Ansari MM, Zama MM, Dey S, Tiwari P, Khatri S. Clinical effects of magnetic field and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in dogs suffering from hind quarter neurological deficit. Indian J Vet Med. 2013; 33:(1)5-9

Cassu RN, Silva DA, Genari Filho T, Stevanin H. Electro-analgesia for the postoperative control pain in dogs. Acta Cir Bras.. 2012; 27:(1)43-48

Dickenson AH. Gate control theory of pain stands the test of time. Br J Anaesth. 2002; 88:(6)755-757

Physical Rehabilitation for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. In: Goldberg ME, Tomlinson JE (eds). Hoboken NJ: Wiley; 2018

Johnson M. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation: Mechanisms, Clinical Application and Evidence. Rev Pain. 2007; 1:(1)7-11

Levine D, Bockstahler B. Electrical Stimulation, 2nd edn. In: Millis D, Levine D (eds). Philadelphia PA: Elsevier; 2014

Melzack R, Wall PD. Pain mechanisms: a new theory. Science. 1965; 150:(3699)971-9

Mendell LM. Constructing and deconstructing the gait theory of pain. International Association for the Study of Pain. 2014; 155:210-216

Niebaum K. Rehabilitation Physical Modalities. In: Zink MC, Van Dyke JB (eds). Ames IA: Wiley-Blackwell; 2013

Prydie D, Hewitt I. Modalities. In: Prydie D, Hewitt I. Ames IA: John Wiley & Sons; 2015

Sluka KA, Walsh D. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation: basic science mechanisms and clinical effectiveness. J Pain. 2003; 4:(3)109-121

Sluka KA, Bjordal JM, Marchand S, Rakel BA. What makes transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation work? Making sense of the mixed results in the clinical literature. Phys Ther.. 2013; 93:(10)1397-1402

Wall PD. The gate control theory of pain mechanisms. A reexamination and re-statement. Brain. 1978; 101:(1)1-18

Walsh DM. The Evolution of TENS. Hong Kong Physiother J.. 2003; 21:1-4

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). 2016. (accessed 21 November 2018)

Where do the electrodes go? The clinical use of TENS

02 December 2018
8 mins read
Volume 9 · Issue 10


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is an adjunct modality that can be used to help alleviate pain in our animal patients. It is a modality that is low in side effects and cost, making it an easy choice to add to the rehabilitation plan. This article describes conventional TENS and its clinical application.

Veterinary physical rehabilitation is full of benefits for animal patients — whether they are recovering from a postoperative procedure, injury, or going through the natural ageing process. As physical rehabilitation veterinarians and nurses, we set up individual goals for our patients to help them gain a better quality of life. One goal that is often part of the rehabilitation plan is the alleviation of pain (Prydie and Hewitt, 2015). When an animal is no longer in pain, he or she is more likely to relax and perform better during exercise (Sluka and Walsh, 2003).

There are many ways to help alleviate pain during a rehabilitation appointment. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can be used in conjunction with medications and other modalities to help alleviate pain before, during and after exercise, or in phases of healing. For the purpose of this article, a brief overview of low intensity, high-frequency TENS (also called conventional TENS) and its clinical application on canine patients, will be discussed (Johnson, 2007).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting The Veterinary Nurse and reading some of our peer-reviewed content for veterinary professionals. To continue reading this article, please register today.