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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) - TENS

General information about the TENS treatment

How does a TENS treatment work?

TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. In TENS therapy, pads are placed on or next to the painful area and connected to a stimulation current device. The stimulation current device sends electrical impulses, which are transmitted through the pads to the nerves. The electrical impulses cause an increased release of pain-inhibiting messenger substances in the body and blood circulation-promoting substances are formed. The transmission of pain to the brain is interrupted and inhibited by the pulses. TENS therefore offers a non-invasive, drug-free pain relief. The TENS treatment can be applied to almost all body regions (from foot pain to headache). Learn more about the exact procedure of a TENS machine.

Does TENS help in pain relief and against muscle tension?

The mild electrical impulses of the TENS machines can reduce the pain signals that go to the brain and release pain-inhibiting messenger substances. Thus, pain can be relieved and muscle tension can be released.

Which parts of the body can be treated with TENS?

With a TENS machine you can treat pain in almost all parts of the body (from foot pain to headache). Here you will find a detailed overview of all TENS applications.

Does the TENS treatment promote blood circulation?

An increase in skin temperature was observed during TENS treatment in patients with chronic pain in the extremities. It is therefore assumed that TENS increases blood circulation, leads to a better supply of nutrients and thus accelerates the healing of various wound types.

How long does the effect of a TENS treatment last?

The pain-relieving effect of TENS after stimulation can last between five minutes and 18 hours. Since pain-inhibiting messenger substances can be released by TENS, the pain can be suppressed for a longer time.

Does a TENS treatment also relax strained muscles?

According to studies, TENS helps to relieve pain caused by muscle knots, muscle tension, muscle soreness and spasms. The endorphins released by the therapeutic TENS machines can also help to relieve pain. With both TENS and EMS treatment, you can reduce pain caused by muscle knots while improving mobility.

Information about the TENS machines

Which areas of application do TENS machine have?

A stimulation current device with a TENS program is perfectly suited for pain treatment. The TENS therapy can be used on many parts of the body to treat different aches and pains. Take a look at our TENS guide. In addition, stimulation current devices with EMS programs can be used for fitness training. Learn more about this on our EMS guide. In cosmetics there are also many treatment possibilities with stimulation current devices, e.g. against cellulite, as support for wrinkle treatment and of course you can train your abdominal muscles with the EMS abdominal muscle training.

Do you need a prescription for a TENS machine?

axion GmbH has a large selection of TENS machines that are not subject to prescription.

Can you feel a treatment with a TENS machine?

The current intensity should be set so that it is felt as a pleasant tingling sensation.

Does an application with a TENS machine cause pain?

No, an application should not cause pain. Rather, the amperage should be set so that a slight tingling sensation is felt.

What advantages do TENS machines offer for pain relief?

You can use the TENS machines independently at any time at home. By using a TENS machine you save time, costs and are flexible. In addition to the treatment success without the addition of drugs, you will find more advantages in our TENS machine guide.

Are TENS machines safe?

The TENS therapy is considered to be largely safe. In rare cases, the electric current is too intense for a patient, which leads to burns or irritation on the skin. The effect of TENS on fetuses is currently unknown. Pregnant women should not use electrical stimulation for pain relief.

How long should a TENS therapy session with a TENS machine last?

A TENS treatment should last 30-40 minutes.

How many times a day should you use a TENS machine?

The TENS machine can be used for as long as you want, usually 30 minutes to 2 hours. You can start with a 30-minute therapy session. If necessary, repeat this for another 30 minutes. You can perform a therapy session up to three times a day. During each therapy session, rate your pain before and after the session from 1 (low) to 20 (high) to track the actual pain relief.

How long should one use a TENS machine?

The success of treatment should be decisive for the frequency of use of the TENS machine. As long as you do not feel pain relief from the stimulation current, there is no reason for longer breaks. Your body gives you a good feedback on how often you should perform the treatment. Please consult a doctor or physiotherapist for a consultation.

What functions does a TENS machine have?

Our TENS/EMS combo machine STIM-PRO X9 offers you the possibility to choose exactly the program for your individual application from 37 programs: Pain relief, muscle building or massage. In addition there are 8 individually adjustable modes.

What are the advantages of TENS machines with more pads?

For some applications two pads are sufficient for the treatment. An application on the back or thighs can be treated better with 4 pads or 8 pads. Our STIM-PRO X9+ can be used with up to 8 pads simultaneously.

Do I need a contact gel for a TENS machine?

Whether you need a contact gel for your TENS machine depends on which pads you choose for your machine. For the self-adhesive pads no additional contact gel is needed. If you choose rubber pads, then an electrically conductive gel for treatment must be applied between the skin and the electrode.

How can the adhesive properties of TENS electrode pads be improved?

Before each use you should clean your skin with water, not soap. Maintain your TENS electrode pads after each use with a few drops of water, but not with a damp cloth. By using a contact spray you can additionally improve the adhesive properties of the electrode pads.

Can you sleep with a TENS machine?

You cannot use TENS during sleep. But you can do a TENS therapy session up to three times a day.

Can children use a TENS machine?

Yes, it is possible to treat children with a TENS machine. However, we advise you to talk to your pediatrician before.

Can you use a TENS machine on your neck?

The answer is yes. TENS can be used to relieve neck pain (use our specially designed neck electrode). You only need to take a few precautions, such as not placing the pads on the front or sides of the neck. TENS machines should never be used near the head, because they send electrical impulses to the body. In addition, you must make sure that no electrode is placed on the carotid artery.

Do TENS machines build muscles?

Only if they are TENS/EMS combination machines. Here you will find the TENS/EMS combo machines STIM PRO X9. Through electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) you can build muscles. However, TENS is only used for pain relief and therapeutic effects. So while EMS can strengthen or rebuild your muscles, it is possible to use TENS to relieve pain after training.

TENS applications

Does TENS help with inflammation?

Many arthritic diseases cause non-inflammatory or inflammatory joint pain. TENS can help to control arthritis pain without the use of additional drugs, as well as reduce the amount of medication and the associated side effects.

Can TENS be used for menstrual cramps?

TENS can relieve the pain of cramps during menstruation. Read more about it under our TENS applications for menstrual pain.

Can TENS be used for sciatic pain?

TENS can certainly provide fast and long-lasting pain relief for sciatica. The pads are placed on the back or hip near the pain area. Learn more about the TENS application for problems with the sciatic nerve.

Can TENS be used for lower back pain?

TENS treatment can also alleviate pain in the lower back. Read more about TENS in case of lumbar spine pain.


What is the difference between TENS and EMS?

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is intended for the treatment of pain. EMS, on the other hand, is specifically designed for muscle training. With EMS the current acts on the muscle. Here it comes as in normal training to contraction and relaxation phases. With the TENS programs, the treatment may feel like a tingling sensation on the skin. Our STIM-PRO X9 has programs for both applications.

Can TENS/EMS be used for erotic stimulation?

Yes, TENS machines can be used for electronic stimulation. However, we advise against it.


When is a TENS machine unsuitable?

The risk of side effects when using stimulation current devices is very low. In some cases, however, you should talk to your doctor before use. For example, if you have a pacemaker or cardiac arrhythmia, do not use it on the chest area. Consult your doctor before pregnancy or epilepsy. In any case, please always read the instructions for use of the TENS machine before use.

Can a TENS machine be overstrained?

Excessive use of the machine can make the area to be treated feel like you have exercised too much.The majority of people who use TENS do so without feeling any side effects.

There is no real danger in longer sessions as long as you give your skin a break from the electrode pads about every 30 minutes. One of the few risks of TENS is the potential skin irritation that can occur if the electrode pads stick to one spot for too long.

Can a TENS machine be harmful?

Although there is a low risk of a slight shock from faulty machines, TENS machines are simply too weak to be dangerous and the risk of injury is extremely low. However, you should not place the pads near the heart to avoid (unlikely) cardiac rhythm disturbances.

What side effects can occur during TENS therapy

Our TENS muscle stimulators comply with the provisions of EC directives EN 60601-1-2: 2007 and 60601-1:2006 for the general safety standard. For most people, TENS can mean drug-free pain relief without side effects. However, the electrical impulses generated by a TENS machine can cause a slight tingling sensation that may be experienced as unpleasant by some people. Some people may be allergic to the adhesive pads and must therefore use hypoallergenic electrode pads from special medical providers.

Undesired reaction

Undesirable reactions are skin irritation and burns under the stimulation pads applied to the skin, as well as headaches and other painful sensations during or after the application of electrical stimulation near the eyes, on the head and in the face.

*** You should stop using the machine and consult your doctor if you experience any adverse reactions from the machine. ***

Can a TENS machine affect your heart?

The TENS machine, a transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulator, is similar to acupuncture, although it also delivers a variable electrical current between two points to block pain. The current is very low and most likely does not disturb the heart rhythm.

Can a TENS machine cause cancer?

If you are suffering from cancer, you should avoid the use of a TENS machine at first and clarify the application with your treating physician. Until now, there has been no documented case in which a TENS application caused cancer in a healthy person.