Australian Registered Medical Device

Same day dispatch

12-month warranty

Professionally endorsed

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

TENS Unit for Hand Pain: Pad Placement Guide for Effective Relief

A man holding his aching left hand

Arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or repetitive strain injuries are the common causes of acute and chronic pain in the hand. This can be debilitating and significantly impact daily activities. Fortunately, a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS unit for hand pain can help alleviate the aches. However, users must ensure proper pad placement to achieve optimal results. Thus, they should attach the adhesive electrodes on the palm, back of the hand, or wrist.

Aside from chronic and acute hand pains, physical therapists utilise TENS to alleviate other pain conditions. These include neck pain, knee joint pain, back pain, and labour pain. Traditionally, patients visit clinics, centres, or hospitals to undergo TENS therapy sessions. Nowadays, they can purchase a personal unit to use anywhere and anytime. To learn more about the TENS device, the article will present what it is, how it works, and how to effectively place the sets of electrode pads.

What is a TENS Unit for Hand Pain?

A TENS unit for hand pain is an electronic device that releases electrical impulses to relieve pain. Medical professionals often administer this form of electrotherapy to patients suffering from chronic and acute pain in the hands. Moreover, individuals can use it as a convenient at-home treatment option. Many people rely on it because it naturally reduces discomfort.

Interested buyers must know there are various TENS machine types. The most popular are handheld and wireless models. The former requires users to connect the control panel to the electrode patches using wires. Meanwhile, the latter allows individuals to manually or remotely adjust the settings and modes. Nevertheless, both kinds are portable and easy to operate. Hence, TENS is a versatile option for those dealing with hand pain.

The electrical nerve stimulation device can effectively lessen hand pain intensity. However, people must know that it is not a cure for the underlying cause of the pain. Thus, it is best to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. However, for many individuals dealing with hand aches, incorporating a TENS unit into their pain management routine can be valuable.

Types of Hand Pain

  • Arthritis pain – Inflammation and stiffness in the joints of the hand causes this, leading to discomfort and limited range of motion.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – Occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed. Then, the nerve damage causes pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers.
  • Tendonitis – The inflammation of the tendons in the hand. Consequently, it results in aches, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected area.
  • Ganglion cysts – Noncancerous lumps that can form along the tendons or joints of the hand, causing limiting movement.
  • Trigger finger – A condition where one of the fingers or thumb gets stuck in a bent position.

A man applying a TENS electrode on an elderly woman's wrist

How a TENS Unit for Hand Pain Works

TENS keeps hand pain under control by stimulating the nerve cells using gentle electrical pulses. One of the mechanisms of action for reduction in pain is pain gating. Electrical stimulation blocks the pain signals that typically travel to the brain, which reduces mild to intense pain. This is based on the principle of Gate Control Theory.

The TENS unit for hand pain also stimulates the nerves to release endorphins and decrease painful sensations. Endorphins are natural painkillers the human body produces. When these chemicals are activated, they bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Subsequently, this results in natural pain relief in the hands.

In addition, the small, battery-operated device can help improve blood circulation in the hand. By increasing blood flow, the machine can alleviate muscle tension and stiffness, providing relief from conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. Also, using TENS with other therapies or medications can further enhance its effectiveness in managing mobility and hand pain.

Low and High Frequencies

Applying low-frequency settings, less than 10 Hz, can reduce chronic hand pain and promote muscle relaxation. This is because low-frequency electrical stimulation can target sensory nerves in the hand. Then, it can stimulate the natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body. However, users may need to wait a while to feel its effects.

On the other hand, high-frequency settings, more than 50 Hz, can alleviate acute hand pain. This method of pain relief is known to reduce the transmission of pain receptors in the nervous system. As a result, it provides immediate relief. Nevertheless, individuals should note that its effects may diminish just as fast.

A woman touching the TENS machine on her left hand

Pad Placement When Using a TENS Unit for Hand Pain

Correct electrode placement is essential when using a TENS unit for hand pain. Before attaching the electrode patches to the skin, ensure it is clean by washing the area with mild soap and water. Then, dry it thoroughly. Likewise, remove dirt or dust from the pads. These will help improve the conductivity of the adhesives and ensure a better connection to the skin.

One of the placements of electrode patches for hand pain is on the palm. Attach the pad in the centre. Another position would be on the back of the hand, near the base of the fingers. For a more comprehensive approach, apply one electrode on the palm and another on the back of the hand at once. This allows for a more widespread coverage of the affected site.

Placing TENS pads on the wrist can also be beneficial. The electrodes should be positioned on the inner side of the wrist, directly over the median nerve. This nerve runs through the wrist and into the hand. Hence, targeting this area can help alleviate discomfort. Experiment to find the most effective position for specific hand aches.

How to Operate the Device

Before operating a TENS device, ensure it is charged and ready to use. Then, attach the pads to the skin. Once they are in place, turn the machine on and allow the electrical impulses to stimulate the nerves. Note that the sensations should not hurt. Otherwise, it may indicate the intensity is too high and should be adjusted accordingly.

Users can modify settings manually through the control panel on the TENS device. Meanwhile, those with wireless units can utilise the mobile app they come with. Keep the machine on for the recommended time, usually around 15-30 minutes, and then switch it off.


TENS is a method of pain relief that utilises a handy electrical device. It can alleviate chronic and acute pain in the hands without needing drugs or needle insertions. The TENS unit for hand pain delivers low-voltage electrical currents to the affected area. Then, it interrupts the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Moreover, it can trigger more endorphins to be released and improve blood circulation. Use this medical treatment regularly to reduce discomfort and improve hand function significantly.

When using a TENS device to alleviate hand aches, users should place the electrode patches on the back of the hand, the palm, or the wrist. Using this treatment option is relatively simple and non-invasive. By understanding how to operate the machine properly and place the pads correctly, individuals can experience significant relief and regain their quality of life. With the ability to adjust the settings of the electrical currents, TENS units offer personalised pain management tailored to specific needs.

Best Sellers

Shopping Cart
Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
Calculate Shipping

We have detected you are from the United States

We ship to all locations within the United States.
Prices will be automatically converted into USD.

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?

Would you like to add extra Gel Pads?


The item you’re adding to your cart doesn’t have any gel pads.

Note: iTENS wings should always be used with a gel pad.