Tens Machines for Lower Back Pain

By Med-Fit UK  .  Last Updated Friday, 15th March 2024

Tens Machines

Tens Machines have become incredibly popular for those looking for non-invasive ways to treat lower back pain, as they’re subtle, leave no marks and have no side effects. 

For those new to this area, a Tens Machine is a small device that can be wired (connected to electrodes) or wireless. The machines deliver electrical impulses through pads, normally known as electrodes, and these pads are placed on specific areas of the body, or treatment areas to help reduce the pain. 

Tens Electrodes work by sending electrical impulses through the skin targeting nerve endings, this then blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. This in turn relieves the pain, but also the brain in response releases endorphins, the body's natural pain killer - doubling down on the pain relief for your lower back. 

What Pains do Tens Machines normally treat?

Tens Machines have become a popular method of pain relief for a multitude of different conditions and pains, and some users will usually pick wireless tens machines because they are normally more subtle under clothing, and don’t have wires getting in the way of their everyday tasks. 

These machines treat pain for these conditions (and not limited to): 

And much more. 

There are other popular machines available which treat your feet and legs, specifically targeting those with ankle pains, leg pains, knee pains and even treatable for those with lower back pains - that’s our latest machine, the Medi-Boost

Only recently launched, it’s become a major favourite amongst customers new and old. 

Where do you place Tens Electrodes for lower back pain?


Position the TENS electrode pads on both sides of the area where you're experiencing discomfort. In the case of lower back pain, identify the precise location of the pain and attach one pad on each side of the spine. It's important not to place the pads directly on the spine itself, even if that's where the pain originates. Ensure that there is a minimum separation of one inch between the pads to optimise their effectiveness.

If your TENS unit comes with four pads, distribute them accordingly: place two pads slightly above the affected area and the remaining two pads just below it. Once applied, you should have two pads positioned to the left of your spine and two pads to the right, providing a balanced and targeted treatment approach.

Can you put tens machine electrodes on your spine?

There is definite no, there are a number of places where you cannot place your tens electrodes - on your spine is one of them. For those struggling with lower back pain, you should NOT place any pads directly on your spine, ever. 

A number of other places not to place your tens electrodes are as follows: 

  • The front or sides of your skull
  • Numb areas on your body
  • Skin that is irritated or infected
  • Chest & Upper Back at the exact same time
  • Your head 

If you’re unsure about how to use your tens machine, we’d suggest reading the manual that comes with your Tens Machine, or speaking with a Medical Professional. 

How long and how often?

This is more personal preference, normally users use a tens machine for lower back pain between 30 minutes to 2 hours, however it would really depend on your pain and whether you feel comfortable using it for longer periods. 

How often would again be a personal preference, some customers use the machines for long periods of time throughout the day, however others may use TENS on and off throughout the day, at different time intervals daily. 

One thing to note, when you’re using the tens machine quite regularly, we suggest you review your tens electrodes after 5-10 uses. The gel can wear down and become less effective in terms of treatment and pain relief. Most users buy tens electrodes monthly, depending on their levels of use during the month. 

Risks and Cautions

TENS therapy is widely recognized as safe by experts, boasting a low risk of adverse effects and a track record of minimal reported side effects. While mild skin irritation may occur in the areas where electrode pads are placed, we offer a selection of sensitive skin electrodes tailored for those with delicate skin. 

Although rare, burns at the sites of electrode application can occur. It's reassuring to note that our TENS Machines bear the CE mark, indicating compliance with European health, safety, and environmental protection standards.

Before embarking on TENS therapy, it's prudent to consult a healthcare professional if you:

  • Have a pacemaker.
  • Are pregnant or suspect pregnancy.
  • Have a history of epilepsy or cardiac conditions.