Using a TENS Unit

How To Use A Tens Unit

A trabscutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit helps treat pain. The unit is a small, battery powered, portable device. The unit uses safe and mild electrical signals to help regulate pain. Electrodes in the form of sticky patches are placed on the skin, and painless electrical signals are sent through the electrodes to nerves under your skin. the placement of electrodes will depend on where your pain is located.

How to Use a TENS Unit

  • Test the battery of your TENS unit to ensure it is well charged. The unit has to two control knobs. One to make the electrical signs flow faster or slower, and one to make them stronger or weaker. Make sure the control knobs are turned off before starting.
  • Using rubbing alcohol, clean the portion of the skin where the electrodes will be placed. Leave the skin to try.
  • Apply a thin layer of gel below each electrode. The gel will enable the flow of electrical signals to nerves below the skin.
  • Place the electrodes on your skin, and use a sticky patch or medical tape to cover the electrode. This will keep firm on the skin. if you cannot reach the affected on the skin, ask for help.
  • Hook pin connectors on the end of electrode wires to electrodes before plugging the electrode wires into the unit.
  • Correct setting by slowly turning control knobs. You may feel a tingling sensation when you do this.
  • Place the TENS unit in your pocket or hook it to your belt.

TENS Unit Side Effects

Side effects associated with using a TENS unit are normally mild, even with prolonged use. If you experience recurring side effects each time you use your TENS unit, stop use and consult your doctor.


The constant transmission of electrical signals from the TENS unit may cause muscle twitching and pain, especially if the intensity level is adjusted to high. It may also cause muscle soreness. Reduce intensity until you begin to feel a tingling sensation, without twitching muscles.

Skin Irritation

TENS Units can be used for extended periods of time, but pads should be removed on a periodic basis to assess your skin condition. Cleaning your skin before putting the pads will enable the pads stick and correctly distribute electrical signals flowing beneath ten pads, reducing the likelihood of skin irritation. Changing the location of your pads on a periodic basis will help in the protection of your skin.

TENS Unit Placement

To get optimum benefits of pain relief with a TENS unit, it is recommended that you use the following TENS unit placement guidelines.

  1. Know exactly where the pain on your skin is located. Take note of the most tender and concise area of the pain.
  2. Use two pads each time (one channel) or four pads (two channels) also dependent on the type of TENS Unit you have as it may not just work with a single pad.
  3. You can change the flow of electrical signals by changing the direction of the pads or distance between electrode pads.
  4. Pads can be placed on a vertical, horizontal or angulated position.
  5. Pads should never get in contact with each other, and should be placed at least an inch apart. Effectiveness decreases as the distance between pads increases.
  6. Try as much to avoid placing the pads over joints, like elbows, knees or ankles because their regular movement can affect the adherence of the pads.

Some recommendations on TENS units pads and their placement:

  1. When pain extends across significant areas of your body like low back to above the back of the knee): put one pad vertically above the pain, and the other vertically below the pain.
  2. When the pain is intense over a smaller area like the calf pain; put pads parallel to both sides of the pain.
  3. Should pain overlap a joint, such as an elbow; Put each pad on the soft muscle issue above and below the joint in a parallel and horizontal direction.
  4. If the pain covers a wide area, like below the neck or your shoulders; put the pads to the right and left of your spine, in a vertical direction. If the pain further extends above or below the shoulder, the pads can be directed to cover the area of discomfort.

TENS Unit Settings

Most EMS and TENS units of self-adhesive leads and electrodes which regularly require replacement. Bear in mind that some TENS units are made in a such a way that they require unique electrodes that can only be sourced from the manufacturer.

If your EMS and TENS units have unique electrodes, you will need to get them sourced from the original manufacturer or distributor, unfortunately at a much higher price than the standard electrode.

Make sure to use as directed. An EMS and TENS machine are medical devices which require a thorough understanding before their use. Always read the instructional manual and follow what the label says. A TENS machine may help relieve mild and short-term pain . Get medical help if the pain persists for a long time.

Precautions When Using TENS Unit Electrodes

  • Don’t place electrode pads on damaged or broken skin
  • Don’t place pads on the side or front of your neck, near the eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid using on areas with less sensation
  • Don’t use in and around water, like the shower or bath

The Wireless TENS Unit Dominates Others for Chronic Back Pain

Back pain is a common and often times debilitating condition. If you have chronic back pain then you know that it is sometimes difficult to find relief without the aid of expensive and potent pain medications. However, you can find a drug free solution in the TENS unit. The best TENS unit will help you to make it through the day, and you now have the option of wireless operation.

The TENS unit is a simple but effective alternative for managing back pain. The unit works by interrupting or suppressing the transmission of pain caused by nerve dysfunction. This simple procedure is known as the Gate Control Theory. It works by minimizing the nerve sensitivity I the back. Wireless TENS units achieve the function of pain receptor disruption while still remaining discreet, lightweight, and relatively small when compared to wired models.

Wireless units are designed with sleek flexible material that will adjust flawlessly to the surface anyone’s back and create a fit that is nothing short of sheer perfection. The wireless tens unit is light and easily worn underneath the clothing for pain treatment virtually anywhere at any time without the hassle of wires and bulky contraptions.

The TENS units today are constructed with advanced electronics, which allows the entire design to be minimal in size but astounding in efficiency. Users will find that a single battery has a life span long enough to provide around 150 treatments of 30-minutes per session. The Wireless TENS unit is safe because it is drug-free, it is also simple to use, comfortable, and gives the users maximum control over their pain, in short allowing them to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

So why buy a Wireless TENS Unit?

  • Many models are made right in the USA.
  • They never require drug-therapy and are relatively free of side effects.
  • The design is thin, light and flexible.
  • They are comfortable and discreet, allowing the user to wear them underneath the clothing for relief on the go.
  • No wires! There are absolutely no wires, no belts, and no wraps.
  • Wireless units are portable and convenient.
  • More 100 sessions per battery.

Imagine a day when remote controlled pain relief is right at your fingertips. No more pills to take or hours of agony to endure. TENS technology is specifically designed to target and eliminate low back pain. The same revolutionary technology allows the unit to maximize its energy consumption, resulting in long life spans for each battery. The Gate control and Opiate release theories for managing low back pain and realized and accomplished with each wireless device as it cycles through its preprogrammed 30 minute treatment regiment.

The new streamlined design is flexible and lighter than wired units, resulting in an almost undetectable pain management system that can be worn beneath the clothing. Many people even forget they are wearing the Wireless TENS unit.

Utilizing A Tens Unit For Sciatica

Sciatica is the name for the pain, weakness, tingling and numbness in the legs, stemming from back pain. This is usually caused by trauma or an injury to the back and spinal area. Sciatica is not a medical condition in itself; it is a symptom from another medical issue. Several conditions can lead to sciatic pain, such as a herniated disc, or spinal stenosis, among many. Any back pain that causes numbness, tingling or weakness should be checked immediately by a qualified physician.

There is help for Sciatica, or back pain however. Many times, along with therapy, a TENS Unit is recommended to the patient. A TENS unit is a medical device that aids in the relieving of pain associated with sciatica. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A TENS unit therapy treatment is done by a small remote attached to pads or electrodes. The electrodes are then placed on the body in different areas. The electrodes then emit an electrical charge which passes through the pad into the patient.

It is believed that the strategically placed electrodes will stimulate the nerve endings in the region and transmit a message to the brain to stop the feelings of pain. Another theory is that the electrical charge stimulates the body into producing the natural pain killers it possesses. These are called endorphins and the job is to block the feeling of pain or at least the perception of pain. The placement of the tens unit electrodes is very important to stimulate the nerve endings and create relief where the pain was.

Tens therapy has been shown to work wonders for back pain and sciatica, among other issues. In our world today, there are personal TENS units. Whereas in the past, a patient had to go to a physical therapy appointment where the TENS unit and the electrodes would be placed in strategic areas. Today is much easier where the patient is able to have their own tens unit and use it in the comfort of their own home. Whether in a clinic or at home, TENS therapy for back pain is ideal and can be the relief the patient needs.

There is also a TENS unit that is used for muscle stimulation. This is an EMS, electronic muscle stimulator. It is thought that the EMS will reduce spasms and edema, relieve pain, and work to tone weak muscles and assist in healing. The TENS EMS will relieve muscle tension, back pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles. Another benefit is that the TENS EMS will also increase the circulation of the blood in the weakened areas and muscles.

Tens units can help to relieve chronic and severe pain for the patient. The EMS TENS units are more for relieving swelling, aches and pains of the joints and muscles.

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