Electrode Types & Placement Recommendations for TENS Units
Electrode Types and Sizes
Electrodes are available in a broad range of sizes and shapes. Since many electrodes are available, patients can select their required electrode according to their needs or the body part they want to use the electrode on.
For instance, two of the smaller TENS patches on any of the sides of the spine. They can be used to treat neck pain by being applied to the back of the neck. The larger versions of the patches can be applied to treat muscular pain in the upper legs or the back.
Let us take a look at the standard shapes and sizes electrodes are available in:
2 X 2″ Square Electrodes
This is the most popular size and shape of electrodes. The majority of the TENS devices contain two output wires that are connected to two self-sticking electrodes each. So, that means simultaneously; four electrodes can be applied to the body.
The recommended body areas where the electrodes should be used are the hips, thighs, knees, shoulders, and neck. They can also be used for pain related to a herniated disk, upper back pain, and sciatica pain.
2 X 2″ Round Electrodes
These electrodes are the best for smaller body parts such as ankles, cervical pain, elbow pain, wrists, and neck. Apart from that, they are also excellent for pain regions related to migraine headaches or carpal tunnel syndrome.
2 X 4″ Oval Electrodes
These are typically used for pelvic pain, foot pain, or hip pain.
2 X 3.5″ Rectangular Electrodes
These function effectively on regions such as the forearms, thighs, knees, and lower back.
3″ x 5″ Rectangle Ultra MicroBlock Antimicrobial Electrodes
These electrodes function best for upper/lower back pain, menstrual cramps, muscle therapy, or massage. These electrodes mainly help eliminate and halt the spread of common harmful bacteria present on or around the region where the electrode is being administered.
4″ X 6″ Butterfly Electrode
These electrodes give the users maximum coverage over sizeable areas like the lower back. If you follow an active lifestyle, then these electrodes will prove flexible enough to accommodate it.
7″ X 3″ Butterfly Medium Electrode
This electrode is fantastic for pain around the knee, thighs, neck, shoulders, upper back pain, and lower back pain.
8″ X 3.5″ Butterfly Large Electrode
This electrode works the best for more significant regions such as the area around the knee, thighs, neck, shoulders, upper and lower back.
Recommended Placement of Electrodes
To ensure that your TENS therapy turns out successful, it is crucial to carry the electrode’s placement properly. Before placing the electrodes on the desired body part, be sure to check that the machine is powered off. Follow these tips regarding the placement of the electrodes :
- This is for when you feel that your ache is spread over a vast area of your body, such as just above the back of your knee to your lower back. Vertically attach one of the electrodes at the bottom of your painful area and connect another electrode vertically to the aching area’s upper part.
- When you feel that your pain is concentrated on one smaller region, such as the calf. In a parallel fashion, attach two electrodes on either side of your pain area.
- This is for when your pain exists while intersecting one of your joints, such as your elbow. In a parallel and horizontal direction, attach two electrodes. One electrode will be placed on the soft tissue or muscle right below your joint and the other right above it.
- This is for when you feel that your soreness is stretching along your back. Vertically, attach electrodes to the right and left sides of your spine. If your soreness is stretching above or below the shoulder area, your electrodes can be directed to spread over the painful area more.
As we have explained above, electrodes play a very significant role in pain relief and therapy. It is vital to use the electrodes properly. Be sure to place them as per the given guidelines for a fruitful outcome. Furthermore, ensure that you check the machine and the electrodes before every session and replace them if worn out.