be because electricity from the electrodes stimulates the nerves in an affected area and sends signals to the brain that "scramble" normal pain signals. Another theory is that the electrical stimulation of the nerve may help the body to produce natural painkillers called endorphins, which may block the perception of pain.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Last Revised January 9, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 09, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.