The location in the body where a patient is feeling pain determines where Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS pads should be placed, according to Tensunits.com. For example, electrode pads are placed on the lower back to ease pain in the femur or knee. Consult the Electrode Placement Chart on the TENS website for detailed instructions and diagrams.
A Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine works by sending pulses of low-voltage electrical currents across the skin and along the nerve stands to ease pain, according to WebMD. Electrode pads applied to the skin conduct the current from the machine to the body. The currents coming from a TENS unit can be turned up or down, ranging from 10Hz to 50Hz. Most sessions with a TENS unit last less than 15 minutes, and can be administered as often as needed.
TENS therapy is recommended for a variety of muscle, joint or bone problems such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, tendinitis, bursitis and other conditions. Some patients experience permanent pain relief after repeated sessions with a TENS unit while others need TENS therapy for a prolonged period of time, notes Healthline.com. Effectiveness ranges by condition and intensity of treatment. TENS machines should not be used by those who are pregnant or who have heart conditions.