How to use electrode gel?
Your newly arrived TENS unit comes with a gel, and you may be wondering how to use electrode gel. What you do is you apply a thin coat of gel on the bottom of each electrode pad. The gel improves the conductivity of the electrodes. The pads are then attached to the area of the body to be treated, after having cleaned the skin with rubbing alcohol and drying it. Every time you are going to reapply the electrodes, you also have to renew the gel coating. After removing the gels in between sessions, the electrodes should be cleaned with soap and water to wash the gel away.
As already mentioned, TENS devices usually include electrode gel, but that is not necessarily always the case, and even if it were, it would still run out at some point or another. That is why you can also buy electrode gel separately. This product is generally a unique, water soluble, non-staining, conductive adhesive, which will secure the electrode pads in place, provide uniform prolonged contact, and can be used with EMS as well as TENS units. Electrode gel is more often than not salty and viscous, and it serves as a liquid agent between electrode and skin, allowing the electrode pad to detect electrical activity under the skin.
Theoretically speaking, you should be able to make your own conductive electrode gel with a plastic resealable bag, table salt, and a bit of aloe vera gel. The recipe involves placing 100 ml of aloe vera in the plastic bag, adding 20 grams of salt, sealing the bag, and mashing and mixing the contents. When the salt fully dissolves the conductive gel will be ready. Of course, if you’re just now starting to learn how to use electrode gel, maybe you should stick to buying it already made and ready to be used.
For example, Discount Medical Supplies has several options available, such as the Tensive Conductive Adhesive Gel by Clinical Health Services, and Conductor Gel. In addition to that, DMS also has pre-gelled TENS unit electrode pads, including the Butterfly Pre Gelled Electrodes, the Square Pre Gelled Electrodes, the Round Pre Gelled Electrodes, and the Oval Pre Gelled Electrodes. In any case, and just like every other aspect of TENS therapy, a doctor should be aware of what type of gel you are using, since one of the few side effects related to TENS treatment is precisely an allergic reaction to the conductive gel.
Related Read: Choosing the Correct Electrodes for your Tens Unit