Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

Developed in the late 1960′s, the Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit is a battery powered device that transmits an electrical impulse through lead wires and surface electrodes to underlying nerves. The stimulator converts the direct current of the battery into pulses of stimulation. Most stimulators feature adjustable settings to control amplitude (intensity) of stimulation by controlling pulse width (duration), voltage, and current of each pulse. Electrodes are placed with adhesive pads to specific sites on the body for treatment of pain. The current travels through electrodes and into the skin stimulating specific nerve pathways to produce a tingling or massaging sensation that reduces the perception of pain. TENS is a safe, non-invasive, drug-free method of pain mangement. It is used to offer a better quality of life for people and can provide short-term pain relief.