Will TENS suit me?

When making a decision to try TENS therapy, the most important issues to consider are:

  • Your medical condition and the purpose of therapy
  • The probability of positive results for that condition - "Will it work for me?"

TENS therapy - Intended purpose

All ActivLife TENS machines are medical devices listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. Before listing, the TGA requires that we submit clinical evidence in support of each Intended Purpose.

The various approved purposes of ActivLife TENS machines are explained on this website. Please follow the navigation bar at the top of the page - Medical Issues and the drop down menu.

If you are in doubt, phone for further information or inquire about our hire before you buy, trial option.


Pain relief - repair - muscle strength - pelvic floor - labour pain - menstrual pain


1. Pain relief

The question of pain relief success achieved by our own customers, has been answered in 8 consecutive surveys, conducted over the years 2002 to 2009. Approximately 3,000 people responded to these surveys and that is quite a large sample.

A summary of survey results reveals:

  • 96% of respondents described their level of TENS pain relief to be between satisfactory and excellent
  • The breakdown was 27% = excellent; 36% = very good; 24% = good; 9% = satisfactory; 4% = not satisfactory
  • For people in pain for more that 1 year, 96% were satisfied with TENS pain relief
  • These results were consistent across the following locations of pain, back, shoulder, neck, knee, hip, sciatica, wrist, leg, ankle, arm, elbow, hand and foot
  • 98% of people with chronic low back pain were satisfied with TENS relief
  • 68% of all people recorded an improvement in their Quality of Life, after using TENS
  • 89% of people were still using their TENS machine, regularly or as needed; a further 6% had it stored for future use
  • 59% chose ActivLife TENS as their preferred method of pain relief

By every known measure of success, these results are absolutely fantastic.

However, the above results do not apply to competitor products. Surveys were conducted with people using ActivLife TENS units, set on specific parameters. It is not possible for ActivLife to vouch for the parameters used in competitor products.


2. Soft tissue repair

Electrical Cell Stimulation therapy (ECS) is intended for use on mild to moderate musculoskeletal injuries or wounds. Given time, the body will usually heal itself of this type of injury or damage.

The role of electrical stimulation is to assist the body's natural healing process, by replacing reduced electrical activity. The rate of healing is directly proportional to the number and duration of appropriate ECS treatments. Typical results show injuries/wounds heal about twice as fast with regular recovery ECS, compared to nil or infrequent electrotherapy.


3. Muscle strengthening

Strong motor nerve stimulation (or EMS), with pads placed adequately, will contract the muscle. You can see and feel it working. If the motor nerve is damaged, muscle fibre can be stimulated directly to achieve the same result.

The role of EMS is to complement a manual exercise program. The rate of muscle conditioning is directly proportional to the number, strength and duration of appropriate EMS muscle stimulation sessions.


4. Pelvic floor muscles

Moderate motor nerve stimulation, with pads placed adequately, will contract pelvic floor muscles. You can feel it working. If the motor nerve is damaged or compromised, muscle fibre can be stimulated directly.

The rate of muscle conditioning is directly proportional to the number, strength and duration of appropriate EMS muscle stimulation sessions.


5. Labour pain

The global clinical evidence for labour pain relief is inconclusive - and while we have positive anecdotal evidence, we have no quantitative data of our own.

Women planning a natural childbirth often prefer to minimize their consumption of medications during pregnancy, childbirth and breast feeding. TENS is an alternate, drug-free form of pain relief.

If your doctor or midwife has recommended labour TENS, then ActivNatal is a great product.


6. Menstrual concerns

The clinical evidence for primary period pain relief is positive; the clinical evidence for endometriosis pain relief is non-existent - and while we have positive anecdotal evidence, we have no quantitative data of our own.

If your doctor or physiotherapist has recommended a TENS and EMS machine, or you have already trialed electrical stimulation using a borrowed product, then EllaEase is a great product to purchase for these needs.