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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

TENS Unit For Forearm Tendonitis: Is It Effective?

A muscular man holding his wrist

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is an effective method of pain relief for various pain conditions. It works by blocking pain signals, triggering the release of endorphins, and improving blood circulation in the affected area. This can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with tendonitis in the forearm. Using a TENS unit for forearm tendonitis does not require medication or invasive procedures, making it a safer option. Moreover, it comes with wired or wireless variants.

Forearm tendonitis is a condition where the tendons become inflamed due to repetitive motion. It is a common complaint among individuals who perform tasks that involve repeated movements of the wrist and arm. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, and limited range of motion in the affected area. One alternative treatment for this condition is TENS therapy. This article will present the mechanism of action, proper usage, and safety precautions of TENS devices for forearm tendonitis.

Mechanisms of Action Behind TENS Unit for Forearm Tendonitis

A TENS unit for forearm tendonitis works by utilising electrical impulses to provide relief from pain and discomfort. When the electrode pads of the unit are placed on the affected area, they emit electrical stimulation. This electrical stimulation helps in inhibiting the transmission of pain signals to the brain, thereby blocking the pain sensations from reaching the person.

Additionally, the electrical pulses from TENS promote the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body. Endorphins help in reducing the perception of pain and provide a sense of overall well-being. This release of endorphins acts as an analgesic effect, further contributing to forearm pain relief.

Furthermore, the electrical stimulation from the TENS unit improves blood circulation in the forearm. By increasing blood flow to the affected area, the muscles and body tissues receive an adequate oxygen and nutrient supply, promoting healing and recovery. Improved blood circulation also helps in reducing inflammation, swelling, and stiffness associated with forearm tendonitis. As a result, it aids in restoring normal function and supporting daily activities.

Benefits of TENS Treatment

  • Pain relief: TENS can provide effective pain relief from various acute or chronic pain conditions. These include neuropathic pain, musculoskeletal pain, and muscular pain.
  • Non-invasive and drug-free: this effective treatment does not involve surgical procedures. TENS also offers an alternative to drug pain treatment.
  • Customisable parameter settings: TENS electrical devices feature adjustable pulse duration, pulse rate, and amplitude to cater to individual needs and preferences.
  • Portable: most TENS units are lightweight and compact. This allows individuals to incorporate TENS pain therapy into their daily routine.
  • Cost-effective: it eliminates the ongoing cost of pain medications or the frequent visits to healthcare providers.

Step-by-step guide on how to operate the iTENS app

How to Operate a TENS Unit for Forearm Tendonitis

To operate a TENS unit for forearm tendonitis, first, ensure the device has enough power. Then, select a suitable program mode on the TENS unit. Start with a low intensity and frequency level and gradually increase it. After setting up, the user should apply the electrode patches to the forearm tendonitis area for about 20 to 30 minutes per session. This should be done several times a day.

Consistent use over several weeks of treatment may lead to a reduction in pain intensity. It may also improve the ability to perform usual activities without worsening pain. Adherence to the treatment plan is crucial for experiencing positive effects, as poor adherence may limit the effectiveness of the pain therapy.

It is important to note that TENS therapy may not be suitable for some people, especially those with dermatological conditions. If considerable pain persists or if there are any abnormal sensations during use, individuals should consult with a healthcare provider. TENS units are common in primary care settings, but portable devices are available for personal use. They may also come with belt clips for convenience during use.

Pad Placement Guide

The pad placement guide consists of two important steps. Firstly, ensure that the treatment area is clean and dry. This helps to prevent any potential infections and promotes better electrode contact with the skin. The individual should thoroughly clean the forearm with mild soap and water, and then pat it dry.

Secondly, place one TENS pad near the tender spot on the forearm. Position the second electrode patch a few inches away from the first one, either above or below the painful area. This placement ensures that the electrical stimulation effectively targets the affected tendon, aiding in effective pain relief and promoting healing.

iTENS small wing kit with written features

Safety Precautions When Using a TENS Unit for Forearm Tendonitis

TENS therapy is supported by clinical evidence and individual trials as an effective form of analgesia for chronic or acute pain, including forearm tendonitis. However, it is important to follow proper safety precautions. For instance, it is crucial to carefully read and understand the user manual provided by the manufacturer. This will provide instructions on how to properly use the device.

Additionally, avoid placing the electrode patches directly over the inflamed area. Instead, they should be in the surrounding area to target the underlying musculoskeletal condition. Moreover, avoid prolonged usage, as it may cause overstimulation of the skin and nerves. As such, the best practice is not to exceed one hour per treatment.

A TENS unit for forearm tendonitis may produce a strong sensation, but it should never cause any physiological pain or discomfort. It is essential to start with a low setting and gradually increase it if necessary. It is also vital to avoid using the TENS unit near the head, neck, or heart. By following these safety precautions, individuals can effectively use a TENS unit to manage their forearm tendonitis.

When to Seek Professional Help?

When experiencing forearm tendonitis, it is crucial to know when to seek professional help. If the pain persists despite rest and home remedies, it is time to consult a healthcare provider. Professional guidance can help accurately diagnose the condition and provide targeted treatment to alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage.

Furthermore, if forearm tendonitis interferes with daily activities or significantly affects the ability to perform tasks, seeking professional help becomes imperative. A healthcare provider can offer personalised advice on modifying activities, prescribing appropriate exercises, and recommending ergonomic adjustments. By seeking professional help early on, individuals can effectively manage forearm tendonitis.


A TENS unit for forearm tendonitis effectively relieves pain by blocking pain signals and promoting the release of endorphins. Its electrical pulses also improve blood circulation, aiding in healing and reducing inflammation. To operate the unit, ensure it has power, select a suitable mode, and start with low settings, gradually increasing it. Apply electrode patches near the affected area for 20-30 minutes, several times a day. Consistent use over weeks can reduce pain intensity and improve daily activities.

Individuals can benefit from using a TENS unit when they use it safely. By following the user manual, avoiding direct placement over inflamed areas, and limiting usage, individuals can effectively manage pain. However, if pain persists despite home remedies or interferes with daily activities, they must seek professional help. Healthcare providers can accurately diagnose the condition and provide personalised treatment plans. Early intervention ensures effective management of forearm tendonitis and prevents further complications.

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