To ensure effectiveness of your TENS therapy it is very important that the placement of the pads is correct. Before beginning it is strongly advised that you have your physician show you and help you determine where are the correct areas of placing the electrode pads. Your physician will be familiar of different styles and locations for the pads to be placed for each individual patient.
As it is commonly know, patients respond differently to electrical stimulation. The initial intention to alleviate pain might no be achieved at first, this is because everybody reacts different to electric impulses. That’s why a little experimentation might be needed when placing the pads. Here’s why your physician’s role is important, he or she will help you locate the correct areas for pad placement and mark them for you in a reference guide, so you can continue using your TENS unit
Most TENS unit’s have the capability of having different type electrodes
adjusted to the machine allowing for a customizable reach and application for the different areas and pains experienced in the body.
The most common technique for pad placement is called the Contiguous Placement. This technique involves putting the electrode pads alongside the area where the pain is being felt; this is to find a way to conduct the flow through or around the area in pain. In areas such as the upper or lower back, you might want to try and perform what’s popularly called “the crisscross method”. This method consists of surrounding the pain site with electrodes to provide enough impulse to completely cover it and have larger current flowing.
For instance, if you are experiencing pain in your lower back, it is advised that you locate the area and place the electrodes surrounding where the pain is felt, more or like forming a square around it. With two electros on the upper right and upper left corner and two on the bottom left and bottom right corners. It is recommended that the electrodes are cleared away from the spine, as there is nothing that could conduct the current, it is why it is also recommended that you take advantage of the variety of different shapes and sizes the electrodes have. Some are small pads that could go only of you thigh or hamstring; others are longer and can cover much more space. There are also pads that come specially shaped to cover a larger areas or special needs.
Before placing the pads, you can take some precautions to avoid irritation and other unpleasant outcomes. Do not place the pads on scarred tissues or open wounds. Make sure that your skin is clean and cleared of any debris. It is also advised that you place the pads on areas where there is no hair, removing the pads it that case could be rather painful, and finally you might want to get some conductive gels
or lotions that can help wetting your skin and reducing resistance.
Related Read: TENS treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis