Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy uses low voltage electric impulses to relieve pain. A primary effect of TENS therapy may include “blockade” or “scrambling” of pain signals to the brain. Another suggested effect of TENS is the release of endorphins (naturally produced painkillers). The electrical current used in TENS therapy is extremely low and can be modulated or finely tuned based upon the intended target. According to WebMD, “Experts generally consider TENS to be safe” when used correctly.
There are many commercially available TENS units and the technology has been used for managing pain for decades. Many diverse applications of TENS are employed including treatment of chronic pain associated with cancer, lower back pain, neck pain, arthritis and even pain associated with childbirth.