Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that uses low-voltage electrical currents for pain relief. TENS has different adjustable settings to control amplitude otherwise known as intensity of stimulation by controlling the voltage, current and pulse width or duration of each pulse. Electrodes are placed at specific sites of pain on a user’s body. The current travels through electrode pads and into the skin, stimulating specific nerve pathways to produce a tingling or massaging sensation that reduces the perception of pain. When TENS is used as directed, it can be a safe, noninvasive, drug-free alternative to pain management.
When TENS stimulates the sensory nerve endings, it can block the pain signal from traveling to the brain. This creates a pleasantly relieving, tingling sensation in the place of pain. The currents that a TENS treatment sends can also produce endorphins. In short, endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller and can even create a sense of euphoria, like morphine.