Osteoarthritis (OA), also called arthritis, is a common and painful condition, usually caused by a gradual loss of cartilage from the joints.

Although arthritis can affect almost any joint, it occurs most frequently in the hands, knees, hips, and spine and a wide range of treatments are available to offer relief from its most common symptoms, include pain and stiffness.

Whilst painkilling and anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed to people suffering from arthritis, the condition is chronic and gradually worsens over time. With this in mind, many people have turned to drug-free treatments for arthritis, including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS for short.

Whilst TENS is just one type of non-pharmacologic treatment, it has helped many people enjoy relief from the symptoms associated with arthritis and is also widely used to relieve pain associated with rheumatism, sciatica, sports injuries and neuralgia.

TENS works by using mild, safe electrical signals that sends signals to the body’s nervous system that disrupt the pain signals to the brain. Meanwhile TENS can also stimulate the body to release endorphins, the body’s own, natural painkillers.

TENS is usually administered by using a TENS machine (a small, pocket-sized device) that’s powered by a battery and delivers the electric pulses through wires attached to TENS electrodes that are placed on the skin above or close to the source of pain.

On modern TENS machines, including those supplied by market leaders such as the TENS+ Company, different settings provide adjustable strengths and pulse frequencies to help users find the most effective way to ease pain.

Of course, every patient is different, and anyone who thinks they may be suffering from arthritis should seek professional help before deciding on the most appropriate form of treatment. In many cases though, TENS has helped many people to reduce their reliance on painkilling drugs, which are known to have significant side-effects.