TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve
Stimulation. Developed in the late 1960s, the TENS stimulator is a
battery-powered device which transmits an electrical impulse through lead wires and
surface electrodes to underlying nerves. The stimulator converts the direct current of the
battery into pulses of stimulation. Most stimulators feature adjustable settings to
control amplitude (intensity) of stimulation by controlling voltage, current, and pulse
width (duration) of each pulse.
Electrodes are placed at specific sites on the body for
treatment of pain. The current travels through electrodes and into the skin stimulating
specific nerve pathways to produce a tingling or massaging sensation that reduces the
perception of pain.
When used as directed; TENS is a safe, non-invasive,
drug-free method of pain management. It is used to offer a better quality of life for
people with pain. Some common uses for TENS treatment are: acute and chronic pain, post op
incisions and post surgical pain, labor and delivery, migraine and tension headaches,
acute pain from sports and other injuries, arthritis, chronic pain from tendonitis and
bursitis, cancer pain, and wound healing.