TENS Machines

TENS Machines

What is a TENS Machine?

TENS is an abbreviation of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.

What is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation?

Transcutaneous means "across the skin". In simple terms, a tens machine stimulates your nerves via an electrical current through your skin. A TENS machine is an electronic medical device. A TENS machine may assist you in modest short-term pain relief.

The use of a TENS machine should be as one part of a pain management program under the guidance of your doctor or healthcare practitioner. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before using a TENS machine.

what is a tens machine?

How Does a TENS Machine Provide Short-Term Pain Relief?

Researchers believe that TENS controls pain in one of two ways:

Sensory Level Stimulation - The Gate Control theory of pain means that the electrical input of the TENS machine interferes with the transmission of pain signals by blocking the neural "gate" through which the pain travels.

Motor Level Stimulation - The goal of motor level stimulation is to cause the release of the body's opiate-like substances to achieve pain relief.

IMPORTANT

Use your TENS machine only as directed. 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.

TENS Machine FAQs

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.

Potential TENS Machine Benefits

TENS is a non-invasive method for relieving pain. People who do experience some pain relief from TENS may reduce their intake of pain medications. Reduced drug intake is an example of how a TENS machine may benefit you.

TENS units are also convenient because they are small, portable, and relatively discrete. People can carry a TENS unit in their pocket or clip it onto a belt to ensure that they have immediate access to pain relief throughout the day.

What is a TENS Machine?

TENS is an abbreviation of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.

Transcutaneous means "across the skin". In simple terms, a tens machine stimulates your nerves via an electrical current through your skin. A TENS machine is an electronic medical device. A TENS machine may assist you in modest short-term pain relief.

How Does a TENS Machine Provide Short-Term Pain Relief?

Researchers think that a Tens Machine achieves pain relief in one of two ways:

Sensory Level Stimulation - The Gate Control theory of pain means that the electrical input of the TENS machine interferes with the transmission of pain signals by blocking the neural “gate” through which the pain travels.

Motor Level Stimulation - The goal of motor level stimulation is to cause the release of the body’s opiate-like substances to achieve pain relief.

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. Would you please use only as directed.

Private Health Insurance Rebates for TENS Machines

Did you know that most private health insurance rebates are available when you buy a TENS machine for your therapeutic benefits?

The claim must be made for a TENS machine (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator). Depending upon your fund, a recommendation from a doctor or physiotherapist is typically required.

What is a TENS machine?

What is an EMS machine?

Health FundLevel of Cover - Rebate Amount

For private health fund customers, the list below gives some indication of TENS machine product rebates. This information is for general purposes only.

We strongly advise that you call your health insurer to confirm your level of cover and how much you can claim. We recommend that you note the name of the phone advisor as some private health insurance customers periodically experience cases of differing information from one advisor to the next.

The following information was accurate at the time of writing but is subject to change by the health funds to provide you with an idea of what rebates are available. Would you please check with your health fund for details relevant to your level of cover?

  • Australian Country Health - Select Ancillary $150, Super Ancillary $200
  • Australian Health Management - Basic Hospital $60, Top Hospital $80, Life Choice Plus 80%, Maxi Care / Ultra Care 80%
  • BHP Lysaght - Gold Extra up to 80% or $200
  • BUPA - Check with BUPA Phone 134 135
  • CBHS Friendly Society - Top Extras 70%
  • CDH Benefits Fund - 75% or $400
  • Central West Health - $225 every 3 years
  • Commonwealth Bank Extras 80%
  • CUA Health Supplementary Fund 70%
  • Defence Health - Top Extras $250 every 3 years
  • Doctors Health Fund - 50% of the cost
  • Druids Friendly Society - Standard and Gold package 70% or $250
  • GMF Health - 80% or $225 every 3 years
  • HBA - Check with BUPA Phone 134 135
  • HCF - Multi Cover Extras $170
  • IOR - Extras $85
  • IOOF - Health Extras $150
  • MBF - Extra Cover $130 Check with BUPA Phone 134 135
  • Manchester Unity - Top Hospital and Health Cover Plus $250 every 3 years
  • Medibank Private - Advantage Plus / Premium Plus / Smart Plus / Healthy Plus 100% depending on unclaimed bonus points
  • Mutual Community- Check with BUPA Phone 134 135
  • Navy Health - Top Extras / Premium 85% or $300
  • NIB - Quality Extras / Gold Cover $195
  • NSW Teachers - Top Extras $160
  • NRMA - Top Cover Extras $200
  • People Care - Top Plus Ancillary 50 - 80%
  • Pheonix Health Fund - $20 + 80%
  • Police Health Fund - Extras Cover 80% or $150
  • QLD Teachers Union Health - Ultimate Choice / Easy Choice / Ancillary 85%
  • QLD Country Health - Private Hospital 85%
  • Rail Transport - Ancillary / Top Extras 85%
  • Teachers Federation Health - Ancillary 50% or $160
  • SGIC and SGIO - Top Extras $200
  • Senior Advantage - Select Ancillary Hospital $150
  • Senior Advantage - Super Ancillary Hospital $200
  • St Lukes Tasmania - Select Plus Extra 80% or $200
  • West Fund - Platinum $200, Gold $150, Silver Extra $150

TENS Machine FAQs

What is Pain?

What is EMS (Electric Muscle Stimulation)?

How to Use a TENS Machine

TENS Machine - Private Health Insurance Rebate

What is a TENS Machine?

What is Nerve Pain?

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.

The internet is full of potentially unreliable information. Please source trusted healthcare information from reputable websites such as the following.

https://www.health.gov.au/

https://australian.physio/

https://www.ama.com.au/

British Medical Journal

https://www.mayoclinic.org/

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/

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