Procedure & Treatment Library

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

What is TENS?

TENS is the most common and accessible form of hyperstimulation analgesia.

It is a non-invasive, non-addictive technique useful in both acute and chronic pain and in both pathophysiological (abnormal changes in the body due to a disease) and neuropathic pain (nerve pain).

It can be used for peripheral nerve disorders, phantom limb pain, spinal cord and spinal root lesions, low back pain, period pain, and muscle and joint pain.

While TENS does not cure the underlying cause of the pain, it can be very effective in relieving pain and, unlike pain medication, it does not cause nausea, drowsiness, personality changes, dependence, or limit daily activities.

It can help to decrease the reliance on oral analgesics.

Tens 1
Image by Yeza (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

How does TENS work?

Where is TENS administered?

You can use the TENS Machine by yourself at home after you’ve received instructions from our clinical staff on how to use the machine safely and been given written information on it.

Tens 2
Image by Thomas671973 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Using a TENS Machine

Using the Electrodes


Do not use a TENS machine if you:

Key points to remember:

If you require further information or are unsure at any time how to use your TENS machine, please contact the Nurses at the Hunter Pain Specialists on (02) 4985 1800.

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