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12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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TENS Unit for Hip Labral Tear: Usage Guide

A woman holding her right hip

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) device is a helpful tool for individuals suffering from various types of pain, including hip labral tear. When using a TENS unit for hip labral tear, it is important to start with clean and dry skin. Then, turn on the device and place the electrodes near the affected area. After that, adjust the settings based on personal preference and comfort level. It is advisable to start with low intensity and increase gradually if needed.

The hip labrum is a ring of cartilage that lines the socket of the hip joint. It plays a crucial role in providing stability and cushioning to the hip joint. The labrum helps to hold the ball-shaped femoral head securely within the hip socket. If the hip labrum tears, it can result in several consequences. This article will present what a TENS device for hip labral tear is, including its proper usage and correct electrode placement.

What Is a TENS Unit for Hip Labral Tear?

A hip labral tear involves damage to the cartilage, known as the hip labrum, in the hip joint due to injuries, repetitive twisting movements, or structural issues. This damage results in symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and a feeling of hip joint locking. Daily activities may be affected, and individuals may experience difficulties with their hip muscles and range of motion.

A TENS unit for hip labral tear is a portable device offering pain relief through small electrical pulses sent to the nerves. It operates by overriding spinal cord nerves that control pain gates, blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Additionally, it stimulates the production of endorphins, the natural pain-relieving chemicals of the body, providing further relief.

Incorporating a TENS unit into a comprehensive treatment plan can help manage torn labrum. This plan may include flexibility exercises, functional training, physical therapy, a weight loss plan, an ice pack, conscious breathing, and possibly steroid injections. TENS units serve as a valuable component in this multifaceted pain management plan.

Risk Factors of a Hip Labral Tear

  • Engaging in repetitive activities such as certain sports or exercises can increase the risk of hip injuries and hip damage.
  • Sudden accidents, falls, or collisions can cause direct trauma to the ball-and-socket joint in the hip.
  • Individuals with hip joint structural abnormalities or variations.
  • The natural aging process can lead to wear and tear on the hip joint.
  • Excessive or improper use of the hip joint, especially in activities that involve repetitive motions.
  • Issues with body mechanics can place additional stress on the hip joint.
  • Individuals who have undergone hip surgeries, such as arthroscopic hip surgery or hip resurfacing.

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

How to Use a TENS Unit for Hip Labral Tear

Operating a TENS unit for hip labral tear is a straightforward process. Begin by ensuring the TENS device has fresh batteries or enough power. Next, connect the electrodes either to the central unit using lead cables or to a smartphone via Bluetooth for a wireless setup. Then, identify the treatment area, prepare the skin, and position the electrodes accordingly.

Once the electrodes are in place, the individual can switch on the TENS device. Adjust the settings or choose a pre-set program. It is crucial to start with the lowest settings and gradually increase them to a comfortable level. Throughout the therapy, closely monitor comfort levels and make any necessary adjustments to settings or pad placement.

The recommended duration for TENS therapy is between 15 to 30 minutes. For longer sessions, take breaks before continuing the labral treatment to avoid adverse outcomes. After completing the therapy, turn off the device, carefully remove the electrodes, and store the TENS unit properly. This non-surgical approach aims to manage labral injuries, providing pain relief for both acute and chronic hip pain. It also offers a practical method to enhance joint mobility.

Adjusting the Settings

Individuals can customise TENS treatment by adjusting the device settings. Users can control the intensity of electrical pulses, pulse frequency, and pulse duration to tailor the stimulation level to their specific pain needs. This customisation helps alleviate their unique type and intensity of pain.

Pulse rate refers to the frequency of electrical pulses delivered per second. Meanwhile, pulse amplitude represents the intensity or strength of these pulses, influencing the level of stimulation. On the other hand, pulse width refers to the duration of each electrical pulse. These are the three main settings of a TENS unit.

A hand peeling off the plastic backing from the iTENS gel pad

TENS Unit for Hip Labral Tear Proper Placement of Electrodes

Before applying the TENS unit for hip labral tear, it is important to properly prepare the skin. Begin by cleaning the skin with soap and water to remove any dirt, oil, or lotion. After cleaning, ensure the skin is completely dry before applying the electrodes to prevent irritation or discomfort. It is also recommended to shave any excessive hair in the area.

For proper pad placement, place one electrode pad on the front of the hip. Place the second electrode pad on the back of the hip to cover the entire affected area. The pads should be at least one inch apart to prevent overlapping of the electrical currents. It is essential to follow the specific instructions provided by the TENS unit.

Electrode pads have a lifespan. It is recommended to replace them regularly to ensure safe and effective use. As such, the life expectancy of the patches can vary depending on the quality of the material. Generally, it can last up to 20 to 30 applications. Another factor that affects the life of the pads is the frequency of use.

Wireless Pads for Increased Mobility

Wireless TENS pads enhance mobility and convenience for users. Unlike wired TENS, wireless versions provide users with the freedom to move around without being tethered to a specific location. This increased mobility is particularly beneficial for individuals engaging in physical activities, such as exercise or daily chores.

Moreover, the absence of wires in wireless TENS pads simplifies the overall user experience. People can easily apply the pads without the hassle of managing tangled cords, making the process more user-friendly and efficient. The wireless design also eliminates the risk of tripping or getting entangled in cords.


Using a TENS unit for hip labral tear is a simple and effective non-surgical approach. By sending small electrical pulses to nerves, it blocks pain signals and boosts endorphin production. To use, ensure the device is charged, position electrodes correctly, and start with low settings. Therapy duration is 15 to 30 minutes, with breaks for longer sessions. This portable solution, combined with a comprehensive treatment plan, helps manage hip labral injuries.

Proper electrode pad placement is crucial for effective relief. Start by cleaning and drying the skin, ensuring the pads are one inch apart to avoid overlapping currents. Regularly replace pads for safety and efficacy after 20 to 30 applications. For increased mobility, consider wireless TENS pads, which offer freedom of movement without tangled cords. This user-friendly option is particularly beneficial for those involved in physical activities, simplifying the experience and reducing the risk of accidents.

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