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

TENS Unit for Hip Arthritis: What It Is, How It Works, and How to Use

A man holding his hip due to arthritis pain

Living with hip arthritic pain can negatively impact the quality of life. Fortunately, there is a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS unit for hip arthritis. It is a device that delivers electrical current to the body. Accordingly, the electrical stimulation works by blocking the pain signals, prompting the production of endorphins, and promoting blood circulation. Also, TENS devices are easy to use. One needs to identify the treatment area, place the electrodes, and adjust the settings.

Arthritis hip pain is a common condition that affects millions of people. This causes causing discomfort, stiffness, and limited mobility. Traditional methods of pain management, like pain medication, surgical interventions, exercise programs, or physical therapy, may not be suitable for everyone. Hence, it is where a TENS device comes in as an alternative treatment option. This article will present a TENS device for arthritis hip pain treatment, including how it works and how to operate it.

What is a TENS Unit for Hip Arthritis?

Hip arthritis is a condition characterised by inflammation and degeneration of the hip joint. Fortunately, there is a TENS unit for hip arthritis that can provide pain relief. It is a small, battery-operated device that sends low-voltage electrical currents to the body. Accordingly, it is commonly utilised by medical professionals, physical therapists, pain specialists, and even individuals.

TENS devices come in both wired and wireless forms. Wired TENS requires lead cables to connect the electrodes to the central unit. On the other hand, wireless TENS devices eliminate the need for physical wires. Hence, it provides greater freedom of movement. Nevertheless, people can control the therapy session manually using the control panels or through a smartphone application for wireless.

Furthermore, the key features of TENS often include adjustable settings. This allows users to tailor the electrical pulses to their individual needs. Many TENS machines also offer pre-set programs for specific conditions, including hip arthritis. This makes them user-friendly and adaptable to different ailment management needs. Also, some models extend the TENS unit with rechargeable battery functionalities.

Types of Hip Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritic pain: this is the most common type of hip arthritis. It is caused by the wear and tear of the hip joint over time.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: it is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and damage to the joints, including the hips.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis: this type of arthritis develops following a hip injury, such as a fracture or dislocation. The damage to the joint can lead to the development of arthritis over time.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis: this is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine. However, it can also cause inflammation and discomfort in the hips.

A small and large wing TENS with refill gel pads from iTENS Australia

How a TENS Unit for Hip Arthritis Works

When a person uses a TENS unit for hip arthritis, the electric current emitted by the device prompts the body to release endorphins. Endorphins are the natural painkillers of the body. These chemicals bind to special receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Hence, it helps to alleviate the pain intensity and produce a sense of well-being. By stimulating the release of endorphins, TENS can diminish hip arthritis pain.

Accordingly, TENS operates based on the Pain Gate Control Theory. This suggests that the electrical pulses from TENS can travel through nerve fibres and reach the brain. Therefore, they can compete with the pain messages travelling along the same nerve pathways. Consequently, TENS can effectively close the gate to the transmission of pain signals. This can reduce the perception of hip arthritis.

The use of TENS can also influence blood flow in the painful region. Electrical stimulation may dilate blood vessels in the hip joint. Therefore, it increases blood circulation, fostering the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen to the joint. Nevertheless, this contributes to a decrease in discomfort and improved mobility for individuals with hip arthritis.

Advantages of the Treatment Solution

Firstly, a key advantage of TENS is its non-invasive nature. It does not require surgical interventions or invasive procedures. Secondly, TENS provides a non-pharmacological method of pain relief. This is beneficial for people who may prefer to minimise the use of oral medications. Thirdly, it offers a modality for self-management and symptom control.

Additionally, TENS can be integrated into a comprehensive plan. It can complement other interventions, such as physical therapy and lifestyle modifications. Also, TENS devices are portable and customisable. People can use it at home or on the go, and they can modify the frequency, intensity, and duration of electrical stimulation.

A guide on how to simply operate the iTENS application

How to Operate a TENS Unit for Hip Arthritis

Operating a TENS unit for hip arthritis involves several simple steps. Firstly, the individual should ensure that the TENS device is charged or has fresh batteries. Secondly, connect the electrodes to the central unit using lead cables or to a smartphone via Bluetooth for wireless. Thirdly, identify the treatment area, prepare it, and position the electrodes.

After placing the pads, the individual can turn on the device. Accordingly, adjust the settings or select a pre-set program that directly targets hip arthritis. Nevertheless, it is essential to start the therapy with the lowest settings and gradually increase it to a comfortable level. During the therapy, the user should closely monitor their comfort level and make any necessary adjustments to the settings or pad placement.

Moreover, take note of any changes in the discomfort level. The advisable duration of the therapy session is between 15 to 30 minutes. For longer sessions, it is vital to have breaks before continuing the treatment. After completing the TENS therapy, the person can turn off the device and carefully remove the electrodes from the skin. Finally, store the TENS device properly for future use.

Where to Place the Electrodes?

Before placing the electrodes, it is important to identify the specific area of the hip arthritis pain. In most cases of hip arthritis, the pads are typically positioned around the hip joint area. Accordingly, placing one electrode directly over the site of the hip pain can help target the discomfort. Additional electrodes can be strategically placed around the hip joint. This is to encompass the surrounding muscles and tissues.

When positioning the electrodes, it is important to consider the spacing and orientation. This is to ensure optimal coverage of the treatment region. Also, users can adjust the electrode placement to achieve optimal relief.


Overall, TENS can provide relief to the different types of hip arthritis, like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis. Accordingly, a TENS unit for hip arthritis is a wired or wireless device that delivers electrical pulses to the body. This is done through the electrode pads placed on the skin. Moreover, electrical stimulation works in different mechanisms. It can trigger the release of endorphins, block the transmission of pain signals, and promote blood flow.

TENS units offer numerous advantages. It is portable, customisable, non-invasive and drug-free. Also, it provides a modality for self-management and can complement other treatment interventions. Nevertheless, TENS devices are straightforward to operate. An individual will prepare the device, identify the treatment area, place the pads, and adjust the settings. However, it is crucial to know the proper pad placement in the therapy. People who want to purchase TENS can check the online retailer iTENS Australia.

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