Elbow pain is often caused by overactivity. People who play sports or participate in activities that use the arms (especially golf and tennis) are likely to develop pain in their elbows due to strain. Similarly, those who perform manual labor or care for small children often develop elbow pain. But elbow pain shouldn't mean giving up the activities you love. TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) units treat elbow pain, whether short-term or chronic, so you can participate in the hobbies you love while taking care of your body.
When it comes to alleviating pain, TENS units can help with the following:
Below you will find explanations of some of these conditions paired with guidance on where to place the TENS pads, given the particular elbow pain problem.
Placement for Pain Relief
Your pad placement must be correct to get the best out of your TENS pain management. You should always place the pads above and below the elbow and never on the bone.
Where to Place TENS Pads for Tennis Elbow
Many tennis players, as well as manual laborers and caregivers for children, suffer from tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). About 1-3% of people experience tennis elbow each year. This condition is often a result of trauma to the elbow or strain on the muscles associated with the joint. For people in their 30s and 40s, tennis elbow is usually a result of domestic activities or professional labor rather than recreation. You may notice difficulty performing everyday tasks, such as shaking hands or using a doorknob.
When using the TENS machines for tennis elbow, you should place the pads above and below the back of your elbow.
Where to Place TENS Pads for Tendonitis
Tendonitisoccurs when muscle tendons become inflamed or irritated, and this could be a result of many different activities using the elbow. If you are experiencing pain in the front of your elbow, just above your forearm, this could signify biceps tendonitis.
When using the TENS unit for tendonitis in the elbow, you should place the pads above and below the inside of your elbow.
Where to Place TENS Pads for Golfer's Elbow
Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) differs from tennis elbow in that it occurs on the inside of the elbow, while tennis elbow causes pain outside. It is a much less common condition than tennis elbow.75% of the time, this pain will be in the dominant arm. Aside from the placement of pain, the symptoms are similar. Despite its name, golfer's elbow can also be caused by racket and throwing sports, manual labor, and weightlifting. The condition is less associated with the activity and more with the inflammation of muscles attached to the elbow joint.
The pads should be placed above and below the inside of your elbow when using the TENS machine for the golfer's elbow.
Where to Place TENS Pads for Bursitis
Many of our joints are cushioned by fluid-filled sacs called bursae. When bursae become inflamed, it causes a condition called bursitis. Bursitis in the elbow (olecranon bursitis) may cause swelling, redness, aches, stiffness, and pain with movement. The patient will have a fever in about 50% of olecranon bursitis cases. While some activities may contribute to bursitis, it is also associated with stagnant poses—bursitis may be caused by putting continual weight on your elbows or sitting up on them for long periods. The elbow bursa is located outside the joint, so placing weight on that portion of the joint may irritate it.
For bursitis, placing the TENS pads above and below the outside of your elbow is best.
TENS Therapy for all Levels of Pain
With different conditions causing elbow pain and other locations of inflammation, the level of pain experienced can vary. TENS devices have the flexibility necessary to adjust to your needs. When using TENS, you can adjust the level of electric shock and variation sent to your body according to your pain levels. We always recommend starting at a low level and increasing to a higher frequency as needed.
About the Author
Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.
Pain sucks. It affects millions of people each year with adverse physical and mental side effects. TENS 7000 provides tools to combat pain and let people live life on their terms, pain-free. Our TENS 7000 TENS Unit is one of the top-rated over-the-counter TENS units, having sold over two million since 2008. Stop letting aches and pain hold you back — live life on your terms.
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