A Guide to Using TENS Units
A TENS unit is used to control pain. It can be used to control short term pain such as that caused by surgery or an accident or it can also be used for chronic pain caused by the likes of arthritis, muscle or back pain and cancer pain. It is an especially effective means of alleviating pain for those who have problems taking medicine.
Before commencing treatment with a TENS unit, you first need to do the following:
- You should first test the battery to ensure that it is fully charged. Ensure that the control knobs are also turned off before commencing treatment.
- Clean the area where you will place the electrodes and then ensure that you have dried it. It is recommended that you use alcohol to clean this area.
- Next you should apply a thin coat of gel under the electrodes. This helps send the electric signal to the nerves in the skin.
- Attach the electrodes to the affected area on your skin using tape or a sticky patch. Then you hook the pin connectors onto the end of the electrode wires and plug these onto the TENS unit.
- The next step is to adjust the control knobs to the desired setting. This should elicit a tingling sensation.
If you are using carbon silicone with skin mounts, you start by:
- Cleaning and drying the black electrode
- Peel off the liner from the adhesive mount.
- Align the black electrode onto the adhesive and press into place making sure that there are no air bubbles trapped in between.
- Place the leads wire into the electrode and then remove the liner from the adhesive. Do not discard the liner as this can be reused during storage.
- Ensure that you replace all adhesive mounting after 3 to 5 days.
If you are using reusable self-adhering you should:
- Extract the electrodes from the pouch and reseal to protect those remaining
- Connect the lead wires before removing electrodes from the liner.
- Peel off the liner and place it in storage.
- If the electrode seems dry, apply some gel before placing it on your body.
- Do not use the electrodes anywhere near water.
- If you feel that the stimulation has reduced then you should replace the electrodes
If you are using Multi-day self-adhering then you need to:
- Connect the lead wires to the electrode before removing them from the paper liner.
- Remove the liner from the electrode and its ready for use.
- This electrode can stay in place for 2 to 5 days and can be used around water, like if you are swimming or bathing.
After the treatment, turn off the TENS unit and unplug the electrode wires. If you are expecting another TENS treatment, you may leave the electrodes on your skin.
Do not use a TENS unit unless advised by the doctor.