Health Clinic Bankstown

What is TENS?

TENS (also known as electrotherapy) is a method for relieving chronic pain through electricity. A TENS machine is connected to a few electrode pads which pass small electrical currents across the skin.

Parts of a TENS Machine

  • Electrode pads
  • TENS unit
  • Batteries
  • Electrical cords

Pain relief

Electrical currents from a TENS machine stimulate the nerves near the electrode pads to provide short-term pain relief. This occurs due to:
1. Nerves stimulated to release pain-relief hormones
2. Blocking pain nerves

Using a TENS Machine

Before purchasing a TENS machine, consult your physiotherapist or chiropractor and ensure that they show you the correct and safe method to use the machine.

How long can you use a TENS unit at one time?

A TENS machine can be used from 30 minutes to up to 2 hours. However, make sure to consult your physiotherapist or chiropractor before use.


When can a TENS machine be used?

  • Pregnant women in labour
  • People with chronic pain such as back pain, cancer or arthritis

When/where NOT to use TENS?

  • On a wound or irritated skin
  • Near sensitive areas such as the eyes
  • In or near water
  • When driving or using machinery
  • Pregnant women NOT in labour
  • People with a pacemaker or cochlear implant