Electrical Stimulation For Low Back Pain

Therapist Placing Electrodes On Woman's Back


TENS and Interferential Electrical Stimulation units are a good alternative for those who cannot or choose not to use anti-inflammatory drugs. They are considered generally safe and are readily available for at-home use.



RESCU Treatment Ratings

R = Risk      E = Effectiveness      S = Self-Care

C = Cost     U = Usefulness (overall rating)

1 = Least Favorable     5 = Most Favorable


RISK: 5/5

Although TENS or Interferential Therapy treatments are considered generally safe, they should not be used for the following:

  • DVT or thrombophlebitis
  • Hemorrhagic conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Eyes, anterior neck, carotid sinus, head, reproductive organs
  • Impaired cognition or communication
  • Regenerating nerves
  • Cardiac failure (local)
  • Damaged or at-risk skin (local)
  • Infection or tuberculosis (local)
  • Malignancy (local)
  • Recently radiated tissue (local)
  • Electronic device (local)
  • Impaired sensation (local)

Other risks of both therapies include skin reactions or sensitivity, especially to the electrodes used. If the current is turned up too high, it can be painful.


Products for Treatment

Tens Unit