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Confused about location of electrodes

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  • Confused about location of electrodes

    My pain doctor has just prescribed me a TENS eco2 unit for pain relief. She didn't know the exact place where I should put the electrodes and sent it to me after our appointment by post on a drawing. The first electrode is clear (interior lateral part of right foot under ankle bone). The second one is less clear and is on the same leg higher up towards the lower back area of the calf. This is quite a large area - presumably it matters to be precise. Most people on here are talking about the electrodes being placed on their abdomen or lower back. I have searched online for some precise information and even on the TENS unit instruction guide I cannot find precise instructions. The location for the electrodes I have been given seems to correspond to the tibial nerve / sacral nerve root - is that right? Can anyone enlighten me? I don't want to spend 3 months wondering why it isn't working because I don't have the right place. Many thanks for any help you can give me.

  • #2
    Re: Confused about location of electrodes

    If I'm understanding you correctly, you do have a drawing that you can't quite interpret? If that's the case, a telephone call could clarify.

    When I used a TENS, it took less than a half hour to feel some pain relief --- you could do a little experimenting to see if you can find the most effective places for the electrodes. I used mine for shoulder pain so I don't think sharing where I placed the electrodes would help.

    Good luck!

    ICN Staff
    Last edited by ICNDonna; 09-08-2015, 06:19 PM.
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    • #3
      Re: Confused about location of electrodes

      My physical therapist had me use a tens unit for my pelvic floor pain. I used four electrodes, two on each side, that made a square by the lower abdomen. I would move the electrodes over an inch or so to see what position worked and felt the best. If you have any questions you can always ask here or send me a private message.

      Diagnosed:Interstitial Cystitis 2010, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction 2013
      Current Medications:Elmiron, Gelnique, Hydroxyzine
      Current Supplements:Prelief, Desert Harvest Aloe
      Past Medications: Amitriptyline, Uribel, Xanax
      Other: Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy, Tens Unit for Pain, Sensitive to medications


      • #4
        Re: Confused about location of electrodes

        My PT gave me the same 1 goes one each ankle on the inside and it is preset and I turn it on for about 30 min. at a time and it a dial to turn it on and I usually set it on 4 but not much higher than that so I feel a slight tingling in my foot. She said to use it to maybe help with the pain and frequency.


        • #5
          Re: Confused about location of electrodes

          Hi Kathie,

          Congratulations on your new TENS unit. I hope yours brings you as much relief as mine has brought me. I've had 2 units over 13 years, and just got my new one as well!

          Nothing beats the advice of a doctor, but I'll be happy to share my experience in using these.

          Nobody ever gave me a drawing or much instruction, I was just told to place the pads where my pain is the worst. So, I pick and choose as I go. Some days I place all 4 pads on my most tender spots/lower abdomen for IC pain. If my low back is aching in a bad flare, I place 2 pads on lower abdomen and the other 2 on my lower back.

          I've also used them on my sciatic nerve, or on the back of my shoulders if they hurt.

          Now, I crank my pulse strength up as high as I can stand it, but only because that feels good to me. A softer pulse might feel more comfortable for you. I've used mine anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours straight.

          It's not been an exact science for me by any means, but it sure has helped. I love my TENS unit.

          If your pain Dr is having you place pads on ankle/calf area, it's probably for specific pain control I'm not aware of.....honestly I've never used my TENS pads anywhere except my bladder and back areas. So I have zero experience using it on legs, arms etc.

          This is all just food for thought.

          Hope it helps!
          "She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails." -Unkown

          IBS/Endometriosis/Prolasped Uterus/CFS, ME/Fibromyalgia/Refractory IC/Celiac Disease/Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction (Immune System issues) B12, Vit D deficiencies

          Many surgeries over the years, mainly: Total hysterectomy/Gallbladder & Thyroid removed

          Treatments: Tried all except Interstim, Botox injections and bladder removal. I've never been in remission.

          Daily-Prednisone steroid down to 3mg long-term, Demerol 50mg, Diazepam 2mg
          As needed-Home TENS unit, AZO Standard, Marshmallow Root Capsules, D Mannose powder, Prelief. STRICT IC DIET or I'm bed ridden. I'm under the care of a Pain Management Clinic.

          Was on SS Disability for IC 2004-2006. Back to work 10 years. Annnnd-My bod gave out. Back on Disability as of Aug 2016. WE NEED A CURE!!