TENS – Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

The Term TENS

is the abreviation of Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

It’s meaning the therapeutic stimulation of nerves by using a device that produces electric current for therapeutic purposes. The electric current is applied transcutaneously in order to excitate nerves around a pain point. By definition, the term TENS covers the whole range of devices, which are directly connected to the skin (with 2 or more electrodes) to stimulate nerves and treat pain.
There are several TENS units. Some are portable and operate with batteries. They are able to modulate pulse width, intensity and frequency.
In general they work at high frequency above 50 Hz with an intensity below motor contraction, or with low frequency under 10 Hz but with an intensity producing motor contraction.

The term TENS is not to confuse with electrical stimulation of muscles (EMS) neither with Microcurrent Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulators (MENS). However, TENS, MENS and EMS devices look quite similar. TENS is used for pain relief and EMS is used to stimulate muscles, while MENS is used for pain relief and even for cosmetic treatment.

How does TENS work

The effectiveness of the use of TENS is proven in clinical studies. However, there is controversy over the conditions under which such devices should be used to treat or not.

TENS are able to modulate or suppress pain signals in the brain.

It’s objective evidence has been shown in some studies:

One of these studies used evoked cortical potentials in order to demonstrate that electric stimulation of peripheral A-beta sensory fibers did supress A-delta fiber nociceptive processing.
By using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 2 further studies could be shown that

  • high-frequency TENS were able to decrease pain-related cortical activations
    in persons with carpal tunnel syndrome,
  • and also that low-frequency TENS could decrease shoulder impingement pain by modulating pain-induced activation in the brain.

Some History

However, the first TENS device approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (in the year 2014) was a head-mounted TENS device named Cefaly. This device is effectivly used to prevent migraine attacks.

The first commercial success was made by devices of Medtronic.

Beside the portable TENS a number of implanted electrical stimulation devices are successfully
used to treat diseases concerning the nervous system like Epilepsy, Parkinson and others.


Drug-free treatment of pain without side-effects; helpful in many chronical diseases which are not to cure with conventional drugs.


Do not use TENS on the following anatomic locations:

– through the thorax (example: one electrode posterior, the other electrode anterior)
– over the eyes
– on the front of the neck (could provoke thyrotoxicosis)
– directly on wounds or broken skin, (should be placed arround wounds)
– directly over the spinal column
– over a malignant tumour (could provoke an uncontollable cell growth)

Do not use TENS across a cardiac pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

Use TENS with caution in people suffering from epilepsy.

Pregnant women should not use TENS over the uterus area, cause the effects on the baby is not known.


Tens Machine for Pain Management, Back Pain and Rehabilitation

About this Product

  • Includes: 1 complete sets electrodes – four (4) individual electrodes in all, a TENS unit manual, TENS Unit, lead wires, 9-volt battery, instructions, carrying case
  • Professional unit: Tens 7000. Portable unit with flexible and adjustable settings
  • 5 modes of operation: Burst, Normal, Modulation, Strength Duration 1 and Strength Duration 2
  • Electro muscle stimulation for pain management and rehabilitation
  • Automatically time and record sessions (record over 900 hours)

Tens Unit – Tens Machine for Pain Management, Back Pain and Rehabilitation. Portable, Flexible and Adjustable. A Professional Tens Unit 7000 Complete with Lead Wires, Tens Electrodes, Battery, Case. Electro Stimulation Tens Therapy. Included: – 1 set of electrodes – four (4) individual electrodes in all – A TENS unit manual – TENS Unit – Lead wires – 9-volt battery – Instructions – Carrying case A Professional TENS unit The TENS 7000 is a portable unit with a great deal of flexibility and many adjustable settings. 5 modes of operation Burst, Normal, Modulation, Strength Duration 1 and Strength Duration 2 The TENS unit is used for pain management and rehabilitation.