TENS machines are a drug-free method of temporary pain relief for muscles, joints & arthritis
When pain strikes, it can be hard to carry on with your day-to-day activities without feeling distracted or uncomfortable. TENS machines are a non-invasive, drug-free method of helping to relieve minor aches and pains. They can be used for the relief of muscle or joint pains, like knee pain or back pain, plus for arthritis, sports injuries, sciatica pain and more.
Available without prescription, TENS machines can be used alone or alongside traditional medications such as paracetamol as a way for you to manage your pain.
What is a TENS machine?
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Simply put, a TENS machine emits a mild electrical current which works to help control the pain signals being sent to your brain, and helps offer you temporary relief from discomfort caused by minor aches and pains.
How do TENS machines work?
Simply attach the sticky pads to the skin on either side of the affected area. When switched on, the TENS unit emits small electrical impulses and you’ll begin to feel a non-painful tingling, buzzing or massaging sensation as it gets to work. You can alter the intensity, frequency and duration of these pulses depending on the level of pain relief you require.
What can I use a TENS machine for?
TENS machines can be used to treat a variety of minor aches and pains. This includes back pain, knee pain, pelvic pain, joint pain, period pain, sports injuries and arthritis. If you’re interested in using a TENS machine, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP for an assessment so you can be sure it’s an appropriate treatment for you, and for advice on the right settings for your machine.
What are the benefits of using a TENS machine?
A popular benefit of TENS machines is that they can be used in addition to traditional pain relief medicines such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, or can help you cut down on your intake of them. They can also make for a more affordable solution to pain management in the long term.
The small, lightweight and easy-to-use design of TENS machines also make them a good choice while working or on the move. Many people can carry their TENS machine in their pocket or clip them onto a belt to ensure they have immediate access to pain relief throughout the day.
There are minimal side effects or risks to using TENS machines, however do exercise caution. They are not a suitable treatment for anyone with a pacemaker or existing heart conditions or those with epilepsy. Any pregnant person should only use a TENS machine designed specially for use during labour. TENS machines should not be used to treat pains on the front of the neck, eyes or directly on the heart. Some people with sensitive skin might find they have a slight reaction to the adhesive pads included with TENS machines.