TENS for Lower Back Pain: Effective Pain Relief

If you’re tired of living with chronic lower back pain and are searching for an effective way to find relief, then TENS therapy might be the solution you’ve been looking for.

In this blog, we will dive deep into understanding TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and its effect on lower back pain. We will explore the science behind TENS machines and how they can aid in healing.

You’ll also learn how to properly set up and use a TENS unit for optimal results, including where to place the sticky pads and determining the right frequency, duration, and intensity. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the best TENS treatment. So read on.

Understanding TENS and Its Effect on Lower Back Pain

TENS for lower back pain

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS, is a method of pain relief that utilizes electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves. By applying electrical stimulation to the skin, TENS sends small electrical currents to the painful area. These electrical signals help to disrupt pain signals and promote the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.

Clinical trials and studies have shown the efficacy of TENS in providing short-term pain relief for chronic low back pain, muscle spasms, spinal cord injuries, arthritis, inflammation, sciatica, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and more.

Identifying Lower Back Pain: Causes and Symptoms

TENS for chronic low back pain

How TENS Can Help Alleviate Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can result from various causes such as muscle strain, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis. Symptoms often include dull or sharp pain, stiffness, and difficulty in movement. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive therapy that utilises small electrical impulses to relieve pain.

By stimulating the nerves in the affected area through electrical muscle stimulation, TENS can help block pain signals from reaching the brain. TENS units are portable and provide immediate relief for lower back pain.

Setting Up Your TENS Unit for Lower Back Pain

Understanding how TENS therapy works to provide pain relief for lower back pain is essential. Before setting up your TENS unit, it is a good idea to consult with a healthcare or chiropractic professional to determine the appropriate settings.

Clean and prepare your skin before applying the electrode pads strategically on your lower back. Start with the lowest setting and gradually increase if needed, monitoring your comfort level and depending on the pain intensity. Follow the recommended duration and frequency for optimal pain relief.

Where to Place TENS Pads for Optimal Relief

Proper placement of TENS pads is crucial for optimal relief. The most common placement for TENS pads for lower back pain is on either side of the spine, targeting the area of pain. Some people find relief by placing one pad on the lower back and the other on the corresponding hip or buttock, one-inch apart. Experimenting with different pad placements may be necessary to find what works best for individual pain relief.

How to Properly Use a TENS Unit for Lower Back Pain

Physiotherapy in London

Determining the Right Frequency, Duration, and Intensity

When using a TENS unit for lower back pain, it is crucial to determine the appropriate frequency, duration, and intensity for optimal pain relief. The frequency refers to the number of electrical pulses delivered per second, with a lower frequency being more effective for acute pain and a higher frequency for chronic pain.

The duration of each session typically ranges from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the individual and their condition. It is important to start with a low intensity and gradually increase as tolerated. Getting medical advice is recommended to ensure proper settings and usage.

Risks and Precautions of Using a TENS Machine

Consulting a healthcare professional is essential before using a TENS machine, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are pregnant. To avoid discomfort or skin irritation, it’s important not to place electrode pads over broken or irritated skin.

Additionally, refrain from using a TENS machine while driving or operating heavy machinery, as it may cause drowsiness or distraction. Always follow the instructions provided and avoid exceeding the recommended settings or duration of use. If you experience adverse effects or increased pain, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

Contraindications and Side Effects of TENS Therapy

While TENS therapy is generally considered safe and effective for lower back pain relief, it’s important to be aware of the contraindications and potential side effects. Contraindications include avoiding TENS therapy if you have a pacemaker or other implanted battery-operated device, if you’re pregnant, or if you have epilepsy or certain heart conditions.

It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using a TENS machine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. Possible side effects may include skin irritation or redness at the electrode sites, muscle twitching or spasms, and dizziness or lightheadedness. In case of severe or prolonged side effects, it is advisable to discontinue use and seek medical attention.

One Body LDN offers physiotherapy in London for effective lower back pain treatment. At One Body LDN, we understand the importance of seeking professional guidance when it comes to managing lower back pain. Before embarking on any treatment, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are pregnant, consulting with a healthcare professional is essential. We prioritize your safety and well-being above all else.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is TENS and how does it work for lower back pain relief?

TENS, which stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, provides non-invasive and drug-free pain management for any type of pain, including neck pain or low-back pain. By sending low-voltage electrical impulses through the skin to stimulate nerves, TENS can block pain signals and release endorphins, effectively reducing discomfort.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To find physiotherapy near you, utilize online directories and search engines. Websites like Yelp, Healthgrades, and Zocdoc can help locate nearby clinics. Additionally, asking for recommendations from your primary care physician or friends and family is beneficial. Prior to making an appointment, check the ratings and reviews of the clinics.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

To find sports massage near your location, you can utilize online directories or search engines. In addition, consider checking with local fitness centers, spas, or wellness centres as they may offer these services. You can also ask for recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare professionals who have had sports massages. One Body LDN offers sports massage in London and has received rave reviews for its top-notch services.


In conclusion, TENS therapy is a safe and effective method for relieving lower back pain. By understanding the science behind TENS machines and identifying the causes and symptoms of lower back pain, you can effectively use a TENS unit to alleviate your discomfort. Remember to properly set up your TENS unit, place the pads in the side of the painful area , and adjust the frequency, duration, and intensity to suit your needs.

While there are risks and precautions to be aware of, when used correctly, a TENS machine can provide significant pain relief. If you’re considering using a TENS unit for lower back pain, make sure to choose the best one for your needs. To learn more about selecting the right TENS machine and get started on your pain relief journey, visit our website now.

If you are searching “private physios near me” / “Sports massage near me” / “Deep tissue massage near me” / “pain treatment near me”, have private health insurance physiotherapy cover and are looking for the best private healthcare in London – One Body LDN is your answer.

We are approved by ALL major private health insurance physiotherapy companies:

Axa PPP | Axa PPP International | Bupa Physiotherapy | Bupa International | Vitality (formerly Pru Health) | Vitality Health International | Nuffield Health | Aviva | Cigna | Cigna International | WPA | Aetna | Aetna International | Allianz | Allianz Worldwide Care | Allianz International | Axa Private Health Insurance | Healix | Healix Global | Health Shield | Simplyhealth | Paycare | BHSF | The PHC | Saga | The Exeter | Freedom Healthcare | Axa Corporate Health Insurance

Our approved physiotherapists are ready to take care of you!

Contact us today to learn more!


Leave a Reply


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Be the first to get the latest news, free expert guides, tips, tricks and discounts.


Join 5,000+ Others, Get Access to our FREE Bundle of Resources and Feel the Best You’ve Ever Felt!

Enter your email address below, and we will instantly send your free PDFs to your inbox.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

“Thanks for those amazing guides, guys! Game changer!” ️ Tom, City of London”


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Be the first to get the latest news, free expert guides, tips, tricks and discounts.

before you go - if you haven't already - put a request in for a free assessment


However, our growing brand newsletter does offer:

  1. Direct access to ask our therapists questions
  2. Exclusive deals only for those who are subscribed
  3. The best knowledge hub in London physiotherapy with tips to make you feel amazing

Don’t miss out.