Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that uses low voltage electrical current to provide pain relief. A TENS unit consists of a battery-powered device that delivers electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the surface of your skin. The electrodes are placed at or near nerves where the pain is located or at trigger points.
The electric current stimulates nerve cells that block the transmission of pain signals, modifying your perception of pain. Some of the most common conditions for which TENS has been used include:
Osteoarthritis (disease of the joints).
Fibromyalgia (aching and pain in muscles, tendons, and joints all over the body, especially along the spine.
Tendinitis (an inflammation or irritation of a tendon).
Bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion joints).
Low back pain.
Chronic pelvic pain.
Diabetes-related neuropathy (damage to the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body).
Peripheral artery disease (“hardening of the arteries” that circulate blood to the body).