TENS application for fibromyalgia

Woman with pain all over her body due to fibromyalgia. The pain can be treated with a TENS device

Fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic, neurological disease of pain perception and pain processing. The main symptom is fiber-muscle pain but also extreme tiredness and exhaustion, among other things. A guideline has made it easier to diagnose this disease in recent years, but it must be carried out by a doctor.

So far, fibromyalgia cannot be cured, so the treatment is about influencing the disturbed perception of pain. TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) can help you with this as an alternative method of pain relief instead of drug treatment.

With a TENS device, electrical impulses are transmitted to the skin via electrodes, resulting in two effects. The transmission of pain to the brain is blocked, which means that the pain may no longer be perceived. On the other hand, TENS supports our body's natural pain control mechanism by releasing endorphins, our own painkilling substances,[1] and promoting blood circulation.[2]

TENS electrode placement in fibromyalgia

The symptoms of fibromyalgia are varied. Those affected often complain about muscle pain and joint pain with changing localization, which is why exemplary electrode placements are presented here.

In our TENS application overview you will find other options for electrode placement, otherwise you are also welcome to contact us via our contact form to find the appropriate placement for your application. Here you can see the TENS electrode placement for the back. We recommend our electrodes 5 x 5 cm, which you can use universally for most parts of the body.

Buy the appropriate electrode now
  • This guide is for orientation purposes and does not replace the supervision of a doctor or therapist. Please follow the warnings and safety instructions of your device. Changes and errors are possible.

  • Number inside the circle: Channel number

    Circle color: Red = Electrode 1, Black = Electrode 2

Please note when using TENS:

The intensity should be adjusted so that it is felt as a pleasant tingling sensation. The duration of the application should be approx. 40 minutes in order to be able to achieve a lasting reduction in pain. It also makes sense to switch programs every now and then.

Causes of fibromyalgia and treatment options

Medical research has not yet been able to find out the exact causes of what triggers fibromyalgia. Research is currently debating whether biochemical or neurological disorders play a role in the development of fibromyalgia. Genetic predispositions or psychological factors are often discussed as possible causes. Psychological factors include stress in everyday life and at work or psychological trauma such as abuse.

It is important to emphasize that fibromyalgia does not cause any pathological changes in the bone or muscle apparatus, so it is not inflammation that is responsible for the pain, as is the case with rheumatism, for example, but rather the body's perception of pain is disturbed. That is why the often used term “soft tissue rheumatism” is misleading and incorrect. The disease usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 60 and affects women much more often than men.

Since the symptoms and course of this disease vary, the treatment should also be individually tailored to the patient. In a scientific study, TENS significantly reduced movement pain and fatigue compared to a placebo TENS group.[3] A combination of different treatments is often chosen.

Treatment options include:
- Exercise and light sport (e.g. walking)
- stretching exercises
- Water aerobics
- heat therapy
- Cold therapy
- Lymphatic drainage
- Massages
- medicines

  • From everywhere

    You can use TENS therapy anywhere. It doesn't matter whether you're sitting comfortably on the sofa or in the office.

  • Drug free

    TENS pain therapy is an alternative to drug pain treatment

  • At any time

    You can use TENS flexibly and at any time. Success can already be achieved after the first treatment

  • Free of side effects

    When used correctly, pain treatment with TENS has practically no side effects

Studies and scientific sources

[1] Ortu, E., Pietropaoli, D., Mazzei, G., Cattaneo, R., Giannoni, M., & Monaco, A. (2015). TENS effects on salivary stress markers: A pilot study. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 114-118. https://doi.org/10.1177/0394632015572072

[2] Cramp, Gilsenan, Lowe & Walsh. (2000). The effect of high- and low-frequency transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation upon cutaneous blood flow and skin temperature in healthy subjects. Clinical Physiology, 20(2), 150-157. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2281.2000.00240.x

[3] Dailey, Dana L et al (2019) Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Reduces Movement-Evoked Pain and Fatigue: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Arthritis & Rheumatology, 72(5). https://doi.org/10.1002/art.41170

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