TENS Machine for Pain Relief

TENS Machine for Pain Relief


TENS Machine for Pain Relief

A Physiotherapist’s Guide

What are TENS Machines?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machines offer a non-invasive pain relief method, widely used in physiotherapy. These devices work by sending mild electrical currents through the skin to stimulate nerves, aiming to alleviate pain.

How TENS Machines Help with Pain

Sensory Level Stimulation

Following the Gate Control theory, transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation help block pain signals. They send electrical currents that disrupt these signals, effectively ‘closing the gate’ on pain.

Motor Level Stimulation

Additionally, they stimulate the body to release natural painkillers, akin to opiates. This motor-level stimulation activates the body’s own pain relief mechanisms.

TENS machine pain relief
Tens Machine For Pain Relief

Using a TENS Machine Effectively

Correct TENS Electrode Placement

For optimal results, strategic placement of electrodes is crucial. For example, for back pain, place electrodes on either side of the spine at the pain point. A dual-channel machine allows for additional electrode placement above the pain area.

Personalised Settings

Consult a physiotherapist for customised advice on electrode placement and machine settings, ensuring your TENS therapy is part of a holistic pain management strategy.

Precautions with TENS Machines

Avoiding Risk Areas

Do not use electrodes across eyes, brain, or the front of the neck. Keep them away from the heart, especially if using cardiac devices like pacemakers. Also, avoid using electrodes on wounds, broken skin, or infected areas.

Consulting Healthcare Professionals

For safe and effective use, always consult a healthcare professional before starting TENS therapy.

Recent Advances in TENS Research

Recent studies have shown promising results in using TENS for various pain types, including chronic back pain and arthritis. Ongoing research is exploring more targeted applications of TENS therapy, enhancing its effectiveness as part of broader pain management strategies.

Conclusion: Integrating TENS into Your Pain Management

TENS machines can be a valuable component of pain relief when used correctly. However, they should be part of a comprehensive approach supervised by healthcare professionals. For personalised guidance and to ensure the safe and effective use of a TENS machine, consult with your physiotherapist.

Seeking Professional Advice

If you’re considering a TENS machine for pain relief, start by talking to your physiotherapist. They can provide tailored advice and integrate TENS therapy into your overall pain management plan.

Remember: TENS therapy is one part of a multifaceted approach to pain management. Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice to make the most of this technology for your pain relief needs.


A TENS machine differs from an EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) machine, though both are electronic medical devices. Always read the instructions and labels carefully. A TENS machine may offer temporary pain relief, but always consult with a healthcare professional before use, especially if pain persists. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer and your healthcare provider.

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TENS Machine FAQs

Navigating the world of TENS and EMS machines can be overwhelming with all the available options and information. Fortunately, our comprehensive TENS Machine FAQs are here to guide you through everything you need to know. Whether you're considering purchasing a TENS or EMS machine, seeking the best practices for electrode placements, or simply curious about the differences between these devices, this resource has got you covered.

We also discuss the intricacies of pain—what it is, why it occurs, and how these devices might offer relief. As with any medical device, it's crucial to read the label and follow the instruction manual carefully. For persistent symptoms or any concerns, always seek advice from a healthcare professional such as your physiotherapist or doctor. Let's explore these revolutionary devices and how they might contribute to managing pain and enhancing well-being.

General TENS & EMS Machine FAQs

tens machine faqs

Buy a TENS or EMS Machine

Pain FAQs


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 or healthcare professional before use and if symptoms persist. 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.

Health Fund Level of Cover - Rebate Amount

We strongly advise that you call your health insurer to confirm your level of coverage 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 differing information from one advisor to the next.

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

TENS Machine FAQs

Buy a TENS or EMS Machine

Pain FAQs


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 or healthcare professional before use and if symptoms persist. Use only as directed.

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