TENS Electrodes

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Tens Electrodes

When purchasing TENS units, you will notice in the product pictures and videos they have electrodes, or “pads” that come with the unit. Every unit consists of a specific number of electrodes, with varying shapes and sizes too, based on the description of the unit you buy.

Our Tens Electrodes are specifically designed to fit with specific machines or fit for a purpose - this purpose could be a larger surface area to treat back pain, or sensitive skin electrodes to suit softer more sensitive skin. 

What are Tens Electrodes?

Tens Electrodes are self-adhesive electrodes that are used to connect with the pain center in the brain, and used alongside a Tens Machine. The number of pads on a Tens Machine will vary. Some machines may use one electrode, whilst others may use 2 or 4 electrodes at a time - usually it depends on the customer preference but also the area they aim to treat.

Tips to Place the Tens Unit Electrodes

  • Place the tens electrodes on either side of the pain inflicted area

  • Activate the unit based on instructions

  • The TENS electrodes should be placed between half an inch to one and a half-inch from the main pain area for the best results.

  • After a specific time, peel the electrodes away from the skin

  • Do not pull the pads by the wire, or it can damage electrodes or the attached electrical connection.

The tens machine pads should be applied to clean, dry skin. They can be used for varied applications. However, we’d recommend using our guides that come with Tens Machines to help prolong the life of an electrode.

Changing TENS Unit pads – When and How?

To put it simply, you can change the pads when they no longer stick to the skin. If you use the pads often, it is evident that the changing of pads will often be. It all boils down to the conditions in which it is used.

We recommend prior to using the Tens Electrode, the skin on the pain afflicted area needs to be cleaned with soap and water and dried thoroughly. Use the TENS unit only after the skin is completely dried. Do not get the Tens pads wet. If the pads are subjected to wetness, the adhesive properties are bound to get lost sooner than expected and will need to be replaced. Allow your skin to dry thoroughly before using the electrodes and thus extend the usable life of the TENS unit pads..

Also consider your body hair, which can reduce the life of the electrodes considerably. Contact with body hair can be instrumental in reducing the adhesive qualities of the pads. It is highly recommended that one shave areas of hairy skin before the electrodes are applied, especially if you wish to extend the usability of pads for a long period of time.

TENS Electrode Placement Guidelines:

There is no definite and general answer to the question as to where to place the electrodes. A number of case studies have shown that different placements of the Tens electrodes have proven to be effective for different patients and for different symptoms. 

Keep in mind that a proper placement will not only relieve pain, but also relieve it very quickly. Whereas an undesirable placement may still relieve pain, but it will take much longer to do so. 

Once you have familiarised yourself with the controls and features of your tens machine, it is then important to place the electrodes in a position that gives you the most pain relief. This can at times take 3-4 attempts to find the most suitable positions. 

If you’re using 2 electrodes, place the electrodes directly onto the painful area at a position where you feel the pain starts and where it finishes, however as mentioned, it may take a few adjustments to find the right placement of treatment. 

TENS Electrode Placement for Sciatica

Finding the optimal placement for TENS electrodes to treat sciatica pain can vary based on individual preference and the specific location of the pain. Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

  1. Initial Placement: Begin by placing the electrodes on either side of your spine at different vertebral levels. This can help target the nerves that might be contributing to your sciatic pain.
  2. Adjust and Experiment: It may take a few attempts to locate the most effective spot. Adjust the electrodes slightly up or down and note any changes in pain relief.
  3. Targeting Painful Areas: If your pain radiates down your leg, consider placing one electrode on your lower back and another on your thigh or calf where you feel the most discomfort.
  4. Specific Programs: Utilise the specific programs designed for sciatica that come with your TENS machine. These programs are tailored to provide the most effective relief for sciatic pain.
  5. Explore Different Options: Once you find an effective placement, you might want to experiment with other electrode positions or different types of electrodes to enhance your relief further.

To find out a little bit more, click here for tens machines for sciatica.

Tens Electrode FAQ’s

  • What are TENS electrodes? - TENS electrodes are adhesive pads or patches utilized in transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy. Their purpose is to administer low-level electrical impulses to specific areas of the body in order to alleviate pain.

  • How do TENS electrodes work? TENS electrodes function by transmitting electrical impulses through the skin and into the underlying tissues. These impulses help to stimulate nerves, interfering with pain signals and providing relief. The electrodes are connected to a TENS device that regulates the intensity and frequency of the electrical pulses.

  • How do I correctly apply TENS electrodes? - To properly apply TENS electrodes, begin by cleanING and then drying the skin in the targeted area. Remove the protective electrode holder and firmly press the electrode against the skin. Ensure that the electrode adheres securely and that all edges are in contact with the skin.

  • How long can TENS electrodes be worn? The recommended duration for wearing TENS electrodes may vary depending on the manufacturer and individual comfort. Typically, the electrodes can be worn for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to several hours per session. However, it is important to follow the instructions provided by the TENS device manufacturer and consult with your doctor for specific recommendations if and when required.

  • How often should I replace TENS electrodes? The lifespan of TENS electrodes may differ based on factors such as frequency of use, skin type, and maintenance. Generally, the electrodes should be replaced after approximately 10 to 20 uses or when the adhesive begins to loosen or lose its stickiness. 

  • Can TENS electrodes be reused? TENS electrodes are designed for single-patient use and are not intended for reuse. Attempting to reuse electrodes can lead to poor adhesion and less effective treatment. It is best to use new electrodes for each TENS therapy session.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with TENS electrodes? TENS therapy is generally considered safe when used as instructed. However, some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions to the adhesive used in the electrodes. If you encounter any discomfort or adverse reactions, discontinue and look into our range of sensitive skin electrodes.