myosesh Myotherapy What is TENS machine?

What is TENS machine?

TEMS machine stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.

Basically, TENS means that it stimulates nerves system whereas EMS activates muscles.

What does TENS machine do?

TEMS machine sends electrical current from electrodes (pads) to the skin and muscle.

TEMS machine often uses to manage pain, chronic pain, injury rehabilitation, accelerating healing process and the pregnant women in labour.

How does that work?

TENS machine sends electrical pulse to the muscles and overrides pain sensory information to the brain (trick the brain not to feel as much pain).  Pain signal is as slow as walking and needs to be overridden to reduce the pain level.

How to use TENS machine?

Electrodes need to be placed on the skin like a cross and pain location should be in the middle.  If the pain is still in acute stage which pain is less than 1month, the ideal TENS setting is low (short) pulse width and high pulse rate like a buzzing sensation. Ex.) 80hz 150 Ms

When the pain is chronic which lasts longer than 3months, the opposite of acute setting that is high (long) pulse width and low (short) pulse rate like a tapping sensation ex.)2-10hz 200 Ms

When to use TENS machine?

  • Pain management
  • Lower back, neck, knee and ankle pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson disease
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Labour


  • Heart condition with electric devises (pace maker)and around the heart
  • In water
  • Unknown cause of the pain
  • Carotid artery
  • Surgery site
  • Epilepsy
  • Over eyes, anterior neck
  • Broken skin and lesions

 Side effect

  • Skin irritation from the electrodes


  1. Miller L, Mattison P, Wood L The effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on spasticity in multiple sclerosis 2007 Multiple sclerosis 13(4) 527-533
  2. Man-Zhao Hao, Shao-Qin Xu, Zi-Xian Hu, Fu-Liang Xu Inhibition of Parkinson tremor with cutaneous afferent evoked by transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation 2017 J Neuroeng Rehabilitation 14 75
  3. Dac Teoli and Jason An Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) 2019 StatPearls Publishing

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