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Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (acronym TENS) is the use of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. TENS by definition covers the complete range of transcutaneously applied currents used for nerve.

Generally TENS is applied at high frequency (>50 Hz) with an intensity below motor contraction (sensory intensity) or low frequency (<10 Hz) with an intensity that produces motor contraction. TENS is a non-invasive, low risk nerve stimulation intended to reduce pain, both acute and chronic. While controversy exists as to its effectiveness in the treatment of chronic pain, a number of systematic reviews or meta-analyses have confirmed its effectiveness for postoperative pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

In palliative care and pain medicine, TENS units are used in an attempt to temporarily alleviate neuropathic pain (pain due to nervedamage). Some patients benefit from this approach, while others do not, depending on individual differences, and pain threshold. TENS is more effective at relieving chronic pain,