It is great to see TENS units have become available without a prescript
ion. The downside to the
opened availability is that people do not receive benefit of a physical therapist to provide hands on education and assessment of electrode placement and wave form best for their unique pain situation.
Disclosure: I am a licensed physical therapist (masters degree, but retired due to fragile health). I continue to maintain licensure.
One basic caveat: in placing a pair of elecrodes from the same lead, do not place the electrodes so that they are on opposite te sides if the spine. Place both paired electrodes from a single lead on the same side of the spinal column.
Although TENS units use low voltage batteries, there is concern about
the electromagnetic transfer through the spinal cord if paired electrodes from a single lead are placed on opposing sides of the spinal column.
Most TENS inits orovide a total of 4 electrodes. Two electrodes pair to a single lead.
For broad based back pain, then, place one pair of leads on the right side of the paravertebral muscles and the second pair of electrodes on the left side.
For pain that radiates down a leg, place the electrodes from one lead on the oars eternal muscles on one side of the back and the second electrode on the buttock or thigh where pain radiates. Place the electrodes from the second lead on the paravetevral muscles in the contralateral side of the first lead and the second electrode on a second area of radiating pain.
For pain that is of a small or well contained area, be aware that you do not need to use all 4 electrodes available. A TENS unit can be utilized using a single lead and its pair of corresponding electrodes. Be sure to use the control dial associated with the lead that has plugged in. I can recall patients calling me telling me that there unit was not working when, in fact, they had plugged the lead into a channel but were trying to adjust the intensity using the inactive channel dial.
In starting use of a TENS init, I generally advised patients to start low and slow. Start with a low intensity of current. Start by using the unit for a short period of time (ex. Unit on for 1-2 hours). See how your body reacts to use of a TENS init. Do not apply the electrodes and leave it on for 24 hours. Start low and go slow. Get to know the unit, its waveform, explore optimal electrode placements.
I hope your TENS unit purchase brings you pain modulation and relief.
Pituitary failure, wide-spread endocrine dysfunction
Mixed connective tissue disorder
Extensive intestinal perforation with sepsis, permanent ileostomy
Avascular necrosis of both hips and jaw
Receiving Palliative Care (care and comfort)
Post Edited ((Seashell)) : 3/31/2017 8:38:34 AM (GMT-6)