A TENS unit for workers compensation cervical or lumbar injured workers produces an electrical impulse that can be adjusted for pulse, frequency, and intensity. The exact mechanism by which it works to reduce or even eliminate pain is still unknown. It is possible there are several different ways TENS works. For example, TENS may inhibit (block) pain pathways or increase of the secretion of the pain reducing substances (endorphins, serotonin) in the CNS.
Injured workers may be prescribed a TENS unit to help with their neck pain. Neck (cervical spine) pain due to musculoskeletal disorders, is the second largest cause of time off work - low back pain being first. It is generally worse in the morning and evening. The most commonly prescribed intervention is rest and analgesics, and often a referral to physical therapy. Among the rehabilitation intervention treatments for neck pain is the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit.