Wednesday, August 17, 2022

How To Place Tens Electrodes For Shoulder Pain

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The Proper Tens Placement

How To Place Tens Electrodes For Shoulder Pain Relief – Instructional Video From MedFaxx, Inc.

Most of the time, you already know the pain points in your body from your neck and shoulder, to your lower back and knees. However, you can also use your fingers to gently press on your muscles to find the center of the pain spots.

Once youve zeroed in on the pain area, place the TENS unit pads close together about a few inches apart. One pad isnt enough to bring in optimal results, so its best to use two to four pads per treatment. With PowerDot, you get one or two pods along with lead cables.

Now, lets further explore the TENS electrode placement for each specific body part.

If youre experiencing neck pain, you might be carrying a lot of tension on your upper neck and back , making the muscles tight and sore. To relieve this, simply place the TENS pads on your traps, the nape, or near the upper spine. Sometimes, neck pain can be caused by stiff back muscles, so you can also apply your pads on the upper back.

For knee pain, place your TENS unit pads just a little below the kneecap and the pod just above it. If its the quads youre treating, apply the pads slightly above the knee and the pod on your upper thigh. Be careful not to place these directly on your knees as it will be difficult for the pads to stay in place if you move that joint.

Thats also why, for optimal results, its best to stay seated during the treatment.

For arm pain, attach the pod on your shoulders or shoulder blades and the TENS unit pads on the pain areas in upper arms.

What Are The Parts Of A Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Device And How Do They Work

The battery-powered TENS device is about the size of a small cell phone. The device comes with several sets of electrode wires and end pads. The electrodes connect to the device at one end and are attached to about 2 inch by 2 inch pads at the other end. Each pad has an adhesive backing and is positioned on your skin in specific areas along nerve pathways in the area to be treated.

The device delivers pulses of electrical energy. Pulses can be adjusted for intensity, frequency, duration, and type . A doctor, physical therapist, or acupuncturist determines and adjusts the machines settings.

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Tips For Where To Place Electrode Pads

Over centuries, and especially over the last few decades, electrotherapy has become a safe and trustworthy tool for pain relief, recovery, and more. Today, thanks to accessible and affordable over-the-counter products like those by iReliev, its very easy to bring the benefits of electrotherapy straight into the home. The OTC products from iReliev are FDA Cleared and user-friendly. For instance, each iReliev TENS or TEN + EMS unit comes with a variety of preset programs. These settings allow users to explore different levels of intensity and treatment patterns. However, theres one other thing that users can explore to hone in on that perfect treatment, and thats pad placement. One can experiment with how they arrange their electrode pads on their own to maximize their pain relief and muscle strengthening, conditioning, and recovery.

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Common Shoulder Pain Injuries:

  • Fracture: You get a fracture when your bone cracks or breaks. This can be a result of a hard hit or accidental fall.

    If your collarbone breaks, your shoulder gets weak, and you cannot lift your arm.

  • Dislocation: During an accident, if your shoulder gets rotated or pulled back, it may affect the top of your arm.

    It shifts out of its socket, making you feel weak and pain in your shoulder. This can cause numbness and swelling.

  • This injury adversely affects the acromioclavicular joint. This joint is located where your shoulder blade and collarbone come together.

    If your collarbone dislocates, you will get a bump or swelling on the top of your shoulder.

  • Rotator Cuff Tear: A rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles in your shoulder. It keeps your arms in place and lets you do the lifting movements. It tears due to fall, injury, or overuse.

    Your shoulder may hurt when you lift things. Also, this begins to wear and tear with age.

  • Frozen Shoulder: This is common after a surgery or injury. This condition limits the motion of your joints.

    Your shoulder freezes and you need adhesions to build the tissues and get your shoulder back to motion.

Using A Tens Unit For Electrotherapy Pain Relief

TENS Unit Electrode Placement Guide

Looking for pain relief? TENS might be the solution.

This alternative to medication has existed in its conceptual form since 60 A.D. when physicians used electrical fish from the ocean for pain relief. Nowadays TENS has evolved into a much safer, more effective form of treatment.

Modern TENS units and functionality are credited to American neurosurgeon, Dr. C. Norman Shealy thanks to his research on transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

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Can Tens Cause A Heart Attack

As a general rule, do not apply TENS if a person has heart disease, heart failure, or arrhythmias. There are no studies yet directly linking the TENS unit with a heart attack. Most likely, TENS therapy gives off a minimal current that is unlikely to interfere with heart rhythm.

If you have a bleeding disorder, TENS can cause bleeding at the site because of skin irritation or cause more bleeding in some persons.

If you have a pacemaker, do not use TENS. Other devices that may warrant inadvisability of the use of TENS are bone growth stimulators, cardioverter defibrillators, indwelling BP monitors, or neurostimulators in the brain or spinal cord. Discuss with a cardiologist or neurologist the use of a TENS device.

Tens Unit Adjustment And Placement

To get the best result, you need to know the adjustment and placement of TENS unit. TENS unit has three basic settings, conventional, acupuncture, and pulsed or burst setting. Besides, TENS unit also has three components, amplitude, pulse width, and pulse rate.

Here is the explanation of three basic settings in TENS unit for sciatica:


This setting is used when you have a mild sciatica pain. You need to set the high frequency or pulse rate, low amplitude, and short duration or width. Some people feel comfortable with this setting. But for other people with worst pain, its not work well. They usually still feel the pain after the unit stops working.


The second setting is acupuncture. This setting will deliver a low frequency or pulse rate and high amplitude. For people with severe pain, this setting can be tried. Acupuncture setting sometime more effective than the conventional setting. People feel more comfortable to use this setting but it depends on the individuals.

Pulsed or Burst Setting

The final setting is pulses or burst setting. This kind of setting delivers a low intensity stimuli with high frequency. But, this setting doesnt really effective. Even the conventional setting is better than pulsed or burst setting. Because this setting not effective enough, its not often used.

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How High Should You Set A Tens Unit

Different intensities work for different types of pain. For acute pain, the TENS unit should be set between 80 Hz and 120 Hz. For chronic pain, the settings can be lower around 2 Hz to 10 Hz. This lower setting will stimulate hormones produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain.

For weak or tense muscles, a setting between 35 Hz and 50 Hz is for stimulating muscles for relaxation or strengthening.

Tens + Ems As A Solution

How to Use a TENS With Shoulder Pain. Correct Pad Placement

If acute shoulder pain is plaguing you throughout your daily life, TENS treatment may be a great solution for you. Many TENS units, like iRelievs, are made for home-use so that you can control your treatment schedule. iRelievs TENS + EMS device is portable and smaller than some cellphones. It is safe to wear your TENS unit whenever and wherever you need it, even if that means while running errands or doing physical activities.

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How To Place Electrodes For A Tens Unit

This article was co-authored by Joshua Grahlman, PT, DPT, FAFS. Dr. Joshua Grahlman, PT, DPT, FAFS, is the Founder and Chief Athlete Mechanic of Clutch PT + Performance, a private physical therapy clinic specializing in sports and orthopedics in New York City. With more than a decade of experience, Dr. Grahlman specializes in treating acute and chronic pain and injuries, sports performance optimization and post-operative rehabilitation. Dr. Grahlman earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is one of just a few DPTs in New York City recognized as a Fellow in Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute for Functional Transformation . He is certified in Active Release Technique and Spinal Manipulation and is a TRX Suspension Training Specialist. Dr. Grahlman has spent his career treating athletes of all levels, from Ironman Champions and Olympians to marathoner moms. He consults for Triathlete, Mens Health, My Fitness Pal and CBS News.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 89% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 200,147 times.

What Does The Research On Tens Say

In addition to what conditions TENS may be useful for, studies have also looked at the best practices for effective pain relief.

Key takeaways include:

  • Both high and low frequency TENS have been shown to produce pain relief when used at a strong intensity. However, because they activate different opioid receptors, high frequency TENS may be more effective for people taking opioids.
  • Effective pain relief for chronic conditions may be limited if you use the same frequency and intensity daily because the repeated application can create a tolerance. To avoid this and prolong the pain relief, varying TENS parameters may help .
  • Applying TENS electrodes at acupoints may increase the analgesic effect
  • Using TENS during movement/activity may be the most beneficial for pain relief

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How Do I Place My Tens Machines Electrode Pads For Frozen Shoulder

To handle pain related to the shoulder, place the electrode pads, in this case preferably with four pads, at the perimeter of the area of pain. You can extend the placement as much as down to your upper arm, your upper chest and your upper back.

Because of the lower amount of sensitive areas around the shoulders, feel free to experiment with the placement and the intensity to a degree that it is not painful or if it feels like your hurting too much.

Using Tens To Treat Neck Pain

Pin on tens unit

Millions of Americans suffer from neck pain . It can be caused by a variety of things, from sleeping in the wrong position, to poor posture at your laptop. It can also be caused by injury and strains like whiplash. Many people who suffer from neck pain seek alternative treatments for pain relief, especially when pain is chronic. Some work, and some do not.

Many wonder, can you use TENS unit to treat neck pain instead of conventional painkillers? The answer is yes. TENS can be used to relieve neck pain. You just need take a few precautions like being careful not to place electrodes close to your head or on the front or sides of the neck. TENS units should never be used near the head area since they send electrical impulses to the body.

You also need to learn how to use TENS units to treat neck pain.

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The Evidence For Tens For Pain Control

A 2020 review suggests that the use of TENS has positive outcomes in treatment of Primary Dysmenorrhea.

A 2014 study set out to provide a critical review of the latest basic science and clinical evidence for TENS. Key findings were:

  • Application of TENS at inadequate intensities is one of the primary factors attributed to conflicting reports of TENS efficacy. Using the strongest intensity that remains comfortable produces hypoalgesia in healthy subjects is imperative lower intensities are ineffective. In addition to activation of greater numbers of sensory afferents, higher pulse amplitudes are proposed to activate deeper tissue afferents allowing for greater analgesia. High intensity TENS decreases post-operative opioid requirements and negative opioid-side effects.
  • Both High Frequency and Low Frequency TENS been shown to provide analgesia specifically when applied at a strong, non-painful intensity. HF TENS may be more effective for people taking opioids.
  • Effective analgesia for chronic pain conditions may be limited by the development of tolerance to TENS if repeated application of either HF or LF TENS at the same frequency, intensity and pulse duration is used daily.
  • Application of TENS electrodes at acupoint sites may increases analgesia and targeting the use of TENS during movement or required activity may provide the most benefit.

More About Tens Electrode Placement For Neck Pain Treatments

Placement of electrodes is a key element for treating any painits no different with neck or cervical pain. But you do have to be careful about where you place electrodes when treating your neck. Avoid putting them anywhere near your head or throat. Never place them on the front of the neck or sides of the neck.

See our TENS electrode placement chart for information on where to place electrodes for all types of injuries.

When placing electrodes you should position one on each side of the painful area, per channel. You can use two channels placing one of each on either side of the painful area to increase effectiveness. Always place them on muscle and fleshy areas, not directly over bony parts of the body.

Have a different pain issue and want to understand how TENS can help? Ask us, or read on. Learn how to treat shoulder pain with TENS.

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Setting The Pulse Width

These are the ON periods of the current. Generally speaking, pain relief will occur with low to mid time periods. Muscle stimulation requires a longer pulse width to successfully reproduce a muscle contraction.You can alter the time that each pulse lingers before resetting. The time period is extremely small. Its measured in microseconds uS . While you may not notice the difference, your nerves can.The following setting is recommended:175 to 200uSYou can strengthen the power of your machine by increasing the pulse width.

How Do I Place My Tens Machines Electrode Pads During Labour

TENS Unit Electrode Placement: Shoulder Pain

This is actually an extension to how to place the electrode pads for your back and is not really that much different.

But remember that you should only be using a TENS machine in the early stages of labor.

NOTE: You may need to take off the TENS pads if your babys heart has to be monitored electronically because the pads could affect the signals to the monitoring machine.

Follow these steps:

  • Place the two or four electrode pads as suggested for lower back pain. Follow the steps under the guidelines of placement as well, and remember If the pads start to lose their stickiness, rub a few drops of water into the gel side of the pads before putting them back on. The more firmly the pads are stuck on, the better theyll work.
  • Start with the absolute lowest setting and slowly work your way up, making sure youre not overdoing it.
  • Use the boost button at the peak of each contraction. The boost function results in more intense, wave-like tingling or buzzing sensations. Dont forget to the boost button off again when the contraction has ended. This is so you feel the benefit of the boost next time you have a contraction. This works super-great!
  • As mentioned above in the expectations management, dont give up just because youre not feeling anything at first. Give it some tweaks and some time and you will most surely find some benefits.
  • Dont forget that the electrode pulses are under your control. If you feel any discomfort, just turn it off or lower the intensity!
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    Knowing What Not To Do

  • 1Do not place the electrodes on areas of the body which could harm you. You should not apply electricity to areas that are close to your heart or that are likely to be particularly sensitive. Keep them away from your:XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source
  • Temples
  • How Is A Tens Unit Beneficial For Neck Pain

    Living with chronic neck pain can prevent you from living a fulfilling life. Unfortunately, there is no single remedy for neck pain. What works for one patient may not work for the other. Some patients will respond well to pain relievers, while others will respond better to physical therapy. Other patients may need a different solution to help in relieving their neck pain. It is, therefore, essential to know about the available options when seeking treatment for neck pain.

    Electrotherapy is among the latest treatments developed for managing chronic pain. It involves the use of mild electrical impulses to kill discomfort in a particular part of the body. Electrotherapy utilizes a device with electrodes to deliver low-voltage electrical pulses to parts of the body where you are experiencing pain.

    Electrotherapy is nowadays used in pain management because it provides an alternative to prescription medicine. Some medicines used in chronic pain management have adverse effects on patients. Electrotherapy enables patients to manage their pain without having to deal with the side effects of conventional medicine.

    A TENS unit is a simple battery-operated device that resembles the equipment used to revive a patient during a heart attack. The device comprises of sticky pads that you place on the part of the body where you feel pain. Your physician or chiropractor will show you the best areas to place the sticky pads.

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