How to Use a TENS Machine

How to Use a TENS Machine

A TENS machine and an EMS machine are electronic medical devices.  Always read the label and instruction manual. A TENS machine may assist you in modest short-term pain relief. Consult your doctor/healthcare professional before use and if symptoms persist. Please use only as directed by your healthcare practitioner.

Depending on the advice of your healthcare practitioner, apply your TENS machine in one of the following ways:

Sensory Level Stimulation

Sensory Tens is referred to as “conventional” TENS or “high rate” TENS.

  • High pulse frequency; short pulse duration.
  • The TENS machine goal is to stimulate cutaneous afferents Aß (large diameter).
  • Pain is generally eased/relieved while the TENS machine is in use.
  • Pain tends to return upon ending treatment with the TENS machine.
  • They are commonly used for acute or chronic pain.

Motor Level Stimulation

They are referred to as “acupuncture-like” TENS or “strong low rate” TENS.

  • Low pulse frequency; long pulse duration.
  • TENS machine goal is to cause muscular twitches, leading to muscle afferents’ stimulation (small diameter).
  • Pain is generally eased/relieved for many hours after the device is shut off.
  • They are commonly used for the treatment of chronic pain.

Blended Sensory & Motor Level Stimulation

“Brief, intense” TENS. As the name suggests, there is a blend of both motor and sensory level stimulation.

  • High pulse frequency; long pulse duration.
  • TENS machine goal is to stimulate small diameter cutaneous afferents.
  • Generally implemented while a painful technique is carried out (e.g., minor surgery)
  • “Burst mode” TENS – this method uses “pulse trains” or “bursts” of pulses.
  • Pain is generally eased/relieved for many hours after the TENS intervention.

Noxious Level Stimulation

Referred to as “hyperstimulation”.

  • Stimulation is administered through probe-like electrodes.
  • It may be used when other TENS methods have failed.
  • It is generally viewed as a last resort.
  • This type of stimulation is painful.
  • The desired outcome is pain relief following the stimulation.

TENS Machine FAQs

IMPORTANT

A TENS machine and an EMS machine are electronic medical devices.  Always read the label and instruction manual. A TENS machine may assist you in modest short-term pain relief. Consult your doctor/healthcare professional before use and if symptoms persist. Use only as directed by your healthcare professional.

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