The human back

Your back has many interconnecting structures including bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. The main support structure is the spine, plus the bones of the sacrum and coccyx. Between the vertebrae are discs that act as shock-absorbers and allow your spine to bend. Your spinal cord threads down through the central canal of each vertebra.

Lumbar spine

The lumbar spine is built for power and flexibility.

The five vertebrae of the lumbar spine (L1-L5) support the weight of the entire torso. The lowest two spinal segments, L4-L5 and L5-S1, bear the most weight and are therefore the most prone to degradation and injury. The lumbo-sacral joint (L5-S1) allows for considerable rotation, so that the pelvis and hips may swing when running and walking.

Thoracic spine

The thoracic spine is built for stability.

It is made up of twelve vertebrae, labeled T1-T12, joining the cervical spine and extending down about five inches past the bottom of the shoulder blades, where it connects with the lumbar spine. Stability plays an important role in holding the body upright and providing protection for the vital organs in the chest.


The sacrum is built for protection of the organs of the pelvic cavity.

It is at the bottom of the spine between the fifth lumbar segment and the coccyx. The sacrum is a triangular-shaped bone, consisting of five segments (S1 - S5) fused together plus a series of four openings on each side through which the sacral nerves and blood vessels run.

ActivBody TENS therapy

After a diagnosis of chronic or degenerative back pain, your pain management plan will include several methods of pain relief and should offer drug-free options.

ActivBody is the TENS machine we suggest for chronic back pain.

ActivBody electro therapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief, relaxation and circulation; plus it will help keep your joints mobile.

  • RELIEVE mode:
    • Fast and lasting pain relief (modulated low and high frequency TENS; continuous, comfortable intensity)
    • Circulation and reduced stiffness (modulated low to medium frequency ECS; continuous, low intensity)
  • BLOCK mode:
    • Fast acting pain relief (modulated high frequency TENS for pain gating effect)
    • Release of serotonin, if applied for long enough
  • RELAX mode
    • Lasting pain relief (modulated low frequency TENS for release of beta-endorphins)
    • Relaxation (modulated low frequency TENS for release of beta-endorphins)
    • Circulation (modulated low to medium frequency ECS; continuous, low intensity)

Pain relief achieved with Activbody

ActivBody effectiveness

We conducted a survey of 748 customers with low back pain.

Only 2% of them did not achieve satisfactory pain relief using our TENS machine.

Pad placement - back pain

back pain electrode placement
thoracic back pain electrode placement
upper thoracic back pain electrode placement
Conductive back garment electrode

Settings for Mode, Intensity, Time and Repeat frequency

Everyone has a different level of skin resistance; therefore we cannot specify an exact intensity setting for you. Simply choose a level of intensity where you can feel the stimulation but ensure it is below a level of discomfort. See the table below for examples.

Muscles should not twitch or spasm. So long as you avoid muscle twitching, you cannot overdose.

Purpose ModeIntensity TimeHow often
Acute pain BLOCKMedium 30 minutesas required
Chronic pain RELIEVELow to medium Minimum 60 minutesas required
Nagging pain RELIEVELow Overnightas required
Relaxation RELAXLow Minimum 2 hoursas required
Circulation RELAX or RELIEVELow 60 minuteswhen practical
ActivBody TENS machine for back pain

Pain page links

ActivBody Complete TENS Kit
Add To Cart
Conductive Garment - Back
Add To Cart