How To Use A TENS Unit And Benefits Of A TENS Unit

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS is a popular treatment for pain nowadays. Due to the simplicity and efficiency, it is widely used by a large number of men and women from all over the world.

A TENS package includes a TENS unit and many small sticky patches, which are also called electrodes. Fundamentally, patients will stick them on their skin, where the pain takes place, and use the unit to control the electrical signals putting on them. Of course, the signals are safe and can transmit a positive pulse into nerves to relieve the pain. That is why this treatment is even more useful than any heating pads or massage equipment.

Nevertheless, many people are still wondering about its uses and benefits. Therefore, in this article today, I will show you detailed information about how to use a TENS unit and which body part it can be used. If you are suffering from significant pain or having somebody related experiencing it, this article is worth reading.

How to use a TENS unit?

Before discovering how to take advantage of it, you need to know what it is made of. This video will show you that:

1. How to use a TENS unit for back pain?

Back pain is the most common type you can have on your body. The world is getting busier and busier and spending over 8 hours a day sitting in the office is usually a reason for this type. The pain often takes place at the space between the shoulder-blades, or the middle or lower of the back. At first, you will feel it when sitting in the same position for an extended period. And then, it will start to last longer and longer.

To use TENS unit for back pain, you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Locate where the pain is
  • Step 2: Stick the electrodes around that place. To cover and control the pain, you need to stick them reasonably. It’s best to have a symmetrical shape, which two patches are on the left side and the others are on the right side. Making them look like the corners of a rectangle or lozenge is the best.
  • Step 3: Find the most comfortable position and hit the power button.

2. How to use a TENS unit for neck pain?

Neck pain also usually happens if you work at the office. There are various reasons for it, such as injuries of the neck muscles, arthritis, whiplash, or pinched nerve. You will often feel painful in the area behind and under your head, where millions of nerves gather around. It will be a little weary, and you may not or find it hard to turn your head to the left or right when having a neck pain.

To use TENS unit for neck pain, you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Locate where the pain is
  • Step 2: Stick the electrodes around that place. This time, you still need a symmetric shape but not a rectangle or lozenge anymore. Try to make the patches look like the corners of an isosceles trapezium, and you have covered all of the space of your neck.
  • Step 3: Find the most comfortable position and start the unit.

3. How to use a TENS unit for shoulder pain?

This type of pain often takes place on your body when you have to carry something heavy on your shoulders in a long time or concentrate some pressure on them. You will feel the ache mostly on the part near your neck because it contains the most significant number of nerves. Besides, the pressures are always put there.

To use TENS unit for shoulder pain, you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Locate where the pain is
  • Step 2: Stick the electrodes around that place. There are two ways for you to do this.

The first one is stretching the patches out, which is if you want to relieve the pain instantly and your pain focuses on the part near your neck. Just stick two ones on left shoulder and two others on the right shoulder to start the treatment.

The second one is concentrating on one place, which is if you are hurt at the tip of your shoulders. Just stick one electrode on the front side of your shoulder, another one on the behind side, which is on your upper back. And stick the final ones on the tip of your shoulder, which is your bicep. With this type, remember to change from this shoulder to the other after you have done with one.

  • Step 3: Find the most comfortable position and hit the power button.

4. How to use a TENS unit for knee pain?

Knee pain is seen mostly in middle-aged, old people and sports players. Football, soccer, or hockey players are all at risk of having injuries. Having pain in the knee usually feels more tragic than other types of pain. The patients often and picture themselves unable to walk in the future find it difficult to walk, even if it is only a close distance.

  • Step 1: Locate where the pain is
  • Step 2: Stick the electrodes around that place. You may need larger patches in size to use in this situation if you want to get the results quickly.

Start sticking one electrode on your thigh, above the knee about 10 centimeters. Stick another one under the knee with the same distances of 10 cm; and then, stick the two final ones on the other side of your thigh, which are opposite to the previous ones. Your knee will be fully covered with those four patches.

  • Step 3: Find the most comfortable position and start the unit.

5. How to use a TENS unit for lower back pain?

If you already know how to treat your back pain, using a TENS unit for the lower area won’t be an obstacle for you. I will still give you some steps in case you need them.

  • Step 1: Locate where the pain is in your lower back area
  • Step 2: Stick the electrodes around that place, which create the corners of a rectangle or square. I believe you will feel comfortable immediately.
  • Step 3: Find the most comfortable position and hit the power button.

I think this part has fulfilled your question “TENS unit – how to use for back pain,” has it not?

Benefits of using TENS unit

1. Relieve the pain without medication

how to use a tens unit

Provided by:

This is one of the best TENS benefits. Before I discovered this treatment, I took the medication, which is a common method, like everybody else. However, after about a year, I found myself dependent on it. I had to go to see my therapist four times a week; otherwise, I would not be able to stand the pain. But who had enough time to take medications like that so often? I’m sure you can understand this fact. Therefore, after finding out TENS, I decided to use it and treat my pain at home.

Surprisingly, it was much more useful than the medication. Not only could I get massage but also inflammation reduction during the treatment process.  And according to my knowledge, relieving sciatica, pinched nerves or treating disk degeneration are some of other benefits of home TENS unit. If you are suffering from any of them, I’m sure you won’t need any other medication apart from TENS.

2. Convenient

This is also a TENS unit benefit that I really like. Because its size is usually subtle, you can take it anywhere. Your pocket, purse, or the box under car front airbag is some ideal places to keep the unit. Therefore, no matter how busy you are, you still can take it out and treat your pain at any time of the day.

I bring my TENS unit with me every day, even when I go to holidays. Keeping it by my side has become a habit, which is similar to you holding your cell phone. It runs on battery, so I find it very compact and convenient.

3. Cheaper than any constant therapy

It’s true. A TENS package takes only from 30 to 50 dollars while a continuous treatment costs hundreds of dollars per time. Moreover, having a TENS unit can be considered ten more times efficient than therapy. I know money may not be an important matter to you. In fact, you can even pay thousands of dollars for expensive treatments every day. But why waste so much money on a sub-optimal solution when you can come in for a cheaper and more useful one?

Think about that, and I believe you will choose the best option for yourself.

4. Maintain your mental and physical condition

One more benefit of TENS unit is that it can help you keep your health stable. Experiencing severe pain can lead to numerous changes in your life. For me, it was the schedule of the day. There was nothing unusual because instead of going out at weekends with my family, I stayed at home and lied on my bed all day. The reason was that I had had loss of sleep the night before due to the back pain and could not go to my therapist in the middle of the night.

If you are having such pain on your body, I believe you have been through my situation more than once. Moreover, some people even experienced irritable disposition and depression because of inability to resist the pain. Therefore, using TENS unit to reduce it can make you feel more comfortable in your mind and work better. Playing sports or doing exercises would be much easier as well. After taking this treatment, I gained back my previous life and felt even better because I appreciated it more than I used to.

If you still feel a little confusing, you can watch this video for more information:


Have you summarized any practical tips for yourself?

I hope you have. And if you like my writing, please share it with your friends and family. I believe these experiences are worth sharing. Furthermore, if you have any questions or opinions, I would be glad to reply. Please make comments down below.

Regardless, thank you for reading my article, and I hope to see you in my following ones. Goodbye.

Read more: Top 10 best TENS Units For Home Use Reviews