Tens Unit for Physical Therapy

Tens Unit for Physical Therapy

TENS is a devict and short form of Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation which uses low voltage electrical current for keeping the pain away. TENS is generally used in chronic pain conditions and is not indicated in the initial management of acute low back pain. The treatment trail reduces greater than 50% pain reduction which may substitute its significance as opposed to a placebo response. The tens unit is basically a method of electrical stimulation which focuses on a degree of pain relief. The experts under this therapy use electrical stimulation using the area of the body which is to be treated using skin surface electrodes for stimulating nerves. They are a type of cords which are attached to a device. The waves pass through these cords and as the other end of the same is attached to the human body they enter the part of the body where the cords are attached. Hence gradually they stimulate the nerves and offer healing to the concerned tissues as expected by the expert.

What is the significance of Physical Therapy Tens Units?

Physical Therapy Tens Units is used to relieve pain for various types of illness or conditions and specifically when the movement of the body is restricted due to damage to tissues. They are majorly used for the treatment of joint, bone problems and muscles. The tens unit is used to cure acute pain which is associated with any surgery or traumatic conditions such as Knee Osteoarthritis, back pain, dental pain etc.

How does physical therapy tens units work?

While the electrical stimulation is passed on the body, some people experience less pain or almost no pain. The tens units work based on electrical stimulation. A few electrodes are stick to your skin, and an electrical current is passed that further tickle your nerves and a sensation run through your body with light muscle contradictions which reduces pain. There are various Tens modes such as Burst mode tens, Traditional tens, Modulation mode tens, Acupuncture tens etc.

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There are two main pain relief mechanisms of physical therapy tens units which include the pain gateway mechanism and the Endogenous Opioid system. The pain gateway mechanism includes activation of A beta(alpha-beta) sensors whereas the second alternative includes A beta (Alpha-gamma) sensors which respond at a much lower rate of stimulation. There is a third possibility which stimulates higher frequency output at about 2 to 3 bursts per second.

If any, what are the necessary precautions?

Precautions to be taken while using tens units are mentioned as follows. You must stick to the precautions before going through any treatment:

  • You must avoid epiphyseal regions mainly for children.
  • People who have epilepsy must be treated with the consultation of apt medical practitioner due to adverse outcomes of areas associated with upper thoracic areas and neck.
  • Avoid your eyes from the electrodes.
  • If any irritation or abnormal sensation occurs of your skin, please inform the medical practitioner, as the electrodes must be placed
  • During labour, the abdominal electrodes must be strictly avoided.


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