TENS for Headache

Electro stimulation in physical therapy to a young woman. Medical check at the shoulder in a physiotherapy center.


TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is usually a battery-operated portable device about the size of a cell phone. It is typically prescribed for home use for acute and chronic pain.

Electrical stimulation has been used therapeutically for more than 100 years. There are a number of different types of electrical stimulation. Broadly, they break down into 2 categories: stimulation of muscles (i.e., contraction of muscle) and stimulation of nerve pathways to reduce acute and chronic pain. It uses sticky electrodes or larger plastic pads placed over specific areas on the body.



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


Risk of injury is very low. TENS shouldn’t be used over the heart, across the brain, or on patients with cancer or pregnant women with some exceptions. You should check the skin under the electrodes periodically for irritation, rash or even burns, though these are rare.


Products for Treatment