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TENS Electrodes - What is right for me?
This entry was posted on 23/11/2012.
TENS or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is used by doctors and physiotherapists to help with pain, or the units can be bought for treatment at home. They work by producing a small current of electricity which goes through the skin and interrupts pain signals travelling to the brain, via electrodes attached to the skin.
But, not all TENS electrodes are the same, and unfortunately, they're not all of the same quality. In order to get the most out of your machine, it's important to purchase good quality electrodes. It's been noted that some people abandon their TENS treatment, saying that it does not work - but the majority of the time, it's because of the electrodes, not because of the TENS treatment itself!
When choosing electrodes, it's important to choose good quality electrodes, like all of ours sold here at StressNoMore. If you choose a poor quality electrode, it's could burn your skin or cause unpleasant nipping sensations. However, this can be avoided by choosing TENS electrodes that feature copper or carbon wire as this is more effective at conducting the electricity over a wider area. Also, you must remember not to place your electrodes closer than 3cm apart. At StressNoMore, we stock a wide range of high quality electrodes which are reusable, comfortable and safe to use, with no unpleasant burning or nipping and they're great value too.
Another option is to choose quality rubber electrodes: 'rubber' is a misleading name though - they're actually silicone, because silicone is semi-conductive and rubber isn't. They are an ideal solution for those with adhesive allergies and latex allergies - you just need to use them with a conductive gel for maximum efficacy. What's more, there's no risk of the burning or nipping sensation, they're flexible and won't stick to your body hair either, so they're comfortable to use and to remove. They have great longevity too - unlike their regular counterparts, there's no adhesive to wear out, and they can simply be wiped and reused after each treatment session.
A further option for TENS sessions are the fairly new-to-the-market TENS garments - the perfect option for those who perhaps aren't sure where to place the electrodes for maximum efficiency - by attaching the TENS machine to a garment, the whole area is treated, so it's not a matter of having to place the electrode in exactly the right place. They are a great option for people who suffer from arthritis in a localised area and want to treat the whole area, for example a whole foot or a knee. They're very comfortable to wear and treat the whole joint without the fuss of getting the electrodes in the right place every time.
When it comes to labour TENS electrodes, there are two placement options: the most common is four electrodes, two at the base of the back and two in line with the bra strap, however the other option is to have two long, slim electrodes placed either side of the spine. Around 1 in 5 women use TENS as a method of pain relief during labour, as they find it very effective at easing the pain in early labour.
To ensure that you get the very best out of your TENS treatment, it's important to work with your therapist to find out where the electrodes need to be placed, at what strength to use your TENS machine, and how frequently your TENS machine should be used.