Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS unit (also called electrotherapy), involves placing an external device over the skin that applies low-voltage electricity via electrodes. Generally, TENS units are applied for moderate to moderately severe acute to subacute pain, and for some people they may be effective for chronic pain as well.

Finally, because of the profoundly devastating effect that chronic, intractable pain can have on all aspects of one’s life – physical, psychological, emotional—it is often beneficial for patients to participate in psychological counseling.

Some psychologists specialize in helping patients manage chronic pain through use of biofeedback, imaging techniques, meditation, and other methods. Developing useful psychological tools and techniques can help a patient feel more empowered, with a greater sense of control over their pain, which can ultimately lead to a better outcome.