TENS Machine For Gout Relief

Can a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation machine help your gout pain?
Let’s look at the issues

Before I begin, are you in a hurry to read practical tips on TENS machines for gout? Then scroll down to TENS Unit For Gout Tips.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any specific studies on gout pain and TENS machines. However, there are over one hundred studies into their effects on inflammation, with thousands of other reports on their general use.

The jury is still out when it comes to a clear declaration of effectiveness. Some experts remain unconvinced about how frequency and intensity determine effectiveness, and there are concerns that, even where a degree of pain relief is certain, those effects diminish with prolonged use. Other experts see TENS units as a viable alternative, especially when patients are against taking pain medication on a daily basis.

So, really, the choice is yours. If they work for you, then TENS machines are a good option for gout pain relief. They can now be hired from several sources, so it’s a good idea to test their effectiveness for you before buying your own machine.

There is a comprehensive review of TENS machines for treating pain [1] by DeSantana and colleagues, who conclude:

Basic scientific evidence suggests that there are peripheral and central nervous system mechanisms underlying the analgesic action of TENS. Studies also show that tolerance to repeated application of TENS can be prevented by multiple strategies, both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic. Experimental pain studies and clinical trials are beginning to refine parameters of stimulation to obtain the best pain relief. It seems that stimulation intensity is a critical factor for the effectiveness of TENS. One meta-analysis was able to show the positive treatment effects of electrical stimulation for relief of chronic musculoskeletal pain, and randomized controlled trials consistently demonstrate the effectiveness of TENS for acute, emergent, and postoperative pain conditions. However, the effectiveness of TENS on individual pain conditions, such as low back pain, is still controversial, likely because of poor study designs and small sample size. Thus, continued research of TENS mechanisms and stimulation parameters in adequately characterized patient populations is critical.

TENS pain relief machines act on various parts of the body to reduce gout pain. Will TENS work for you? See how to assess this relief with no side effects.

TENS Unit For Gout Tips

Though TENS units do not have any of the side effects associated with pharmaceutical gout relief, there are a couple of warnings.

Firstly, TENS machines are not suitable for anyone fitted with a pacemaker.

More importantly, for gout sufferers, beware of breaking the golden rule of gout pain relief. That is, pain relief should only be short term. You should only treat gout pain until you can get uric acid low enough to control gout properly. Get uric acid to a maximum 5mg/dL (0.30mmol/L). You must make uric acid safe, in order to prevent permanent damage to joints and organs. It can take several months to get uric acid down to this safe level. During that time, if TENS machines help relieve pain, then use them if you wish. However, you must use them to help you control pain until you can control uric acid – never instead of controlling uric acid.

Leave this TENS machine page to browse other Gout Relief options.
Alternatively, browse the complete range of Gout Treatment options and how to manage them.


TENS Machine References

  1. Title: Effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for treatment of hyperalgesia and pain. Authors: DeSantana JM, Walsh DM, Vance C, Rakel BA, Sluka KA. Published: Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2008 Dec;10(6):492-9. Review. TENS Machine Effectiveness

Related Gout Facts:

Please Share This Page

What do you think about this page?

Did this page help you? If yes, please consider a small donation. Your donations help keep GoutPal's gout support services free for everyone. Please click to donate:

If not, please tell me how I can improve it to help you more.

Please note that my Feedback Form does not yet work on the current version of this website. So please send your feedback:

More Stories

Medical Disclaimer: The pupose of GoutPal is to provide jargon-free explanations of medical gout-related terms and procedures. Because gout sufferers need to know what questions to ask their doctor. Also, you need to understand what your doctor tells you. So this website explains gout science. But it is definitely NOT a substitute for medical advice.

Information on this website is provided by a fellow gout sufferer (Keith Taylor) with an accountant's precision for accurate data. But no medical qualifications. So you must seek professional medical advice about gout and any other health matters.

Google Gout

Type your question, or gout topic, in the search box. Or see Better Desktop Gout Search.