Can a TENS Unit Help with Sciatica Pain?

Yes, a TENS unit helps sciatica pain.

According to our research (Mowafy & Khowailed, 2001) it is stated that a TENS unit is an effective tool in pain relief of the sciatic nerve.

Over-the-counter TENS units are safe and relatively easy to use at home, so they are becoming as common outside of hospitals for consumers as they are inside of professional medical practitioners’ offices.

In this article, we will provide research and evidence for the answer of: can a TENS unit help sciatica pain.

Introduction for can a TENS unit help sciatica pain

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Best TENS Placement for Sciatica

Best TENS placement for sciatica for can a TENS unit help with sciatica pain that's featured

The correct electrode placement for the TENS units is on the lower back, along the sciatic nerve, and the hip or thigh areas. In order for the most effective tens therapy pain relief, one TENS unit electrode should be placed on the tip of the pain area of the sciatic nerve. The other electrode needs to be at the bottom tip of the sciatica nerve pain region.

For strong sciatic pain on the hip or thigh, the TENS unit electrodes should be placed on either side of the painful area, from left to right.

The TENS Machine for Sciatica Reviews

The TENS machine for sciatica reviews with an infographic about sciatica

For an in-depth review of professional TENS unit products, we suggest checking out our article about the best TENS unit for pain. What does a TENS unit do? Is one of the many topics we cover in the linked article.

Our author breaks down the types of TENS units and how to pick the best unit in our in-depth buying guide. The best TENS machine for sciatica is the number one compared and reviewed TENS unit on our list in this article.

Where to Place TENS Unit for Piriformis Syndrome

Where to place TENS unit for piriformis because can a TENS unit help with sciatica

The best TENS placement for piriformis syndrome is along the sciatic nerve. Attach one electrode at the tip of your sciatic nerve pain, and one electrode at the bottom tip of your sciatica nerve pain. This will stimulate your sciatic nerve effectively and efficiently and deliver relaxed muscles in the painful area which in turn provides pain relief.

Make sure NOT to place the electrode on your spine, as that may cause discomfort.

Piriformis syndrome can be helped with a pillow as well, and we have an article concerning the Best Sciatica Pillow for your pain relief during piriformis syndrome.

TENS Machine for Sciatica in Pregnancy

TENS machine for sciatica in pregnancy and is electrical stimulation safe

Pregnant women should talk to their physicians before starting to use a TENS unit for sciatica.

There are TENS machines for sciatica that can be used during pregnancy. In addition, the stimulation from the machine can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the lumbar area and relieve the sciatic nerve.

Is Electrical Stimulation Safe During Pregnancy?

Every situation differs, so if you are unsure you need to contact your physician before starting TENS sciatica therapy treatment. The answer of: can a TENS unit help with sciatica pain is yes, but for each pregnant person, the circumstance can change.

A TENS unit for sciatic nerve pain is beneficial for a vast majority of the population according to The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine, which states that TENS therapy for sciatica pain is effective due to their research data. However, this particular research did not test for electrical stimulation being 100% safe during pregnancy. It is recommended to ask your doctor before starting TENS therapy for sciatica pain.

TENS Unit Settings for Sciatica Pain

80 to 120Hz for acute pain

35-50Hz for muscle stimulation

2 to 10Hz for chronic pain

We have an article describing the placement of a TENS unit, including a section just for TENS Unit Settings and a placement chart, and where we have done additional research to make sure that your TENS unit settings are perfect.

A TENS unit for sciatic nerve pain can relieve tight muscles through multiple electrodes. Specifically, the amplitude, pulse width, and pulse rate can be measured evenly on each item and will give you the recommended determination for your ailment. Pulse width is rated in microseconds from ranges of 10 to 1,000.

Conclusion: Tests and Research by

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In total, we like to think about sciatica pain as something to avoid at all costs. Hopefully, this informative guide will help you learn about sciatica pain, and if a TENS unit can help you. Pain is something that we all confront at one time or another, so learning new things about your type of pain and how to combat it is vital.

We care about helping you in your journey to be free from pain, so we made a health guide for you to learn from. Our team enjoys doing health research so that you can be an informed part of the health community. I hope we answered your questions.


Mowafy, M. E., & Khowailed, A. A. (2001). Brief Intense TENS Efficacy in Post – Herpetic Neuralgia of the Sciatic Nerve. The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine, 5(1), 78–83.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, July 4). Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:06, July 14, 2021, from

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Luz Chacon Health Coaches at Find It Health and Stress Management and Natural Holistic Health Coaches