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TENS in case of back pain

Due to a poorly developed back musculature, the protection of the spine and the intervertebral discs (intervertebrae) is missing. This muscle corset normally protects and stabilizes the spine, nerve tracts and intervertebral discs. The lower area of the spine, the lumbar spine, is particularly affected. Pain in the upper back area is often associated with tension in the shoulder-neck area. In the thoracic spine, too, pain is usually caused by tension in the back muscles that connect the individual vertebrae of the thoracic spine. Unnatural and repetitive working postures, a sedentary lifestyle or otherwise one-sided strain on the back often lead to muscular imbalances or to curvature of the muscles. Without the protective muscles, the forces can act directly on the intervertebral bodies. These transmit the high pressure further to the adjacent nerve tracts. This ultimately causes the actual back pain.

How can back pain be counteracted?

To prevent back pain, it is important to combine strengthening of the muscles, improvement of posture, relaxation exercises and a back-healthy behaviour. Training the back muscles not only enables an upright and straight posture and an athletic appearance, but can also make a decisive contribution to avoiding or preventing back pain. A health-oriented back training is recommendable. This is a combination of back training, strengthening of the muscles involved, stretching and loosening of various muscles as well as relaxation exercises.

TENS Electrode placement for back pain

Attach the electrodes to the place where you feel the pain in your back. As there are many different pain points in the back, you will also find electrodes of different sizes. Depending on the pain region, we recommend the set of electrodes against back pain, the back electrode 20 x 12 cm, the electrodes 33 x 4 cm or the electrodes 5 x 5 cm. Here you can see a common example for the correct electrode placement with the electrodes 33 x 4 cm. For this application you need a TENS device with at least two channels.



How do you apply the TENS stimulation current therapy for back pain?

In the video you see the correct electrode placement with the electrodes 5 x 5 cm and the electrodes 33 x 4 cm. You will also find the correct application with the stimulation current devices.

TENS device application


The programs P01, P05 and P15 are generally used here.

Find out more about the Application with the STIM-PRO X9

TENS Device STIM-PRO T-400

The programs  P05 and P12 are generally used here.

Find out more about the Application with the STIM-PRO T-400


The programs P05 and P06 are generally used here.

Find out more about the Application with the STIM-PRO COMFORT

The amperage should be set so that it is perceived as a pleasant tingling sensation. The duration of the application should be about 40 minutes to achieve a lasting reduction of pain. It is also useful to change the programs from time to time to give the body a new stimulus and to increase the effect of the TENS - treatment.

EMS additionally relaxes the muscles

After the TENS treatment you can loosen the neck muscles with programs P29 or P30 to release tension. Adjust the intensity so that you feel slight muscle twitches. You can use the relaxation for 10 to 20 minutes.

With an EMS device you can train the muscles in addition to pain therapy to strengthen the back and prevent future complaints. Especially if you perform many activities while sitting, such as office work, your back muscles are often not sufficiently trained.

An EMS - training works here preventively against the emergence of complaints. With the EMS program P17 you can optimally build up your back muscles. Choose an intensity just below the pain threshold for the optimal effect. You should feel significant contractions. Initially, the application should not last longer than 4 minutes, but with a little practice you can increase this to 6 minutes. Afterwards you can use P29 and P30 again to loosen up your muscles and avoid muscle ache.

Sources and scientific studies

¹Bertalanffy, A. (2005). Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Reduces Acute Low Back Pain during Emergency Transport. Academic Emergency Medicine, 12(7), 607–611.

Do you still have questions regarding the correct electrodes placement?

 TENS Consultation by phone: +49 (0) 7152 - 353 911 - 0 or write us.

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