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4 Ways a TENS Machine Can Help Back Pain

  • 4 min read

Close up of woman's back with hair placed in front of shoulders


What is a TENS Machine?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machines are little battery-operated devices with electrode pads used for fast pain relief. The TENS part sends electro currents to the skin when you attach the electrode gel pads to the painful area. This tricks the pain receptors and sends messages to the brain to block pain signals. When using a TENS unit, it should feel like you’ve flipped an off-switch and just paused the pain.

TENS machines are commonly used during labour and have more recently been introduced to mainstream audiences for period pain management. Did you know that TENS machines can be used on various parts of the body? While there are certain areas of the body where a TENS unit shouldn’t be used, such as the head, heart, or front of the neck, most devices are safe to use on any part of the back. Place a TENS machine across the lower or upper back for immediate pain relief.

How to Use a TENS Machine

The first step to using a new TENS Machine is charging it. TENS machines are battery-operated but many portable ones use USB-rechargeable batteries. After charging your TENS unit, make sure all the parts are connected. There are normally two main parts, the actual TENS device and the adhesive pads. Some brands connect these two parts while others make them detachable.

Choose a body part to attach your TENS unit to (opt for where you feel the most intense pain, but double check the manual to make sure it’s a safe area to apply the device). Before attaching the TENS machine to your body, make sure the area is clean and dry. Remove the electrode backing film or plastic and smooth out the adhesive pads onto the skin. Once secure, it is safe to turn the TENS machine on. Experiment with the settings to find the most soothing pain relief option for you.



4 Ways A TENS Machine Can Help Back Pain

1. Aid Miscellaneous Back Pain 

TENS machines might just be the perfect solution when you have those random back aches that you can’t make sense of. Whether it’s sleeping a bit funny or spending the entire day sitting at a computer, everyone gets mild back pain every now and then (at least we do). TENS machines can relieve those minor pains associated with sore and aching muscles.

Close up of woman's back while she lies sideways on bed


2. Reduce Chronic Back Pain 

On top of minor aches, more serious conditions such as strains and sprains in the back can also be supported by TENS units. TENS machines can also be suitable pain relief methods for people with arthritis, osteoporosis, lumbar spinal stenosis, a herniated disc, or fibromyalgia. While a TENS unit will never cure the condition, it can provide temporary relief from chronic pain. Always check with your doctor before using a TENS machine for a chronic health condition.

Spine and skeletal system


3. Soothe Sore Muscles After a Workout 

TENS machines are great for sore muscles after exercise. The device will massage the muscles, providing immediate and preventative pain relief. If used straight after exercise, TENS units can even help prevent Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS: That stiffness and pain you feel 24-48 hours post-exercise). Add a quick TENS session after your post-workout stretching routine and feel the difference.

Close up of weights about to be lifted at gym


4. Relieve Lower Back Pain on Your Period 

Period pain doesn’t always come in the form of gut-wrenching menstrual cramps near the uterus. Many people suffer from excruciating lower back pain when they’re menstruating. TENS machines are great options for physical period pain of all kinds but can be especially soothing on the lower back. A TENS unit is a must-have for anyone with a period or chronic reproductive illness.


Meet Aura, VUSH’s New TENS Machine 

Aura sends out good vibrations in the form of electro currents to help put a pause on pain. Aura uses exclusive waveform technology and has six therapy modes to choose from with (+) and (-) buttons to increase or decrease intensity. Unlike other TENS units, Aura is cordless, making it feel less like a medical device and more like a portable pain relief option. With its discreet design, Aura can be worn on the go (no one will ever know you have a secret pain relief machine attached to your back!). Aura is USB-rechargeable and can be worn for up to five hours. As a reusable device, Aura is an investment in your comfort and pain relief.

To Learn About TENS Machines, Read Our Blog: 

Everything you need to know about TENS machines can be found in our Step-By-Step Guide to Using Aura blog detailing VUSH’s TENS machine or our 5 Reasons You Should Invest in a TENS Machine article.

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