Welcome to Pinnacle Physical Therapy’s guide to Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.
Electrical nerve stimulation is a treatment for pain that can be used for acute pain (e.g., during labor or after surgery) or for chronic pain (e.g., low back pain). It is a form of electrical energy sent in various waveforms to the nerves. When it is delivered through electrodes or patches placed on the skin, it is called transcutaneous (meaning through the skin) electrical nerve stimulation or TENS for short.
TENS is a noninvasive way to override or block signals from the nerves to the spinal cord and brain. Pain messages may be altered enough to provide temporary or even long-lasting pain relief. In addition to controlling pain, this type of electrical stimulation can also improve local circulation and reduce or eliminate muscle spasm.
This guide will help you understand:
- who may benefit from a TENS unit
- how a TENS unit works
- what to expect with a TENS unit
- Who may benefit from a TENS?