You & Your TENS Machine: A User’s Guide

You can use your tens unit to treat both chronic and acute pain. Tens unit uses are to treat various chronic and acute pain. Tens Units are for pain treatment and relief. The tens stimulator works to stimulate the skin, thus relieving pain. Additionally, it can be used to replace painkillers or be added to your pain management treatment to encourage a more regular, pain-free lifestyle. The areas is can be used on and for are,

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Elbow & forearm pain
  • Hip pain
  • Sciatica pain
  • Foot pain

However, it should be noted that you should not use a tens machine on your head or close to the base of your skull. For an effective treatment last at least 30 minutes at a setting around 100Hz. It is best to take the advice of a medical professional if using a tens machine for migraine relief. Remember to always use your machine properly. Tens unit for pain treatment can, very clearly, work wondrously well for a myriad of body parts.

Tens Unit Placement Point

Getting Started

  • Test the machine by holding the pads between your fingers and then turn it on. You should feel a tingling sensation, but it should not be painful or overwhelming.
  • Make sure the skin where the pads are going to be applied is clean and dry. You should always make sure there are no cuts, grazes, or skin irritation whatsoever.

How to apply tens unit electrodes

  • Place the pads on either side of the pain-inflicted area (lower back, wrist, etc)
  • Use either self-adhesive pads or flexible rubber pads. They should be completely covered with a thin layer of conductive gel on the side being applied to the skin.
  • If you plan on moving around, fix the pads to the skin with tape
  • Then, set the pulse rate to the required setting (usually starting with about 100 Hz)
  • Make sure to not turn the machine up too high, as this can cause over-stimulation, which could make pain worse. There, also, shouldn’t be any muscle contraction
  • At the end of the session, turn the machine off and disconnect the electrodes from the machine.

How long and how often to use the tens unit

The machine should be used for at least 45 minutes but it can be used for up to 12 hours before the electrodes need to be cleaned and re-situated on the pain-inflicted area. It is suggested to use the machine for at least 45 minutes because pain relief does not begin until approximately 30 minutes of use.

How to clean tens unit electrode pads

  • If you are using rubber pads, clean off the conducting gel with mild soap and water and rinse them well
  • Do not wash the self-adhesive type of pad

What settings to use on my tens unit

You might need to try a few settings on your tens machine before you find the right fit. But, since there are no side effects, testing is effortless, easy, and harmless! It is usually suggested to begin at 100 Hz.

Are personal tens units safe?

Unlike painkillers, tens units have no safety hazards or side effects. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using your tens machine,

  • Make sure to follow all of your medical professional’s directions when using the TENS machine
  • Do not use on head or base of neck

Best TENS Unit Replacement Pads

Here are a couple of popular TENS unit pads in the market.
  • AlegriaCare Electrode Pads
  • Santamedical Re-Usable TENS/EMS Unit Electrode Pads
  • Syrtenty TENS Unit Electrodes

All received excellent ratings by multiple users and have good reviews of use and helpfulness. You may also want to check out our article about the 10 most popular TENS Unit pads where we have reviewed the electrode pads.

Best Tens Machine to Buy

There are tons of top rated tens machines on the market, here are some of the highest rated via top selling websites like Amazon. Though Personal tens unit reviews usually focus on the individual’s use of the tens, all of these tens reviews are comprehensive, interesting, and offer a varied response.


Under $200

Healthmate Forever


TENS and EMS/PMS Support - Dual Channel & 12 Modes


Under $100


TENS + EMS Combo

All in One Simple to Use Device.


Under $50


Tens 7000

Popular tens unit with dual channel and 5 modes


Side By Side TENS Units Comparison

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