8 Tips on How to Place Your TENS Pads For Effective Relief

With hundreds of scientific studies confirming its safety and effectiveness, TENS unit has set a benchmark in the world of therapeutics. It’s not only accepted by the doctors globally but also highly prescribed by them to combat acute and chronic pain symptoms. It provides a drug-free treatment with minimal side effects and contraindications.

Many people using TENS units don't witness much relief in the pain, the reason is their wrong way of placing tens pads. So in this article, we'll provide you 8 efficient tips that will help you place your tens pads correctly for effective relief.

But first, let's start from some basics. So let's dive right in.


What is a TENS Unit?

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation. The meaning of TENS hides in its name, transcutaneous means on the surface of the skin and electric nerve stimulation means making the nerve stimulated through some kind of stimulation like electric stimulation or vibration.

  • A TENS unit is a battery-operated device that produces electric currents to stimulate the nerves and is being widely used for therapeutic purposes. This device not only helps in reducing pain but also in minimizing the muscle spasms caused by arthritis and fibromyalgia.
  • Till 18th century, many electrostatic devices were developed to reduce the effects of headaches and other pains. The first modern TENS unit was patented in the US in 1974 and became successful in reducing pain as well as getting plenty positive reviews from the patients.
  • Currently, many people confuse TENS with EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation). The reason might be the device's similar look and the presence of the same kind of parts. But there's a major difference in their function. TENS unit stimulates the nerve for blocking the pain and providing relief, whereas the EMS machine is designed to stimulate the muscles for their strengthening.

The whole TENS therapy is now provided with the help of TENS units or devices. The main parts of the device are the pads. So let's know more about the device’s pads.


What are TENS Unit Pads? 

A TENS unit is a small device operated by a battery and contains leads connected to sticky pads called electrode pads. These electrode pads are the most important part of this device as these are responsible for transferring electrical impulses to the patient.

In order to get 100% benefit of the TENS unit and to maximize the pain relief and recovery, arranging the electrode pads correctly becomes important.

So that’s why, to optimize the best pad placement, we’ve assembled our 8 most effective pad placement tips for your convenience. 


8 Tips for an Effective Pad Placement:

  1. The first thing you need to determine is the exact location of the pain. Keep looking and feeling for the most succinct and tender area of the pain before you place the pads. 
  2. The next thing you need to keep in mind is the distance between the electrode pads. The distance at which pads are to be placed can vary from person to person. The pads should never be placed making a contact with each other and should be at least 1 inch apart. The closer (but never touching) they are applied, the more effective the pads become. 
  3. Pads can be placed in three directions, vertical, horizontal and angulated.
  4. Ensure you have the correct amount of pads. Use at least two pads for the treatment. Using a single electrode pad will not provide the desired relief. For optimal pain treatment, using four pads would be better.
  5. We advise you, not to place the electrode pads directly over a joint, such as the knee, elbow or ankle as this can hamper with how the pad performs. Reason being, the pad’s adherence can be altered by the movement of the joint.
  6. You can even change or adjust the flow of electrical sensation or current. This can be done by making a change in the direction of the pads as well as the distance between them.
  7. Avoid placing the electrode pads near or on your face. If the pain extends to a longer distance of your body, place two pads in the vertical direction, such that one pad covers the top of the pain while the other covers the bottom. If the pain is focused over a smaller area, place pads adjacent on each side of the pain.
  8. When the pain overlaps a joint as it happens in the case of a knee pain, place each pad directly above and below the joint, ensuring it is placed on a muscle or soft tissue.

By following all these mentioned tips, you’ll get rid of your pain in no time. Now that you’ve become quite familiar with this device, you might have a curiosity in your mind about its working. So let’s know more about its functioning.


How does a TENS Unit work?

  • You attach the pads to the affected area without switching on the device. TENS unit delivers electrical impulses to these electrode pads, placed directly on your skin that travel to the nerves. 
  • The theory behind TENS focuses on two primary principles- to interrupt or block pain receptors from reaching the brain and stimulating and releasing endorphins (the body's feel-good chemical). 
  • When the device is switched on, these mild electrical impulses are sent to that area, which help in relieving the pain and relaxing the muscles.

If you want to buy one device for your treatment, we suggest you Graham-Field Tens Unit Model 2000T. This is an excellent dual-channel stimulator device which offers you fully adjustable parameters and 3 treatment modes: constant, burst, and modulation. Its durability is unquestionable and it comes with a 9V battery and 5 years warranty. You’ll be provided with 4 carbon rubber electrodes and 2 lead wires of 36 inches each.


Parting Notes

If you don’t prefer taking the pain medication or have allergies or bad reactions to pain, TENS unit pad is the best alternative for you. And if you’re interested in buying TENS and EMS Units, Med On the Go is the best place on the internet where you can find your desired unit.

We hope you found this article helpful. For more information, kindly visit our website or contact our friendly service executive. We’d be happy to have a chat with you.