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What are TENS Electrode Pads Used For?

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) therapy is a pain-relieving technique that employs a modest electrical signal through the skin into the nerves via electrode pads. The TENS electrode pads link to the battery-powered machine commonly called a TENS device. These electric signals can help alleviate pain and promote relaxation. It reduces the pain signals in the spinal cord and central nervous system. Furthermore, they induce increased endorphin production in the body. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers that can improve mood and provide a general feeling of well being. Pain management therapy using TENS encumbers the “Gate Control Theory of Pain”, which states that the spinal cord contains a gating mechanism called “neural gates”. These neural gates control the passage of pain signals. Moreover, using TENS therapy closes these neural gates, preventing the pain signals from reaching the brain.

High-quality devices are imperative for proper pain management treatment during TENS therapy sessions. The wireless iTENS unit, with its innovative wing-like design of their TENS electrode pads, is a highly effective TENS device for relieving pain with increased comfort and convenience.

TENS Electrode Pads: What Are They and How Do They Work?

TENS electrode pads connect to TENS machines to treat various pain symptoms and conditions. Moreover, they can also provide muscle strengthening and recovery. Some use them for electro-acupuncture applications as well. Electrodes, also known as electrochemical cells, are simple conduits for positive and negative electrons to transmit from point A to B in a circuit. 

These small TENS electrode pads are the foundation of TENS treatments, which means that while they are simple in theory, they are essential for pain alleviation. Two adhesive gel pads with conductors are to be placed on or around the location of pain during TENS therapy. A mild and painless electrical current then connects the two pads. While this electrical signal is hardly audible to the patient, it has a critical function: it stimulates the electrodes. The electrodes block pain signals to the brain by carrying a painless electrical current from one pad to the next. As the electrodes alter the brain’s sense of pain, the individual may experience a tingly feeling. The impact of these TENS electrode pads in pain management therapy is enormous. Therefore, the electrodes are used in TENS treatment to deliver efficient pain relief.

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The iTENS Device at iTENS Australia

The wireless iTENS unit is a contemporary electrotherapy medical device that contains innovation with the proven benefits of TENS therapy to provide effective and long-lasting pain relief through a simplified app. Furthermore, the iTENS unit is the world’s first FDA-cleared, true wireless TENS therapy device. Having FDA clearance ensures that the iTENS is safe to use as medical equipment and has undergone proper testing and certifications. Additionally, being wholly wireless and compact makes the iTENS device highly flexible. It dramatically increases an individual’s mobility even during TENS pain management treatments due to its portability. Moreover, not dealing with bulky machines and tangled wires can significantly make the user’s experience more pleasurable while undergoing TENS therapy treatments. Equally important, the iTENS has an innovative design for their TENS electrode pads.

iTENS’ Innovative TENS Electrode Pads

The iTENS’ TENS electrode pads have a unique wing design that makes pad placement seamless. The flexible wing design makes it possible to attain a full range of motions even while conducting TENS pain management therapy. Furthermore, iTENS Australia also offers various pad sizes. Firstly, the small wing electrode pad can provide pain relief on smaller and more flexible body parts, such as the ankles, knees, elbows, and wrists. Secondly, the large wing electrode pad can help provide maximum coverage on broader pain sites, such as the back, thigh and shoulder. Finally, the long strip electrode pads treat pain with extended coverage areas that radiate downwards. It is primarily for conditions like sciatica, iliotibial band and tendon pain.

Pad Placement

Proper pad placement is essential to get the most out of your TENS pain management therapy. You can follow this simple guide for placement of your TENS electrode pads:

  • Shoulder, waist, and lower back pain – you can place the pads on over the painful area (primarily for muscle pain). 
  • Joint pain – you can set the pads on either side of the joint or point of pain. 
  • Leg & calf – you can set the pads onto the upper and lower calf. 
  • Ankle & foot – you can set one pad on the sole and the other on the calf. 

However, some people may not feel comfortable placing the TENS electrode pads without the assistance and instruction of a professional healthcare practitioner. If unsure, you may seek professional advice on pad placement and how they work from your physician or physical therapist.

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TENS Electrode Pads: Maintenance

The iTENS devices are safe to use and are an efficient approach to relieving pain. Plus, they are reusable. The electrode pads can usually last for about 2 to 3 months, depending on the frequency of usage and the individual’s skin condition. Proper cleaning and skin preparation before and after each TENS therapy session can prolong the longevity of your TENS electrode pads. You may follow these simple guidelines on proper pad maintenance:

  • Ensure that you place the TENS machine electrode pads to clean and dry skin. Wash the skin with mild soap and water. 
  • Double-check if the pads are firmly placed onto your skin before each TENS therapy session.
  • It would be best not to use any cream, spray, or body lotion on your skin or the device when undergoing TENS therapy. 
  • Do not keep the electrode pads in a refrigerator. Keep in areas with storage temperatures between 5°C to 27°C.

How to Restore the Stickiness of Your Pads

Additionally, TENS electrode pads may lose their stickiness after some time, especially with increased usage. Fortunately, there are a few easy techniques to get TENS unit pads to be sticky again. Cleaning the pads and adding electrode gel or electrolyte sprays can extend the life of your TENS electrode pads and maintain them for more extended usage. Wipe off any debris, dirt or oils from your electrode pads using a damp washcloth. After which, you can use a toothbrush to brush them lightly. Thus, helping expose more of the sticky surface area of the pads. This will make the pads adhere to the skin more efficiently. Furthermore, you may also use electrode gels and electrolyte sprays to extend the stickiness of your TENS electrode pads. Applying these can make the pads more efficient in conducting electrical impulses.

The wireless iTENS unit and its various interchangeable TENS electrode pads and spare gel pads are available for purchase at iTENS Australia.