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How To Use A Tens Unit For Lower Back Pain

How Much Does A Tens Unit Cost

How to Use a TENS Unit With Low Back Pain. Correct Pad Placement

A TENS device is available online and can be used at home. Its not typically covered by insurance, but you also dont need a prescription for one.

A TENS unit is a $30 to $100 expense. Dr. Kahn explains that is it is not so helpful for acute back pain, but for almost all of my patients with chronic back pain, I do use it and prescribe it. You can typically count on a TENS unit to last several years, but you will need to replace the electrodes as frequently as weekly, which feature transmitting gel built in to the disposable pads. A months supply of electrodes costs roughly $10 to $15. Some units can be much more expensive, but its not clear that theres a benefit to devices in this premium price point.

TENS units on the higher end of the price range typically offer intensity levels that are powerful enough to stimulate and contract muscles for treating muscle spasms. Almost always, when you have spine pain, youre going to have muscle spasm and muscle irritability in the surrounding muscles of the spine, Dr. Kahn says.

Increase The Power Gradually

A TENS unit will never electrocute you, but it can give you a much bigger jolt than you were expecting. Overpowering the unit will not help your pain in fact, it can make it worse.

Its crucial to start at a lower power level. If you arent feeling significant results after ten minutes, then turn the power up on increment and repeat the process.

The Proper Tens Placement

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.

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Tens Pad Placement For Lower Back Pain

Strains and sprains can cause lower back pain from lifting heavy objects or unsafe methods. When using your TENS for lower back pain, this placement guide can help. Remember that your TENS placement for lower back pain may prevent you from bending over while in use. Because of the location, the pads can come undone from bending over.

What Is A Tens Machine

Is your TENS Unit Causing Muscle Spasms?  Optimize Health 365

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a treatment that administers mild electrical currents to the skin to relieve pain. A small, lightweight, hand-held, battery-operated device produces the electrical currents and lead wires send these currents to self-adhesive electrode pads that attach to your skin.

While using a TENS machine, youâll experience a non-painful tingling or buzzing sensation, and this can help to block or suppress pain messages. Two electrode pads are usually positioned either side of the area of most intense pain. This is done so that the TENS sensation covers the painful area.

Four electrode pads can be used to treat a larger area of pain. Youâll be able to control the strength, of the current thatâs passed through the electrodes, with a rotary knob or dial. Some machines have larger controls that are easier to use if your hand movements are limited.

Adjust the strength of the current until the tingling sensation from TENS is strong, but not painful. Youâll also be able to adjust the pattern and speed of the current, so that the TENS sensation is as comfortable as possible. Many TENS machines are digital and have helpful pre-sets to help you choose the best settings for your pain.

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Amazing Benefits Of Tens Unit Therapy

An astounding 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Either you or someone you know is suffering from chronic pain. Thankfully, Harvard Health states that non-drug treatments such as a TENS unit are very effective for treating pain.

The typical treatments for chronic pain are medications and/or surgery. Then you have to deal with side effects from those medications, causing you more pain and more medications.

The problem is, the last thing you want to experience is a life full of pain, living off medications, surgeries, and complications. You want to experience a quality of life, play with your family and not be stuck inside due to pain.

You can relax, theres a new treatment out there thats helping people with chronic pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, aka TENS unit, is making waves in alleviating some of the worst chronic pain.

Here are the top 7 reasons why.

Omron Pocket Pain Pro Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator

  • Utilizes Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation technology used by physical therapists and chiropractors for more than 30 years
  • Small, portable, easy-to-use, and can be used discretely anywhere
  • Safe, 100% drug-free relief for multiple pains

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Understanding Tens Vs Ems Therapy

There are two distinctly different types of therapy offered by sending mild electrical signals to muscles and they offer different types of benefits when it comes to muscle recovery and pain relief. They are sometimes collectively referred to as electrical stimulation or e-stim devices.

As mentioned above, a TENS machine offers relief by sending mild electrical pulses that block pain signals produced by nerves from reaching the brain where they are interpreted as discomfort.

On the other hand, an EMS machine is used in physical therapy and fitness environments to contract muscle fibers in a pulsating therapy to help improve circulation that helps with recovery as well as potentially leading to improved strength by forcing weakened muscles to flex, and reducing muscle atrophy. This type of therapy can also be used to help alleviate back pain caused by muscle spasms.

Machines that are designed for EMS therapy often offer stronger electrical pulses and it is important that you avoid applying these higher power signals when using your device for TENS therapy instead of EMS.

Both of the devices we received from VACOO support TENS as well as EMS modes and both types of therapy can be valuable for relieving lower back pain. For instance, you can use TENS settings to alleviate pain and EMS in the painful area to send out small electrical impulses that may help relieve muscle spasms.

How To Use Tens

How to use a TENS Unit for Lower Back Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

This is a general guide on how to use a TENS machine. Always follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions.

TENS machines are small and lightweight, so you can use them while working or on the move. You can put it in your pocket, clip it to your belt or hold it in your hand.

You can use TENS throughout the day for as long as you like, although it should not be used while you’re driving, operating machinery, or in the bath or shower.

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How To Write Ones Tens Hundred

What is TENS Unit?A TENS unit is a little, battery-powered gadget that sends out electrical impulses to particular nerve paths in order to help with pain relief. How To Write Ones Tens HundredThe Tens Unit can be used by itself or in mix with other treatment methods such as cold treatment, heat therapy, or medication. There are many scenarios in which a tens unit can be beneficial:

Arthritis Elbow pain .The device launches a small electrical existing that stimulates the nerve endings on the skin.I have actually been using this item for about a month, and so far Im extremely happy. I was searching for something that could do more as far as various therapies. Some brands do not have an EMS mode just 10.

A professional massage therapist reported he utilized the Tens unit on his clients in addition to for himself for individual use. It helps him unwind, de-stress, and reduces discomfort levels. This item is tidy, light weight, easy to use, and works well! I would recommend this item to anyone who wants relief from pain or just wishes to unwind & relax from a long difficult day at work.

What Is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Therapy Used To Treat

TENS therapy has been used or is being studied to relieve both chronic and acute pain. Some of the most common conditions for which TENS has been used include:

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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.

Identifying Proper Electrode Placement

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The key to a good TENS run is good electrode placement. Knowing a few rules of thumb about using your electrodes properly will save you a lot of trouble and pain in the long run. Remember, if your electrodes cant send current through your body effectively, it cant treat your pain.

Your electrodes should always:

  • Be exactly where the protocol indicates
  • Be applied with a modest but sufficient amount of conductive gel
  • Be applied to dry but uncracked skin
  • Refrain from causing current to pass through any tumors, open wounds, or infected areas
  • Be cleaned gently with soap and water after use
  • Be secured with a weak adhesive tape so that it doesnt hurt to remove

The purpose of each of these rules of thumb may not be obvious to you, but several of them are self-explanatory. The conductive gel is necessary to prevent the resistance of your skin from giving you shocks or burns.

This is also why the skin must be dry. If your skin is wet, there will be more resistance, which will cause heating and subsequent problems, not to mention inadequate pain relief.

Tumors, open wounds, and infected areas are all problems that your body needs to deal with alone. Passing a current through these areas will be painful, and may aggravate the issue. Electrical currents can stimulate cells to grow, and tumors typically have a different electrical resistance than the tissue around them.

Likewise, breached skin gives the electricity a shortcut which will be painful for you.

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Properly Maintaining Your Portable Tens Unit

Your TENS electrodes have a substantial lifespan approximately 20-25 stimulation sessions. And you can make them last even longer if you take care of them properly.

After each use, you should wipe down the sticky side of your PowerDot pads with antiseptic alcohol tissues. This will ensure that you remove any oil or hair that stuck to them from your body and helps to preserve the stickiness.

In between uses and before you pack the device away, you should also make sure that you replace the pads back on the safety film. This helps to preserve the adhesive. You only need to replace the pads when they no longer stick to your skin or theyre covered in lint.

We dont tell you any of this to give you the idea that using your TENS unit is complicated. Essentially, you apply the pads to your skin and turn it on. However, taking care to pay attention to a few extra details like putting your TENS unit pads in the right place, running it at the right intensity, taking it easy while youre using it, and taking care of it between uses will help you get the most impactful experience with PowerDot and prolong the longevity of your TENS device.

Shop PowerDots collections today.

Applying The Electrode Pads For Lower Back Pain Relief

Each type of application will require slightly different tens pad placement and it is advisable to seek a professional’s help for your first time. However, most people can do this at home very easily. For lower back pain, use four of these sticky pads called electrodes that come with most tens units.

These TENS pads should be placed in channel pairs that cross. For instance, if you use two different channels – place electrodes for channel one and channel two on top, spanning different sides of your lower back. Then follow by placing electrodes for channel two and channel one to create the bottom of the box across the lower area of the affected area.

Each channel should have two electrodes attached to the skin so that they can stimulate the nerves in the affected area.

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Patches Will Not Stay On Or In Place

  • Try to reactivate the sticky surface. Wet your fingertip with water and gently rub the patch surface. Let it dry for 60 seconds and try putting it on again.
  • Try using a skin prep product. This product is put on the skin before placing the patch. It helps the patches stick better. You can buy it online or at a medical supply store.
  • Sweating can cause the patches to move out of place. If this happens often and a skin prep product does not help, try to hold the patches in place with medical tape. Ask your health care team for instructions.

How Tens Machines Work And Where You Can Buy Them

How to Use a TENS Unit for Back Pain – Ask Doctor Jo

TENS machines can be bought without a prescription at pharmacies and on the internet. Ask your doctor to refer you to a physiotherapist, so you can try it out first. Yourphysiotherapist can show you how to use the machine properly and will get you to try TENS for a few hours a day until you get used to it. You may be able to borrow one for a specified period of time.

After this, you’ll be encouraged to use TENS regularly throughout the day, whenever you need pain relief. This is because the effects can be short-lived, although can last for hours after use.

TENS is safe, so you can use it as much as you like, although it’s good practice to take regular 10-minute breaks every hour or so. Some people use TENS for more than five hours a day.

It may be worth buying a TENS machine for home use. Before purchasing one, make sure the company will give you a refund within a certain time period if you find the it doesn’t help you .

TENS machines don’t vary too much in quality, so it shouldnt matter too much if you buy a relatively simple, inexpensive device. TENS equipment is normally exempt from VAT, as long as you sign the exemption declaration form before purchasing it .

Before you buy a machine, ask to be shown how to use it and where to put the electrodes.

Companies selling TENS machines are listed below. Please note: inclusion on this list does not imply a recommendation by Versus Arthritis and neither is the list comprehensive. It’s provided for ease of reference only.

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Tens Unit For Back Pain: Does It Really Work

If youre struggling with back pain, you may have been considering a TENS unit as a possible treatment option. But what is a TENS unit and how effective is it really?

A TENS machine is a small, portable device that delivers electrical impulses to the body through pads placed on the skin. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, and the machine is commonly used to relieve pain. The electrical impulses alter signals from the brain associated with pain, and can also stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.

While TENS machines are most commonly used to relieve muscle pain, they can also be effective for treating other types of pain, including different forms of back pain, like disc pain or arthritis. The pads can be placed on the lower back, and the electrical impulses can help to relieve pain and stiffness. TENS units for back pain are safe to use, and there are very minimal side effects. However, it is important to consult a doctor before using a TENS machine, as they are not suitable for everyone.

Check out this photo from Haldimand Physiotherapy Centre, they are using a TENS machine for knee pain:

What Is A Tens Unit

TENS units send a series of small electrical impulses across a gel pad that is placed onto the users skin. In short, these electrical impulses block pain receptors from sending their signals to your brain. It is known as the gate control theory and is similar to why you instinctively rub your little toe after crushing it off the coffee table.

TENS units used to only be available at doctors offices or physical therapy clinics for back pain but have recently hit the consumer market in a variety of styles and price ranges that alleviate pain quickly.

So how can you use your TENS unit to get some relief from that weekend landscaping project? Lets first talk about WHO should be using a TENS unit. These devices are intended for sufferers of acute or chronic pain. Meaning it is effective for use on back pain that started two hours ago or two years ago.

  • Consumers with pacemakers or implanted defibrillators should NOT use this product
  • Individuals who are pregnant or have a history of seizure disorders or active cancer should not use these devices unless specifically cleared by their physician to do so
  • Pads should never be placed on the front of your neck or chest, eyes, or over an area with known cancer or wounds.

To learn more about TENS unit settings click here.

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