How To Get The Most Out Of Electrode Pads
Electrode pads are essential components of the TENS system for pain relief. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, also called TENS, is a system of electrical muscle stimulation. TENS therapy has shown great promise in providing chronic pain relief.
TENS therapy causes muscle contractions at regular intervals. This treatment helps to promote the secretion of serotonin and endorphins, both of which are natural painkillers produced by the body.
TENS treatment has helped those who suffer from a wide variety of chronic pain conditions; the treatment also aids people who are suffering from postoperative pain. This therapy can help relieve chronic lower back pain caused by disc degeneration, sciatica, and other nervous system conditions. TENS has also shown great promise in treating soft tissue damage from sports injuries.
The effectiveness of TENS therapy depends on the correct placement of electrode pads or TENS unit pads. These pads deliver the electrical stimulation that’s responsible for the success of TENS-based treatment. Below are some guidelines for the placement of these electrode pads. These guidelines can help in increasing the effectiveness of the TENS regimen.
1. Ascertaining The Pain Area
For maximum effect, TENS unit pads should be placed within the contour of the painful area. Utmost care should be taken to ensure that the pads are no closer than one inch away from each other. This placement ensures that the correct amount of current is delivered to the concerned area. Placing pads too close to one another can reduce the effectiveness of TENS treatment and can actually cause additional pain.
2. The Right Amount Of Pads
Two to four TENS unit pads is optimal for treating a single, painful area. With some TENS machines, it’s only possible to use one pad at a time. Users should move the pads they use around to find the best placement for effective delivery of electric current.
3. Where NOT To Use Pads
There are some common sense guidelines about where not to place TENS unit pads. The pads should not be placed close to the mouth, neck, or eyes. Electrode pads should never be placed on newly healed wounds or on open wounds. In addition, TENS unit pads should not be placed over joints. These areas can be extremely sensitive to electrical impulses; using TENS over injured joints can also cause further damage.
4. Optimal Placement
For people who suffer from pain that runs vertically over a large area of the body, the optimal TENS unit pad placement is to have a pad at the top of the painful area and to have another pad at the bottom. Lower back pain sufferers should place pads on either side of the affected area. Avoid placing the pads too close to the spinal cord. There are also several manufacturers which offer electrodes in different shapes and sizes to better help patients find the most suitable pad.
TENS therapy has brought pain relief to thousands of people, however, it’s best to always consult a physician prior to starting TENS treatment. Although TENS units can be purchased over-the-counter, this form of therapy is best used in consultation with a physician.