TENS units are valuable tools for people who live with recurring pain. Many people find significant relief from their TENS devices, using them several times a day to address pain as it arises.

If you’re relying on your TENS unit, you may be concerned about the frequency of your use. TENS units are generally safe to use multiple times a day.

As long as your doctor gives you the green light, you can use your TENS unit as directed numerous times per day.

What Is a TENS Unit?

TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The TENS unit sends electrical pulses across your skin designed to stimulate your nerves and reduce your perception of discomfort. The unit can be adjusted to different strengths or modes to dial in the level and type of relief it provides.

How Does a TENS Unit Work?

TENS units are used as non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical tools for altering pain perception.

TENS units work by flooding the nervous system with electrical pulses that disrupt the transmission of pain signals to the brain. They do not treat or cure the source of the discomfort, but they do hinder your brain’s ability to receive pain messages.

Many people find that the effects of a TENS unit are long-lasting, persisting for as long as four hours following treatment. When the pain returns to the affected area, people may choose to use the device again.

How Long Should I Use a TENS Unit at a Time?

The amount of time you should use your TENS unit in a single session largely depends on the area you’re treating. A TENS unit session can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

Treating your whole back may take substantially longer than treating a minor body part, like a shoulder or an ankle.

How Many Times per Day Can I Use a TENS Unit?

It’s generally recognized as safe to use a TENS unit as many as four times a day, which may be up to a total of four hours daily. This is a significant portion of your day. Most people won’t spend that long using their TENS unit.

Some people find that the relief they experience from using a TENS unit lasts for an entire day. Other people find that they need repeated treatments for sustained relief.

Although it’s safe to frequently use a TENS unit, the best policy is to reserve the use of your TENS unit for circumstances where you really need it. Don’t use it as a preemptive measure. Only use it when you’re actively experiencing pain.

Does Using a TENS Unit Cause Side Effects?

One of the most common side effects of using a TENS unit is an allergic reaction to the pads. The adhesive used to keep the pads of the electrodes in place can irritate the skin.

This may make the treatment side feel itchy and appear red. There are hypoallergenic pads made with safer adhesive, which may be a better option for people who use traditional TENS devices.

Alternatively, there are TENS devices like the Hempvana Rocket Relief Pen that don’t require the use of pads. The pen uses special heads that are applied directly to the treatment site and manually held. There is no adhesive involved, making the pen a better option for people with sensitive skin.

Are TENS Units Safe for Everyone?

You should always ask your doctor before using a TENS unit, even if you can’t identify any personal risk factors associated with TENS unit use. In general, it is always best to seek the permission of a medical professional before attempting to treat a symptom or address a concern at home. Even if you don’t think you need medical advice, you should still seek it.

TENS units shouldn’t be used by people with pacemakers or similar devices. TENS units also should not be used through the chest or along the spinal column.

Placing electrodes on either side of the spinal column should be safe, provided that they do not make direct contact with the spinal column. If the pain is within the spinal column, it needs to be treated with a special device designed to stimulate that area.

That device doesn’t work the same way as a TENS unit.

TENS units should never be used near the eyes or the brain. They should never be used to treat patients with epilepsy or similar seizure disorders.

Is a TENS Unit a Permanent Solution?

TENS units don’t have any curative properties. They only treat a symptom.

They don’t address the underlying causes of acute or chronic pain. Instead, they act as a distraction or diversion in the way that the body processes pain.

Although you can safely use your TENS unit for up to four hours a day, feeling the need to do so indicates that the source of your pain may require legitimate medical intervention.

If you feel as though you’re using your TENS unit too frequently, this is a sign that the underlying source of your pain needs to be addressed.

Speak with your doctor about your pain and discuss treatment options. Your doctor may allow you to keep using your TENS unit as needed throughout your treatment program.

The Hempvana Rocket Relief Pen

Hempvana’s Rocket Relief Pen is a new take on the traditional TENS unit. TENS units are generally bulky devices that involve lots of wires and electrodes. They’re often inconvenient to use, and their complexity hinders their portability.

You can’t easily take your TENS unit with you for a weekend trip or to use after you’ve gone on a hike or had a decent workout.

The Rocket Relief Pen is compact and portable. It works just like your traditional TENS unit, but without the hassle. You can take it anywhere and use it anytime.

How To Use the Rocket Relief Pen

The Rocket Relief Pen requires a 1.5V AA battery to operate. Once the battery is in the pen, it’s time to prepare for use. Make sure your hands are clean and dry before using the Rocket Relief Pen.

Remnants of moisture, lotion, or oil can cause poor conduction, leading to a shocking sensation in the hands.

Your hands must be dry and uncovered. Gloves can disrupt the circuit being created by the Rocket Pen, preventing it from working effectively. The TENS unit needs your hand to be accessible and pass the current effectively through your body.

Remember to remove any jewelry, such as rings or bracelets, as they may cause a similar shocking sensation.

Choose Your Head

The Hempvana Rocket Relief Pen comes with three different heads. The flat head is designed to provide relief for larger areas of the body, like the back of the calf muscles.

The single-precision head provides tailored relief to the spots that need it most. Our exclusive double pulse head can treat the source of pain twice as effectively.

Adjust the Intensity

The Rocket Relief Pen has nine adjustable levels of intensity. If you’ve never used a TENS unit before and you’re a little worried about what it might feel like, the Rocket Relief pen is a great place to start.

The first level of intensity is very mild. You can dial it up a level at a time until you find the optimal level of relief.

Although the feeling of a TENS unit may be somewhat jarring to new users, experienced users often acclimate to the electrical pulses. They won’t be affected by lower current levels, and they’ll need a device that dials up high enough to produce relieving sensations.

The ninth level is most intense. If you’re a longtime TENS unit user and you enjoy intense relief, just turn up the pen until you find it.

Pairing Rocket Relief With Pain Relief Cream

If you’re concerned that you’re relying too much on your TENS unit, try pairing it with a topical pain relief cream. Hempvana’s topical creams use ingredients like numbing lidocaine or trolamine salicylate to produce long-lasting relief from the surface.

After treatment with a TENS unit, apply a pain cream with a massaging motion. The act of massaging the cream into the affected muscle will maximize its ability to produce relief.

The massage encourages the cream to penetrate the skin while providing the additional benefit of muscle relaxation. Massage can be a powerful tool for pain management.

Finding Pain Relief

If your doctor believes that a TENS unit and topical pain relief cream can become valuable in your care plan, Hempvana has everything you need to find relief.