A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is a battery-operated device that some people use to treat pain. TENS units work by delivering small electrical impulses through electrodes that have adhesive pads to attach them to a person’s skin. These electrical impulses flood the nervous system, reducing its ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. The same electrical impulses also stimulate the body to produce natural pain relievers called endorphins.
They may also alleviate pain that results from the following conditions:
- multiple sclerosis
- painful diabetic nephropathy
- sports injuries
- spinal cord injury