Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) in Treatment of Muscle Pain

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_4556


Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TNS); Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation; (TES) Electrical Stimulation Therapy (EST); Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation; Electroanalgesia


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive analgesic intervention, which delivers electrical currents across the intact surface of the skin to stimulate the underlying nerves (see Fig. 1). TENS is used extensively for the symptomatic relief of all types of pain, including pains of musculoskeletal origin. The purpose of TENS is to activate selectively those populations of nerve fibres that are concerned with segmental and extrasegmental anti-nociceptive mechanisms. The two main TENS techniques are conventional TENS and acupuncture-like TENS (AL-TENS).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of HealthLeeds Metropolitan UniversityLeedsUK