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TENS Units

TENS Units
Kevin Cleary

Just about everyone has experienced pain in their everyday life. There are numerous ways to alleviate discomfort associated with pain. Through the use of NSAIDs or heat and ice packs, many of our aches and pains can be solved. One unique way of dealing with pain is through the use of a TENS unit. By using electrical impulses to affected areas, we can seek pain relief in a non-medicinal manner. These units are simple to use and battery-operated Please view the TENS overview video below.

What is TENS Therapy?

Pain is our body’s way of saying that something is wrong. Pain receptors in our body sends a signal to the brain letting it know that some stimuli are causing us discomfort. Many times we can alleviate this discomfort by the use of a TENS unit. TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is a therapy technique that uses electrical impulses to minimize or even eliminate pain. BioMedical Life Systems offers two great versions that are easy to use.

Treatment of chronic (long-term) pain can benefit from a BioMedical TENS unit by confusing our pain receptors through the use of electrical impulses. This low current voltage that is sent from the TENS unit to electrodes placed around the area in pain can relieve pain by stimulating nerves and blocking other pain signals. Another theory into the effectiveness of TENS therapy states that by stimulating the nerves in the body it helps the body produce endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkiller.

How to use a TENS Unit?

The first step in using a BioMed TENS unit at home is to make sure your doctor or physical therapist gives you a thorough training and how the unit operates. Also, these units should only be used for the symptoms your doctor has ordered it for. Keep in mind you are introducing electrical current to your skin!! You can use a TENS therapy unit for pain in your back, shoulder, or just about anywhere your doctor prescribes, however there are some guidelines that must be followed. points out some do’s and don’ts for TENS therapy and they include:

  • Do not drive while using a TENS unit
  • Do not place electrodes on broken/irritated skin
  • Do not use a TENS unit with heating pads or cold packs
  • Call your doctor or physical therapist if a rash develops under the electrodes and persists for more than six hours
  • Don’t use a TENS unit while sleeping

TENS Units

Your doctor may also advise against using TENS therapy if you are early in your pregnancy or if you use a pacemaker. Remember, safety first!! When starting a therapy session, you should always slowly turn up the intensity when using any TENS device and be prepared for at least 30 minutes of therapy time. The placement of the electrodes is dependent on where your pain is. To target specific parts of the body, BioMed offers conductive garments with their BioKnit line (such as socks, sleeves, and fullback vests) to simplify the TENS therapy process. These can target specific parts of the body that require pain relief without the need of placing electrodes in targeted areas on the patient or user. Garments such as gloves or sleeves are interwoven with silver thread throughout to provide even stimulation throughout the affected area. Patients who have sensitive skin that can be irritated by traditional electrodes can greatly benefit from using this type of therapy aid. Effective, more comfortable, and easy to use…who could ask for more? The effectiveness of TENS therapy can be enhanced by the use of a thin layer of gel to help the signals from the unit to effectively combat your pain. Once your therapy is over you can clean your skin and wipe the electrodes with soap and water to remove any gel. These electrode pads do need to be replaced after approximately 5-6 uses in order for them to operate in an optimum manner and BioMedical offers both disposable and multiple use electrodes. These electrodes are available in square, rectangular, and oval options. At the left is a chart that shows some potential electrode placements for a variety of ailments. Your TENS therapy can be tailor-made to your specific need.

Pain relief comes in many forms and the use of a BioMedical TENS unit is another tool at your disposal to combat chronic pain or recover from an injury. Your occupational/physical therapist can quickly train you in the proper use of these units at home and allow you to improve your quality of life.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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