In short, the jury is still out on whether or not TENS therapy works for back pain. I’ve collected research data below so you can decide whether or not you want to try TENS therapy for back pain.
According to WebMD, there is very little research to show that using a TENS unit will help relieve chronic back pain. In fact, Richard Dubinski, M.D. states that “Physicians are advised against ordering TENS for patients with chronic low back pain since it is proven not to work.”
TENS Therapy for Back Pain:
That said, the US National Library of Medicine reports that the reason TENS therapy is still controversial for individual pain conditions like lower back pain is that the studies done so far have been small and poorly designed.
The reason why many patients are hopeful that this treatment works may be due to the fact that is does not interact with medications and has very few side effects. Furthermore, TENS provides an inexpensive therapy method that you can do at home.
Some people use it as a last resort before trying more invasive surgical treatments, hoping that even partial pain relief is better than none at all.