TENS: Indication, Contra-indication, & Dangers

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation:

It is a technique of neuromodulation that affects the sensory pathway by modifying the impulse which leads to relief of pain.

Types of TENS

(i) Continuous or conventional TENS (High frequency and low intensity).
(ii) Pulsed or burst TENS (Low frequency and low intensity).
(iii) Acupuncture-like TENS (Low frequency and high intensity).

Indication of TENS

Post-traumatic and post surgical pain (acute and chronic)

TENSPhantom pain

Causalgia (nerve pain)

Pain of arthritis

Low back pain

Neck pain

Post-herpetic pain

Contra-indications of TENS

  • Skin irritation
  • Unpleasant sensation
  • Influence on the cardiac pacemaker
  • Stimulation of sensitive carotid sinus nerves
  • Altered sensation
  • Spasm of laryngeal and pharyngeal muscles
  • Removal of protective influence of pain
  •  Neurotic addiction to stimulation
  •  Destruction of operators of dangerous machines
  • Pregnancy

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Danger of TENS

  • Shock
  • Overdosage