What's a TENS Unit?

What's a TENS Unit? - truMedic

If you’re anything like me when I started working here, you probably have no idea what a TENS Unit is...

Well, worry not curious blog-reader! In this piece, we’re going to discuss what TENS Units are and some of the more popular uses for them.

What is it?

TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. “Transcutaneous” is science-jargon for, “on the skin”, meaning that TENS units send tiny electrical currents to the nerves through the skin.

TENS Therapy can be traced all the way back to Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphics from as early as 2500 BC show the Egyptians utilizing electric fish or eels as a form of pain relieving treatment. It wasn’t until the 19th century that scientists would build upon the work of the Ancient Egyptians to create some of the earliest TENS Units.

Modern TENS Units tend to look something like this:

What's a TENS Unit? - truMedic

The TV remote-looking part is the central power hub, which sends electrical currents outward through the wires, into the electrode pads, and onto the skin.

What’s it for?

TENS Units send low-voltage electrical currents to nerves through the skin, stimulating nerves and encouraging the body to produce pain-relieving endorphins. It is similar to the way opioids relieve pain, without the lethargic side effects or risk of forming a habit.

TENS Units are often used to treat pains resulting from:

  • Arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Labor

Should I get one?

TENS Therapy can be extremely effective in dealing with acute and chronic pain, but you should always consult your Doctor or Physical Therapist before treating yourself with a TENS Therapy. If you have a pacemaker, epilepsy, heart problems, are pregnant or may become pregnant, your Doctor may recommend that you steer clear TENS Therapy in favor or other holistic treatments like Massage Therapy.

There it is, everything you need to know about TENS Units! If you’re interested in trying TENS Therapy, click here to check out truMedic’s TENS products.

More on TENS Units

How Does TENS Therapy Work? Infographic


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