Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a pain relief method involving a mild electrical current.

A TENS machine is a small, battery-operated device with leads connected to sticky pads called electrodes.

The physiotherapist attaches the pads directly to the patient skin. When the machine is switched on, small electrical impulses are delivered to the affected body area, which feels like a tingling sensation.

The electrical impulses can reduce the pain signals going to the spinal cord and brain, which may help relieve pain and relax muscles. They may also stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

What is TENS used for?

TENS may be able to help reduce pain and muscle spasms caused by a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis;
  • joint pain;
  • neck pain;
  • back pain;
  • knee pain;
  • sports injuries.