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How to Use a TENS Machine for Chronic Pain Relief

When it comes to managing chronic pain, a TENS machine is often recommended as a viable non-pharmacological solution. Especially in Australia, where interest in TENS technology is growing, it's crucial to understand how to maximise the benefits of your TENS machine. Below, we'll delve into how to use a TENS machine for chronic pain relief.

Understanding TENS Technology

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS, works by sending low-voltage electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the skin. These impulses scramble or block pain signals and encourage the production of endorphins, your body's natural painkiller.

TENS Australia: Where to Place Electrodes

In Australia, guidelines for TENS machine use advise placing electrodes on or near the area where you feel pain. Always refer to your TENS machine's user manual or consult a healthcare provider for specific guidance.

Intensity and Frequency

It's critical to adjust the TENS machine to a comfortable level. You should feel a tingling sensation but not pain. Moreover, the frequency of the electrical impulses should be adjusted according to the type of pain you're experiencing.

Duration of Treatment

For chronic pain management using a TENS machine, longer sessions of around 20 to 30 minutes are generally effective. However, it’s essential to follow the guidelines provided with your TENS machine or consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice.

Safety Tips

Avoid placing electrodes on broken skin or wounds. Pregnant women and people with pacemakers should consult their doctors before using a TENS machine


In Australia, the growing interest in TENS technology signifies its effectiveness for chronic pain relief. Remember to place the electrodes correctly, adjust the intensity and frequency, and adhere to recommended treatment durations. By doing so, you'll get the most out of your TENS machine for chronic pain relief.

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Johnson M, Martinson M. “Efficacy of electrical nerve stimulation for chronic musculoskeletal pain: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials." Pain.

Australian Pain Society. "Guidelines for TENS Machine Use."

Sluka KA, Walsh D. "Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: basic science mechanisms and clinical effectiveness." The Journal of Pain National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). "Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for pain management."