How To Maintain Your Tens Unit
TENS units are designed for repeated use over time without very much maintenance. Still, you should always make sure the unit is not damaged and is working correctly before use. This includes checking the device itself, the electrode cords, and the batteries for leakage. Never try to use a damaged unit.Should you need to clean your TENS unit, turn it off and disconnect and cords beforehand. Use a damp cloth and wipe the surface gently, careful not to get water inside the device. Store the unit in an area that is away from direct sunlight, humidity, or high voltage. If you plan to store it for an extended period, remove the device’s batteries to prevent leakage.;;
Most electrodes are reusable and can last up to 5 to 6 months. That said, there are some things you can do to help your electrodes maintain their stickiness and last as long as possible:
- Clean your skin with soap and water before each use. The skins natural oils can dirty the electrode and make it less sticky.;
- Clean your electrode pads with a moist towel or washcloth after each use. This helps remove dirt or oil and bring back some stickiness.;
- Use a conductive gel or spray with each use to help preserve or regain the moisture of the pad.
- Store the pads in their packaging, so they dont dry out.;
Its best to replace your electrodes once they no longer stick to your skin, or a majority of the pad is not in contact with your skin.
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.
Tens Machine For Neck Pain Relief
Can you use a tens unit on your neck? Absolutely. It is of my opinion that tens units are a great solution for neck pain, especially for those who do not wish to use drugs. Electrodes are placed either on or near the area of pain and they then send out soothing electrical pulses to block pain signals.
Several different studies have been conducted which have taken a look at the effectiveness of using a tens unit on the neck.
One randomized clinical trial took place in 2005. The study looked at 218 participants who were suffering from neck pain, and the subjects were divided into different treatment groups.
Those who had been treated with a tens device and those in the exercise group had notable improvement in areas of pain, isometric neck muscle strength, and disability. These improvements were seen after six weeks and maintained after six months. The study was published in Clinical Rehabilitation.
Another study took place in 2010 and it analyzed 39 patients who were experiencing lubroscral pain. 16 of these subjects were treated with a TENS device several times a day for 20 minutes. These individuals experienced improvement in the function and mobility of the lumbosacral spine in addition to pain relief.
As you can see scientific studies back up the use of a tens device to effectively help in treating neck pain.
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Best Tens Unit For Neck Pain
Every TENS unit comes with different modes and programs youll be able to use. Several of them only provide pre-defined massage programs;;however, others can give you the possibility to make your massage program using a combination of their options.
Having multiple channels or outputs could be a real advantage for each TENS unit. It employs a channel or output to send electrical impulses through 2 conductor pads. Each pair of pads needs its channel, thus having multiple outputs can permit you to use more electrode pairs at a similar time.
Buying a TENS unit that comes with a guaranty is usually recommended. Once you invest in such a unit, you must be able to use it for a long time, even though some models are low cost.
How To Place Tens Unit Electrodes
Proper placement of the electrodes is essential to receiving optimal pain relief. When targeting a specific area, place the electrodes on each side of the painful area. This placement allows the electrical current to pass through the targeted area. If using four electrodes, place each pad on each side of the targeted area in a square or diamond shape. There are some areas of the body that you should avoid placing the electrodes due to their sensitivity. These areas include:
- On the throat or neck
- Any part of your face or head
- Over the eyes
- On broken, numb, sore, or infected skin
- Over a joint such as a knee, elbow, or ankle
- Over or around your heart
Suppose any of these are the painful area. In that case, you can place the electrodes around or below the area and still feel relief.
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How To Placeelectrodes When Using A Tens Unit
While a goodrule of thumb is to place electrodes near the injured or painful area, we findits useful to have diagrams to show proper placement. Having illustrateddiagrams for electrode placement is also useful for patients who purchase homeunits and want to use their TENS unit on their own.
The belowillustrations are provided by Current Solutions. They show recommended electrodeplacement for the common areas of the body where pain is treated with TENStherapy. The electrode placement diagrams shown here display electrodes fora 2-Channel Venti TENS unit, which uses 4 total electrodes 2electrodes per channel.
When apatient is using a unit at home, its important for them to follow therecommendations of this TENS Unit Electrode Placement Guide, but also followthe directions of their healthcare practitioner.
|Example TENs Electrode Placements|
Some otherprotocols that should be adhered to when using a TENS unit are:
Whentreating in physical therapy, modalities are utilized to help decrease pain andincrease function. With the diverse treatment applications of a TENS unit, itsa perfect addition to many rehabilitation regimens. And with its ability to beused by the patient at home, TENS units are a great non-invasive painmanagement alternative to oral medication.
Also Available on Amazon:;TENS Units for Home
The information contained on website is for general information purposes only.
What Is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Therapy
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a therapy that uses low voltage electrical current to provide pain relief. A TENS unit consists of a battery-powered device that delivers electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the surface of your skin. The electrodes are placed at or near nerves where the pain is located or at trigger points.
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How Does Tens Work
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator sends electrical pulses through the skin to start your bodys own pain killers. The electrical pulses can release endorphins and other substances to stop pain signals in the brain.
TENS can reduce;pain. It works best when used during activities such as walking, doing chores, or exercise. The video below shows how TENS can reduce;pain and demontrates how to use a TENS unit.
Target The Entire Joint
To target the shoulder joint effectively, we are advised to place electrode pads on both sides of the joint. This approach is great for rotator cuff injuries, bursitis. Place one pad on the front of the shoulder, the other on the back of the shoulder. This TENS placement for shoulder pain targets the entire joint.
Rotator cuff injuries come from deeper inside the tissue. In this case, know that the electrical stimulation will need to travel deeper to relieve the pain. For the TENS unit rotator cuff, targeting the pain from both sides should help.
In addition, both pads can be placed on the side in pain, if limited to one side.
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Are Tens Units Fsa Eligible
Yes, OTC TENS units are eligible for purchase or reimbursement with a flexible spending account , health savings account , or health reimbursement arrangement ! Unfortunately, they are not eligible for reimbursement with a limited care flexible spending account or a dependent care flexible spending account .;
Who Shouldn’t Use A Tens Unit
Although TENS units are generally low risk, you should always consult your doctor before using one to ensure that it is the right choice for you. In some instances, the device can be unsafe to use. It is recommended that you do not use a TENS unit if you:
- Are pregnant. Pregnant women should avoid using a TENS unit on the abdominal and pelvic regions.
- Have epilepsy. Using a TENS unit on the head or neck can cause seizures.;
- Have heart problems.;
- Have a pacemaker or any electrical or metal implant.;
- Have skin that is numb, irritated, or fragile.;
- Are driving, using machinery, sleeping, or in the bath/shower.;
Again, always consult your doctor to make sure that a TENS unit is safe for your situation.
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Loss Of Muscular Control
In almost all cases, TENS therapy can be applied throughout the day.;The discrete, small machines;can be placed underneath the shirt so that TENS can be applied during work, athletic activities or at home while relaxing. However, there is a small chance that while TENS is being applied, it will affect the way you feel and move your muscles. Because of this, do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery while using TENS.
What Is A Tens Unit
A TENS Unit is a device that sends electric currents into your nerves. By doing so, it helps to calm any pain in your nervous system by sending signals to the pain receptors in your brain and spinal cord. The one shown above is made by Belifu.
See our article here on the Best TENS Units to find the right unit for your needs and budget.
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How Do I Place My Tens Machines Electrode Pads For Lower Back Pain
When you want to place the electrode pads on either your back on your lower back, its preferred to have someone help you find the preferred placement, at least the first couple of times.
Also, if you end up finding a great placement make them mark it with a marking pen so that you or the next person attaching them would know where it worked for you the last time.
You can use both two or four pads for treating lower back pain, but I always suggest four, since it will triangulate the area of pain much better.
You can benefit from using a TENS machine in which you can control the intensity of the different channels, and in that way alternate the pressure by combining the channels as shown in the images.
Tens Unit Pad Placement For Common Pain Sites
Upper Back Pain: For pain on one side of your upper back, you can place a pad right on the pain and one at least an inch away. You might want to move the second pad around to determine where you find the most relief. If you cant reach the spot, ask someone for help.
You can also try moving off of the spot itself and sandwiching the troubled spot between electrodes. The same principle applies if you have four pads available.
Lower Back Pain;:;Use the same experimental;approach to find relief for lower back pain that you would for upper back pain. Place two electrodes, small to large,;on each side of the lower spine where pain is originating.
If you have four electrodes, place one pair on either side of your spine slightly above the focus area. Place the other pair of pads;at least an inch below those two. Strip-shaped pads can come in handy for back pain. Try attaching long pads along the length of either side of your spine vertically.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
Sciatica:;Sciatic pain manifests in the low back. You have some choices when it comes to pad placement to try. Start with an equal number of pads on either side of the spine near the low-to-mid back. Depending on your frame, you might be able to use larger pads on your back. You can also try placing two electrodes on your lower back with the other two below your buttock on the same side.
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Howto Use The Tens Unit For Neck Pain
Many peoplefind relief of their sudden neck pain by using a Utopia Gear TENS unit.The best way to use a TENS unit for neck pain include:
Startingon the lower part of the neck and moving higher up the neck gradually ifneeded.
Usingsmaller electrode pads X 1.63″ X .13″), which are greatfor areas such as the neck.
Keepingthe lead wires angled towards the ground to avoid the pads from becoming topheavy; this is important as this will make the pads adhere to the skin better.
The hairline is the highest part of the neck the pads should be placed. ;Four pads can be ran at the same time, but two is usually the preferred amount. ;Keep in mind that the higher up the neck you place the pads, the stronger the device will feel. ;This is why it is advised to start a little lower on the neck and why most people prefer the more gentler modes on all of Utopia Gear’s models. ;;
Dr Nicole Lombardo Pt Dpt Cscs
“As a doctor of physical therapy, I use and recommend TENS to my patients often. Using TENS can be helpful for temporary pain relief. It is a great alternative to help with pain when a patient needs immediate relief, wants relief while continuing with their daily routine and when they prefer not to use medication. It is a great way to calm down pain prior to getting my patients to start moving. I usually recommend using TENS when my patients have acute pain in a large area. I mostly use TENS on the shoulder, upper and lower back. However, it can be placed anywhere on the body that is not over the heart, implanted devices, or active tumors. With acute pain, people often feel that they are unable to move or have difficulty moving. TENS can be easily put on while at rest to help with pain. It can also help for those who need to continue to move, but feel limited because of pain. Many of the at-home units are portable, so it can be easily clipped onto clothing to provide relief while doing work .”
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How Do I Place My Tens Machines Electrode Pads For Neck Pain
The way to place the electrode pads is similar to how to place them for the lower back pain, except of course place them higher.
Here is also suggested to use four pads to better triangulate the area of pain. You can either place two of the electrode pads on either side of the spine at the base of the hairline and two lower on the shoulder or cross them as an x as the image suggests.
What Are The Symptoms Of Neck Pain
However, sometimes due to bad posture, muscle strain, nerve injury, herniated disc, stress, it may experience pain/inflammation. The neck pain can be:
You can try cold pack or hot fomentation, over-the-counter pain relievers, and slow gradual movement of the neck to relieve stiffness as a home remedy.
You can also resort to TENS therapy, which is a very practical, convenient, self-administered, safe with no/minimal side effects and economical pain management technique approved by USFDA.
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Is Your Shoulder Pain Actually A Neck Problem
The key to finding a solution for your pain is to see where it arises. The pain starts from the neck and radiates to the joint in different conditions. Any damage or pinch to a nerve in the neck will cause pain in the shoulder. Cervical radiculopathy is one such problem that causes discomfort in the shoulder and neck. It is thus essential to diagnose the root of the pain, to give proper treatment which results in speedy recovery.
Tens Unit Placement For Frozen Shoulder
For relief of frozen shoulder, the Target the Entire Joint placement described above is ideal. The idea is to target the shoulder joint by placing electrode pads on both sides of the joint.; In other words, place one pad on the front of the shoulder, and place the other pad on the back of the shoulder to target a frozen shoulder.
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How To Use A Tens Unit For Shoulder Pain
One approach to relieve shoulder nerve pain delivers electrical nerve stimulation through the skin with a TENS device. Since it is becoming more accessible to purchase portable stimulators to reduce pain, and the devices are available without a prescription, we considered it a priority to find advice from care providers and researchers on how to place the electrodes of a TENS unit.
Overall, shoulder TENS placement should be thought about with the following parameters in mind: