The Use of TENS Machine for Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia and tens

Experts recommend the use of devices, like TENS Machine in treating fibromyalgia. TENS machine is believed to help in chronic pain. According to some users, the machine is effective to some extent. However, scientific research on the efficacy of TENS conflicts with the response 0f users. Read on to find out more about TENS machine and how effective it is in treating fibromyalgia.

What Is A Tens Machine?

TENS refers to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The machine works by sending light current of electricity from the machine into your skin. The electric current helps to stimulate the nerve and crowd out pain signals, thereby reducing the amount of pain one feels.

TENS machine is commonly used by athletes who are experiencing strained and pulled muscles. Sports therapists would use the TENS machine to help in the healing process of an injury and to minimize pain. People who suffer from certain chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis use TENS machine at some point.

Is TENS Effective In Treating Fibromyalgia?

At first look, it’s easy to understand why many believe that TENS machine is effective in treating fibromyalgia.


Pain results from the interaction between your nerves and brain. Your muscles send signals through your nerves as a response to an injury or damage. Your brain will then interpret the signals and that is when you feel pain. In fibromyalgia, pain signals are being sent to the brain erroneously, without any actual cause of pain. Thus, something that will disrupt the flow of signals, such as the TENS machine, can somehow help to provide relief.

Studies on the Use of TENS on Fibromyalgia

Most of the studies done on the use of TENS in treating fibromyalgia showed varying results. There are some conditions that might be able to benefit from the use of TENS, such as the peripheral neuropathy, a chronic pain condition caused by the damages of the nerves. This seems to be an important key in determining whether certain conditions can benefit from the TENS therapy. The conditions associated with nerve interactions can seem to benefit from the use of TENS as treatment.

5 Comments

  • I actually have used a TENS unit for my fibromyalgia and CRPS. It does disrupt the nerve cycle, however in my case it often flared me up even more. As with any advice in the internet, it is best to talk with your care team to see if this would benefit you or not.

  • I truly appreciate all of the suggestions that come along with these emails, reports, etc. However, one of the biggest things that I have difficulty with is the fact that everyone of them tells me I need to get up and move. I have no problem doing that. My problem comes when I go to sit down. And I’m sorry, but we all will reach that point that we need to sit down. But, please do not ask me to stand back up for at least 1/2 a day. I am in aquatic therapy (really warm wonderful water) and cherish the minutes I am there; however, I still have to go home. Lyrica is supposed to provide relief – for me – it causes weight gain. I struggle enough with my weight without taking something that adds more weight to me.

    So what’s next?

  • I am concerned about placement of the pads for TENS use. I was always taught never place the pads on the spine. You should be 2 inches away from the spine.

    • I was told not to put them on your spine as well & the directions that came with my unit said the same thing.

  • I use a TENS unit but I have an issue with the pads staying on my skin. I’ve been given little adhesive pads to wipe on the pads, ive been told to spray Flonase on my skin prior. None of this works for me. What can I do? I’m tired of getting shocked by these things!

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