A Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator, most often referred to as “TENS,” is an electronic device that produces electrical signals used to relieve pain. It does so by sending gentle electrical impulses through the skin to the nerves. These impulses reduce or suppress pain by blocking the pain signals before they reach the brain.
TENS are usually applied to the skin using two or more electrodes strategically placed at appropriate pain sites on the body. A typical battery-operated TENS unit consists of a pulse generator, small transformer, frequency and intensity controls, in addition to a set of electrode wires.
TENS is a drug-free way for managing pain and is characterized by biphasic, low volt, current with selectable parameters such as pulse rate and/or pulse width. A TENS unit stimulates sensory nerves to block pain signals in addition to stimulating endorphin production to help normalize sympathetic function.