Placing TENS Unit Electrode Pads For Sciatica
Sciatica is chronic pain that is felt along the sciatic nerve. This is from the lower back, through the buttocks and thighs and to the feet. This condition can be caused by a herniated disc, or spinal stenos are. This leads to inflammation of the nerve and thus the chronic pain. A Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit can be used to pass small electric shocks that help to relieve the pain.
Tips to Effectively Place Electrode Pads
Everything in life has to have a process. Otherwise, everything would be haphazard, and things would never work out. Using a TENS unit also follows the same logic. Ideally, this unit should be used and administered by a professional. Professionals know what they are supposed to do in order to bring about muscle pain relief through the TENS unit. However, there are home units that one can buy over the counter. It is important to know some helpful tips so that you can also make the most out of the TENS unit.
For your sciatica, you need to first establish where the pain is. Once you have done this, outline the tenderest area of the pain. In the case of sciatica, place one pad above the lower back as this is where the pain starts. Place the other pad below where the pain ends, for example, on the leg. This covers the full area of pain and brings wholesome relief.
It is always advisable to use two pads when you are creating one channel and four pads when you are creating two channels. Using one pad does not work at all. In addition to this, it should be noted that if you change the distance between or the direction of the electrode pads, you can alter the flow of the electrical sensation. You choose between placing your pads vertically, horizontally or in an angular manner.
Another helpful tip that comes in handy when placing electrode nodes to alleviate pain from sciatica is the position of the pads. Do not place the pads on a joint such as the knee. The movement of this joint will interfere with how the pads adhere to your body. This, in turn, interferes with the current and does not yield maximum pain relief.
Before you use a TENS unit for sciatic relief, talk to your doctor or physical therapist first. If you are pregnant, have a preexisting heart condition or have a pacemaker, you will need advice from your physician as to whether you can use this unit. They will set the initial settings for you. You do need to learn about changing the settings as well so you can try out different pulse width, pulse rate, and amplitude.
The placement of electrode pads on the area of pain matters a lot when you are using a TENS unit for sciatica. If you adhere by the tips, you are likely to get more out of the process than if you were to ignore them.