What is a TENS Unit?

Picture taken by Nicole Leon

Picture taken by Nicole Leon

This is one of the top questions I’m asked on Instagram regarding the TENS unit I received from a Fibro Angel who made my Santa wish come true as I was unable to afford one. The TENS unit stands for Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation which is a type of electrical pump that helps to stimulate the nerves.  It sends out pulses of electricity through the adhesive electrodes that is applied to the skin.   The stimulation helps to block out the pain signals and controls pain.  The TENS unit helps both chronic and acute pain by reducing pain in the area.

I have fibromyalgia which is a long-term illness that causes a number of problems including:

  • All over body pain
  • Aches
  • Tenderness in the tissues, tendons, muscles and joints
  • Sensitivity to changes in weather, activity levels, stress, and depression
  • Lowered ability to work out or exercise
  • Migraine/Tension headaches
  • Sleep disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Tingling and numbness in limbs
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain

Physical therapists use TENS units as a therapy option to help with controlling their patient’s pain.  The TENS unit is a handheld device that is small and portable.

TENS units are now more affordable and can be purchased online and at the local drug store. I have found that the device is helpful when my fibromyalgia pain isn’t too high. However, when my pain is too high it takes a long time for the TENS unit to ease the pain and at times can make the pain worse.  The TENS unit is a tool that may or may not work for others.  It’s a treatment option to look into and try it out to see if it works for you.



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I have heard of a TENS unit before, but never really learned how it works! Thank you for sharing.

I need to let my mom know about this, I think it might help her a lot! I’m glad you were able to get one & that it helps you, even if only most of the time.

Glad to hear that this is working for you!

are you still finding a lot of relief from the tens unit now?

I think my hubby used this device on his carpel tunel before. It did work great.

Great explanation that actually makes sense to me. Thanks.

Wow, sounds like something my grama could use for her pain!!! I am going to check it out.

That’s an interesting device, I’ve never heard of it before. I wonder if insurance covers it?

My husband used one of these after his knee surgery. It really helped.

I hope this helps to bring you relief.

I’m going to ask a friend who has Fibro if this is something she may be able to use also!

I have an auto immune disease, a TENS unit is something I am going to have to look into. I think it would help ease some of my symptoms during flare ups.

When I was in high school, I was in a car accident that led to muscular and nerve damage. The TENS unit I was able to get (through a lot of hoops at the time- they weren’t readily available) changed my recovery process and I was so very grateful. I can appreciate how useful the TENS unit would be in your case, and how great you had an angel.

Way back after a car accident they gave me one of these. It helped a lot.

I’m glad that you found something that helps to bring you some relief!

My dad used to have to wear one all the time for his back

My mom suffers from fibromyalgia. This device looks like it could be very helpful.

I know so many women with autoimmune issues who would benefit from a Tens Unit – thanks for the info!

My husband has one that he uses for his back. It works wonders!

I’m so glad you found something that can help AND is affordable!

Looks like a great product! I hope it helps you feel better.

I am so glad you have found something that helps with the pain. It’s great that this has become more affordable.

my friend kristen has FM too- i wonder if she’s heard of this. i’m glad santa came early

I will have to suggest this to my grandmother. She has FM, too and I bet this would help her.

That is really wonderful that someone bought it for you! I’ve never heard of this before, but I know a lot of people with Fibro on Twitter – I’ll have to remember to mention this!

A TENS unit is good for so many different ailments. We use it a lot in the nursing home for rehabilitation. So glad yours is providing relief from your fibromyalgia.

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