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Labour TENS consultation and unit hire


What is TENS?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) uses electrical impulses (felt as a tingling sensation) applied to the skin using electrodes and a small battery operated machine to relieve pain. 


TENS has been used for many years as a non pharmaceutical method of pain relief and it works via the following physiological mechanisms:


                1)     The pain gate mechanism - the electrical tingling sensation that the TENS provides overrides pain signals being sent to the brain.


                2)     By releasing our bodies natural pain killers - such as endorphins.

How is it used in Labour?


TENS is a drug free option to help control labour pain.


In clinical practice TENS is used in the initial stages of labour to reduce contraction pain

and labour induced back pain.


Four long electrodes are placed over the lower back. These are connected to the labour TENS

machine which is small and light and can be clipped on to clothing so as not to interfere with

an active labour.


Our labour TENS unit's have a hand held boost button to easily increase the intensity

of tingling during each contraction. 


Does it work?


Santana et al (2016) showed that TENS “reduces pain and postpones

the need for pharmacological analgesia in labour”.


Is it safe?


No adverse effects have been shown for mum or baby.


Our service


At Pinnacle Physio we have Obstetric TENS units that you can hire to use during your labour.


We recommend you come in for an appointment at around 37 weeks gestation (or earlier). If your partner or labour support person is able to attend the session with you this is helpful as they will need to help you apply the electrodes when you are in labour.


You can call reception on 6362 6222 to book an appointment or click on the following link to book online.





During your appointment your Physio will show you how to use the TENS machine (including the contraction boost button) and give you specific advice on how you can use the TENS machine to maximum benefit.


The TENS machine comes in a carry case and we make sure that you have everything you need to use it in labour including electrodes, spare batteries and instructions. 




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