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TENS Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What is Osteoarthritis (OA)?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, with around 500,000 cases diagnosed in Australia every year.

OA usually affects joints in the hand, spine, knees and hips and involves the wearing away of the cartilage that caps the bones in your joints causing the bones to rub directly against one another, and in turn, producing joint pain and reduced movement.

For people suffering from osteoarthritis, walking, climbing up stairs or opening a jar can be very painful.


What are the causes of Osteoarthritis?

OA is very common in people over 40 years old. While there is not an specific cause, there are factors that increase the change of occurrence of osteoarthritis, for example:

  • ageing
  • previous joint injuries (sport or accident)
  • obesity
  • jobs that imply heavy lifting
  • metabolic health conditions, such as diabetes

What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis impacts the functionality of the affected joint causing pain and discomfort in the area.

Typically, the symptoms start out mildly and get worse with time. Common symptoms are:

  • Worsening of pain in the affected area during or after a particular movement or activity
  • Joint stiffness, especially after getting out of bed in the morning or after standing for a while after sitting
  • Tenderness in the afflicted joint, especially when light pressure to the joint is applied
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Grating sensation while walking
  • Discomfort and Swelling

As this health problem worsens, it may potentially result in disability.

Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Even though osteoarthritis is a permanent health condition, there are therapies that can help you effectively manage your pain and other symptoms. The following are some of the therapy possibilities:

  • Medications: to lessen and control discomfort such as anti-inflammatories
  • Surgical procedures: such as knee replacement
  • Physiotherapy: to strengthen the muscles that surround the affected joint
  • TENS Therapy

Use of TENS Therapy for Osteoarthritis

An effective method of pain management for Osteoarthritis without using drugs is TENS Therapy. Transcutaneous Electro Nerve Stimulation, or TENS, uses electrical stimulation to improve blood flow and block the body’s pain signals in order to lessen and manage pain.

Benefits of using TENS Machine

Drug-free treatment

Drug-free treatment: One of the main benefits of using a TENS machine pain management is that you can manage the pain without taking medication, and therefore avoiding side effects related to them

Easy to manage and operate

Easy to manage and operate: TENS devices have clear control buttons, self-adhesive pads and you have all you need to get started

Every day usage

Every day usage: TENS machines can be used every day or as frequently as needed for on-demand pain relief

Inexpensive treatment

Inexpensive treatment: TENS therapy is far less expensive and than surgery or other medical interventions


Safe: TENS therapy is considered very safe and can be self-administered


Discrete: you can use your TENS unit in the comfort of your house or at work, without it stopping to continue doing your activities

How a TENS Machine can help with Osteoarthritis?

TENS Machines offer quick and effective joint pain relief. Through the pads attached to the skin, electrical pulses are delivered causing through the tissue, relieving pain and reducing inflammation.

TENS Machine can help with Osteoarthritis by:

  • Providing pain relief
  • Improving circulation
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Accelerate healing

How to use a TENS Machine for Osteoarthritis?

  1. Clean the area to be treated and dry to ensure the gel pads (electrodes) stick to the skin
  2. Apply the self-adhesive pads across the affected area and connect the electrodes to the TENS control unit
  3. Select one of the pain-relief programs and start
  4. Adjust the intensity to a level where stimulation is felt but is not uncomfortable
  5. At program completion, re-assess the pain and repeat the program if necessary
  6. You can use your TENS Machine as often as needed

Did you know that some private health insurances provide rebates when you purchase a TENS Machine?

Find out more here Private Health Insurance Rebates for TENS Machines – TENS Machines for Sale (tensmachinesaustralia.com.au)