Electrical nerve stimulation and is used to relieve pain. It has been in use since the late 1800's. It works well for arm pain, leg pain, neck pain and back pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is the most common form of electrical stimulation used in pain management.

TENS A small, battery-operated device, which looks like an old-fashioned transistor radio, emits a low-voltage electrical signal. Small pads on the skin conduct this to the nerves and muscles. TENS appears to prevent pain signals from going to the brain. It is not painful. The device can be used continuously, or only when needed. Since it is small and battery operated, it can be worn under clothing.

Patients often ask if a treatment "just masks pain." Most people want a complete "fix." In some cases it is not possible to "fix" a problem, or surgery might be required. Permanently getting rid of symptoms is very reasonable as long as one does not "mask" a serious medical problem. Periodic doctor's check ups will usually help insure that there is no more serious problem.

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Last modified: 07/27/08