PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What is TENS?

ANSWER

A TENS machine is small -- about the size of an iPad mini. It’s connected to a series of electrodes, which are put on your skin to deliver a low-voltage electrical charge. The electrical pulses stimulate nerve fibers in the area where you have pain and reduce the pain signals to your brain. The electrical charge may also cause your body to release natural hormones that decrease your pain levels.

You can get TENS treatments from a machine you use at home or from a device at your doctor's or physical therapist's office.

From: Can TENS Help Your Pain? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Josimari M. December 2008. Current Rheumatology Reports,

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Alternative Methods to Help Manage Pain After Orthopaedic Surgery.”

Medscape: "Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation."

Cipriano, G. April 16, 2008. Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery,

Emmiler, M. 2008. The Heart Surgery Forum,

Benedetti, F. March 1997. Annals of Thoracic Surgery,

Chen, L. November 1998. Anesthesia and Analgesia,

Hamza, M. November 1999. Anesthesiology,

Rakel, B. October 2003. Journal of Pain,

Law, P. September 2004. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine,

Cetin, N. June 2008. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,

Brousseau, L. April 2003. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,

Dubinsky, R. January 2010. Neurology,

Moreno-Duarte, I. January 2014. Neuroimage,

Singla, S. July-December 2011. Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice,

Tugay, N. June 2007. Pain Medicine,

Kaplan, B. March 1998. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics,

Dailey, D. November 2013. Pain,

Dubinsky, R. January 2010. Neurology,

American Academy of Neurology: “Guideline: Widely Used Device for Pain Therapy Not Recommended for Chronic Low-Back Pain.”

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for chronic low back pain (CLBP).”

Sluka, K. May 2013. Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association,

Jones, I. 2009. Continuing Education in Anaesthesia, Critical Care & Pain,

Nursing Times: “Exploring the Evidence for Using TENS to Relieve Pain.”

NHS: "TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation).”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 15, 2017

SOURCES:

Josimari M. December 2008. Current Rheumatology Reports,

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Alternative Methods to Help Manage Pain After Orthopaedic Surgery.”

Medscape: "Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation."

Cipriano, G. April 16, 2008. Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery,

Emmiler, M. 2008. The Heart Surgery Forum,

Benedetti, F. March 1997. Annals of Thoracic Surgery,

Chen, L. November 1998. Anesthesia and Analgesia,

Hamza, M. November 1999. Anesthesiology,

Rakel, B. October 2003. Journal of Pain,

Law, P. September 2004. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine,

Cetin, N. June 2008. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,

Brousseau, L. April 2003. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,

Dubinsky, R. January 2010. Neurology,

Moreno-Duarte, I. January 2014. Neuroimage,

Singla, S. July-December 2011. Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice,

Tugay, N. June 2007. Pain Medicine,

Kaplan, B. March 1998. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics,

Dailey, D. November 2013. Pain,

Dubinsky, R. January 2010. Neurology,

American Academy of Neurology: “Guideline: Widely Used Device for Pain Therapy Not Recommended for Chronic Low-Back Pain.”

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for chronic low back pain (CLBP).”

Sluka, K. May 2013. Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association,

Jones, I. 2009. Continuing Education in Anaesthesia, Critical Care & Pain,

Nursing Times: “Exploring the Evidence for Using TENS to Relieve Pain.”

NHS: "TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation).”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 15, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

How well does TENS work?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.