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Introduction 

Introduction
Chapter:
Introduction
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199673278.003.0001
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date: 04 April 2020

Using electricity to relieve pain is an age-old technique that pre-dates the discovery of electricity. The ancient Egyptians used electric fish to treat various ailments. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a technique that delivers pulsed electrical currents across the intact surface of the skin to stimulate peripheral nerves using a ‘standard TENS device’ and conductive electrodes. TENS is principally used as a stand-alone treatment or as an adjunct to core treatment for symptomatic relief of most types of pain. TENS is popular with patients and practitioners because it is non-invasive, easy to administer, and has few side-effects or drug interactions. The purpose of this chapter is to overview what TENS is, why it is used, its history, and terminology used in the TENS literature

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