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TENS Unit Electrode Placement Guide

What makes a TENS Unit so popular is the ability to target almost any pain point on your body as well as customize the treatment intensity and length. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Units are effective in treating both chronic and acute pains, including arthritis, sciatica, sore muscles, fibromyalgia, and more. Because you're targeting a specific painful area, making sure your tens unit pads are placed in the right area is critical. Failure to place electrode pads on the right spot will result in very little to no pain relief.

How to Place TENS Unit Electrodes

It's best practice to place TENS unit pads (electrodes) near the painful/injured area. This type of placement is called contiguous placement. Placing the electrodes in this manner causes the electrical current to be directed through or around the area of pain. We've highlighted this treatment style below in our TENS Unit Placement Guide:

TENS electrodes placement chart PDF

Download the tens electrode placement chart PDF Version of the TENS 7000 Electrode Placement Guide

TENS Unit Electrode Placement Tips and Best Practices

1. Locate exactly where your pain is. Gently start feeling or pressing the area where you're in discomfort. Doing this will help identify the sharpest pain point.
2. Use a minimum of two pads for pain treatment. Using one pad will not provide pain relief. Four pads are even more useful for optimal pain treatment.
3. Testing out the distance between each tens unit pad as this will alter the flow of the electrical current
4. TENS Unit pads can be placed horizontally, vertically, or at an angled position.
5. Make sure the pads are not touching and at least one inch apart. The further the pads are apart, the weaker the treatment is. Closer is stronger but never touching.
6. Never place the electrodes joints such as knees, ankles, or elbows since movement will altar how well the pads stick to your skin.
7. Never place the electrodes on or near your face.
8. When applying for the first time, be sure to program your TENS unit to a low-intensity level and increase as needed.

    Tips for Skin Care

    If you have sensitive skin, it's essential to follow these suggestions:

    1. Wash the area of skin where tens unit pad placement will occur using mild soap and water before and after treatment. Make sure the surface is clean and dry.
    2. Excess hair may be clipped with scissors; do not shave the stimulation area.
    3. Many skin irritations occur from the "pulling stress" from adhesive patches that are excessively stretched across the skin during application. To keep this from happening, apply electrode pads from the center outward; avoid stretching tens unit pads over the surface.
    4. When removing electrodes, always remove by pulling in the direction of hair growth.
    5. It might be helpful to rub skin lotion on electrode placement area when not wearing electrodes.
    6. Never apply electrodes over irritated or broken skin.

      Keeping Your Electrodes in Good Condition

      1. Keep your electrodes in a resealable bag in a cool, dry place between treatment sessions.
      2. For improved application, spread a few drops of cold water over the adhesive and turn the surface up to air dry. Oversaturation from water can reduce the adhesion of the electrode.



        About TENS 7000

        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 unit having sold over a million since 2008. Stop letting aches and pain hold you back — live life on your terms. 

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