My mind is blank, what is the device that eases pain by electrical stimulation called?

Thread Starter


Joined May 23, 2013
Since a recent knee injury, I'm trying to remember the name of a battery powered device that applied electric shocks to the affected area to ease the pain.
I want to reduce my intake of painkillers if possible.
I'm sure these were popular in the 80's and 90's but my local pharmacist just looked at me in horror when I asked them if they know of the device.


Joined Mar 30, 2018
Thank you so much!! yes I remember now. I wonder if they really work, but I'll try anything at the moment! :)
I have a few examples of different TENS machines – the main difference between them being the range of electrical pulse patterns/intensity of outputs.

You can buy one for less than £10, I’d say they would be worth a punt – given that it might enable you to reduce your pain medication.

Based on my experience – the way they work is that they result in an alternate stimulation (to the pain), so you concentrate on the TENS machine stimulation/pain and not the original pain.

Somewhat like if you have a pain in your right knee, and I chop off your left arm – you will tend to forget about the pain in your knee.

If you want, I can recommend a device available on ebay.


Joined Jan 15, 2015
Thank you so much!! yes I remember now. I wonder if they really work, but I'll try anything at the moment! :)
I had them used on me for shoulder therapy following surgery and they do work and now are carried in just about any pharmacy here in the US. Matter of fact it was the best part and least painful part of the therapy. :) The idea was muscle stimulation.



Joined Dec 20, 2007
A TENS machine sends a high voltage to a muscle to cause it to twitch without you doing the exercise. For a muscle that never has ordinary exercise it helps strengthen the muscle better than doing nothing which lets the muscle die. Some people feel the pain produced by the high voltage zapping but other people say it changes their concentrating on the pain from a dying unused muscle to the zapping pain.

I don't like high voltage zapping pain, instead I like ordinary exercising which builds and heals muscles without any pain.


Joined Sep 9, 2010
You can buy a pretty nice TENS machine for $30-40 on Amazon. They look like an iPod and offer a range of profiles. I’ve given units like that to family members and they love them.

Not long ago I had a pretty bad back pain and my chiropractor used a clinical TENS machine. This delivered significantly more powerful pulses than the little units. If you were treating your back, I might not recommend the small unit but for your knee I really think it would be fine.


Joined Mar 30, 2015
I was treated with a professional unit after an auto accident. I was in too much pain to start physical therapy so they used TENS where I hurt the most.


Joined Mar 30, 2015
I was skeptical but it really did help. Not a miracle cure, but it helped.
I've had moderate to severe chronic pain since my accident. My Wife talked me into trying massage therapy. For a few weeks, I was like a different person; still had pain, but could do much more without debilitating pain.

It's time for another session...