Hospital guidelines on TENS treatment for children

By Med-Fit UK Content Team  .  Last Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), the leading children's hospital in the UK, has published a comprehensive online guide to assist parents in understanding Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).

According to GOSH's website, TENS machines offer numerous benefits in managing pain associated with various conditions. It describes TENS as a safe and drug-free method that involves applying a low-level electrical current to specific areas of the body using soft gel pads attached to the skin.

However, GOSH advises that children should only use TENS machines under the guidance of their doctor. It also cautions against using TENS if the child has a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), epilepsy, or if the source of pain is located over a previous surgical site with internal metalwork, such as screws, wires, implants, or metal plates. Additionally, TENS electrodes should not be placed on areas of the body with reduced sensation.

The guide highlights that many children and young people who use TENS machines report pain relief, although the effectiveness can vary between individuals. It may take a few hours of initial TENS use before experiencing its effects. GOSH advises parents to continue administering regular pain medication alongside TENS therapy.

Over time, if the TENS machine proves helpful, the child may require less frequent use of other pain relief methods.

For more detailed information on TENS, including how it works, electrode placement guidance, and instructions for setting up the TENS machine, the complete guide from GOSH.

In adults, TENS machines have been used successfully to manage pain associated with various conditions such as arthritis, back pain, neuralgia, period pain, sports injuries, and sciatica, among others.

In adults, TENS machines have been used to help manage pain by people suffering from arthritis, back pain, neuralgia, period pain, sports injuries and sciatica and many other conditions.