HomeElectrotherapyTENS Unit Pad Placement: Basic Guidelines
TENS Unit Pad Placement: Basic Guidelines
June 24, 2015  |  Posted by Dr. Josephine Bitler

TENS Unit Pad Placement: Basic Guidelines

Finding the correct placement of electrodes isn’t a one-shot deal. As a matter of fact, it took me a lot of trial-and-error to finally obtain maximum pain relief from the Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit. It also helps if you look up for some guidelines on the Internet regarding the proper placement of TENS unit pads.

Sometimes, you can still obtain some pain relief even when the electrode pads are not properly placed. However, it will not be as fast and as good as when the electrodes are on the right spots. Experts say that TENS unit pad placement isn’t really an exact science. There are, however, different methods that would help you determine where to stick the electrodes.

If it’s your first time using the TENS unit pad, you may ask for the assistance of your physician. First up, you’ll be taught how to locate your “acupoints” or trigger points. These are the spots where the nerves are most irritable and are usually located on the sides of the body. You will also learn about dermatomes which are areas of the skin where sensory nerves are located.

There are also placement patterns that your doctor will teach you. For instance, if you’re experiencing pain in your lower back, you will place the electrodes on both flanks but not directly on the spine. On the other hand, if the pain is located on your arm or a specific joint, experts said that electrode placement should be near the painful area.

Electrodes may also be placed on different segments of the spine for pain with deep origin, otherwise known as sclerotome or myotome pain. If you still don’t obtain pain relief with the above methods, you may have to use the inferential method of electrode placement and bombard the area with all four electrodes, on the top and bottom and on either side.

Remember to listen attentively to your physician during the tutorial session. By knowing these basic guidelines, you sure are on your pain to living a pain free life. Most especially if you are using DONECO® TENS unit pads.