TENS treatment — a conservative option to relieve neck and back pain

A TENS unit, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit, sends electric currents to the nerves in the back to help relieve back pain. The pulsation is usually at a lower voltage, though patients can choose to increase the intensity of the electric pulse if needed. While the idea of a series of electric pulses in the back may sound concerning, patients typically only feel a slight tingling during the TENS treatment session.

TENS treatment is a form of nonsurgical treatment to help relieve back pain. This method is commonly used in conjunction with chiropractic care, lifestyle changes or physical therapy to help enhance pain relief. If you are currently undergoing conservative treatment for back pain and are exploring options for relief, consult your doctor about the potential of starting TENS therapy. We also encourage you to contact our caring team to learn more about your condition and the treatment options available.

Overview of TENS treatment

TENS treatment was created in the 1960s to help patients control pain, including neck and back issues. Pain in the back is recognized by the brain through the central nervous system. When a nerve in the spinal column is compressed or irritated due to a spine condition, such as a herniated disc or a bone spur, the nerve sends a pain signal up the spinal cord to the brain. Once the pain receptor in the brain receives the signal, the brain recognizes that the back is in pain. When patients suffer from chronic back pain related to a spine condition, the impacted nerve in the spinal canal is sending a stream of signals to the pain receptor in the brain.

TENS treatment aims to redirect the pain signal between the impacted nerve in the back and the receptor in the brain by stimulating the nerves. Though more research is being done on the TENS methods, researchers believe that TENS is an effective treatment because stimulating the nerves in the back blocks the pain signals being sent to the brain. It is also believed that this stimulation helps the body to produce endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relieving hormones.

Treatment after TENS therapy for back pain

Many people with back pain find relief through conservative methods of treatment. However, if you have undergone a series of conservative treatments and have found no lasting relief, you may be recommended to undergo spine surgery.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative to traditional open back surgery. Our team of board certified+ surgeons perform both minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to help patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. By using muscle-sparing techniques, we are able to perform these procedures on an outpatient basis with less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery. If you have been diagnosed with a spine condition and are exploring your surgical options, we encourage you to reach out to our dedicated team at Laser Spine Institute.

We are pleased to provide a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.