Knee pain or knee discomfort is a typical complaint among active individuals. It is a common & debilitating problem that can affect virtually anyone at any age.
If you experience knee pain, you're not alone. In fact, it's the most common type of joint pain in the United States. Having knee pain or general knee problems is one of the worst pains you can experience, and it can even stop you from doing some of the simplest daily tasks. The level of pain can vary from person to person.
It's a common misconception that knee pain is an inevitable part of getting older. But many people suffer from this severe pain in their knees even at a younger age. So, that means getting older is not the actual reason behind this acute pain. It's because the knee is a complex joint that's made up of different bones, ligaments, tendons, and other parts. And injury in these parts causes knee pain. The common reasons behind this pain are injury( ACL injury, torn meniscus, fractures, patellar tendinitis, knee bursitis), mechanical problems( iliotibial band syndrome, loose body, dislocated kneecap, hip or foot pain), knee pain because of arthritis pain, because of daily lifestyle and many more.
Do you wake up in the morning with knee pain? If you are one of these persons, then you might have tried various medicine, medical devices, exercises, physical therapy for knee, visit a pain specialist, and many for your chronic knee pain. But after doing all of these, it can be possible that you don't get any permanent or good results.
What is a TENS Unit?
It's an electrical device that transmits electrical impulses to the body via electrodes to treat chronic pain. It gives you relief from pain by emitting a small electrical current to the specific source of pain.
This device cures any type and degree of pain by sending low-voltage electrical pulses through wires to electrodes, which are then applied to the skin. You can use this device even at the home, office, or anywhere just by controlling the intensity, frequency, and duration to get relief from the pain.
It is a non-invasive, drug-free way to relieve any kind of pain, such as neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, arthritic pain, joint pain, mild or chronic knee pain, sciatica pain, muscle pain, neuropathic pain, and other severe pain.
So, if you are facing any kind of pain and want to get relief from it but aren't finding any solution, then you must use a tens unit and enjoy a pain-free life.
The Science Behind Using TENS Units for Knee Pain Relief
It is the most common cause of disability and a leading contributor to missed days at work.
People who suffer from knee pain know how miserable life becomes because of it. If you're suffering from knee pain, you might know how challenging it is to identify the right treatment option.
But don't worry-we get the best effective treatment, and that is tens unit. The main 3 reasons for using tens unit for knee pain are:
- Tens unit increases the production of endorphins which is the body's natural pain killer. It does this by stimulating the nerves.
- It helps to confuse or block the pain signals from invading your nervous system and spinal cord. It also blocks the signals that symbolize knee pain to the brain.
- The electrical stimulation helps relax the tight, constricted muscles of the area of pain by sending electrical signals and instantly providing you acute pain relief.
How to Use a TENS Unit for Knee pain?
They're used to treat both acute and chronic pain. Though they are around there for ages, most people don't know about it or how to use it.
Using a tens unit is quite an easy task, but if you don't have a proper idea, then you might get confused.
Again, the wrong implementation won't provide you any benefits and may even harm you.
So, are you ready to use this pain reliever? Do you know how to use it? If not, don't worry. We are going to provide you the details about it. So, read the following part of this article and use the tens unit by following the step and enjoy a knee-pain-free life.
Your TENS unit package should contain:
- A TENS unit(One channel or dual channel)
- Four connectors in total with a pair of wire
- Two electrode Pads (One-Channel TENS units) or four pads(dual channel)
- Source power or batteries
- Straps, clip for belt
Pad Placement and Using Process of TENS Unit for Knee Pain:
- First of all, ensure that the tens unit is off.
- Charge the tens according to the instructions or put on the batteries if they are battery operated.
- Remove the patches from their bag and keep the plastic storage bag safe for future storage.
- Connect the patches to the lead wires accurately & carefully and ensure that no metal pins are left exposed.
- Plug the wire into the socket of the tens unit properly.
- Before using the tens unit clean your skin because you should put the patches on clean and dry skin.
- But before you place the TENS unit pads or patch, find the specific area where you feel the pain. Then determine the precise and most compact area where you feel the pain intensity the most.
- Place two pads(single-channel) or four pads(dual channel) on your pain area. Remember that the tens unit will not work with just one pad.
- You can alter the flow of electric sensation by changing the direction of electrode placement, which means electric pad placement or increasing/decreasing the distance between them.
- You can place the pads in the following 3 directions: vertical, horizontal, and angulated.
- Place the pad carefully and remember that the pads must not touch each other. Try to keep at least a 1-inch distance between them. But don't make too much distance as the effectiveness of the machine decreases with the increase of distance between the pads.
- Don't put the pads directly on the knee joint.
- For knee pain, place the tens unit on each side of the origin of pain. For a dual-channel unit, place the pads in a square pattern. It will work great for knee pain.
- Turn on the tens unit after placing the pads. Start with the initial or lowest settings. Normally, the physical therapist determines the initial settings for the beginner, but you can also determine it by yourself.
- Adjust the intensity levels, which means pulse rates, pulse length, frequency, etc. Set it accordingly to get proper pain relief.
- The average suggested time of using it is about 15-20 minutes for mild pain relief and 30-60 minutes for chronic pain relief. You can use a little more or less time and see a significant decrease in pain. But don't overuse it as it's an electric device, after all.
How Much Does A Tens Unit Cost?
The price varies depending on the brands, shape, size, extra features, quality, guarantee, warranty, model and many other things.
But, normally the price is between $30-$110. But you will find the more or less costly product in the market. The cheaper one will not provide you with that good service, and they also don't come with any guarantee or warranty.
Again, there is a chance that it might harm you. You can go for the expensive one as they come with extra features, a guarantee, excellent services and many more. But if you are a beginner, then you should go for a medium-budget range. Because in this way you can get an excellent service at an affordable price. You can get a tens unit from any physical store or online platform, and you don't even need any prescription for it. So, get one according to your preference and get rid of any monstrous pain.
What are the benefits of a TENS unit?
A Tens Unit is a device that delivers electrical pulses to the nerves, which helps stimulate muscle contraction, alleviate pain or tension in muscle tissue, and treat various types of ailments. But you might think that why choose a tens unit when there exists other treatment for pain or lots of methods of pain relief. The reasons are:
- It ensures relief from any kind of pain, be it mild or severe pain, short or long time pain.
- It works when other therapies, treatments, or even medicine fails.
- For regular therapies or medicine, you need to pay all the time, and they don't even work properly. But for tens unit, you just need to pay one time and enjoy every time.
- It relieves pain faster.
- It's very small that you can carry it in your pocket or attach it to your belt and can use it any time anywhere.
- It's a safe device without any side effects.
When to avoid a TENS unit?
But there are certain situations when you should avoid using tens units or consult a doctor before using them.
We recommend not to use it or consult a doctor in the following situations:
- Tens unit helps a lot to reduce chronic low-back pain or body pains during pregnancy.
But they must not use a tens unit on their pelvic and abdominal regions. It can cause too much harm.
- People who have any kind of heart problem, especially severe heart problems, should not use it.
- People who have epilepsy need to consult a doctor before using it, and they must avoid using it on their head, neck, and shoulder area.
- People with pacemakers or any type of metal or electrical implant.
- People who have cancer should not put the device where they find the cancer cell is or the area where they had cancer in the last 5 years.
- Thrombophlebitis patients should not use it as tens unit increase the chance of blood clot dislodging by increasing blood circulation.
- You must not use it on a recently bled or injured area.
A few people reported that they faced skin irritation. It can cause if you have any allergies to the material of the tens unit pads.
You can also face some rash or little burning sensation or tingling if you have very sensitive skin. But all these cases are very rare.
But prevention is better than cure. So, before buying the tens unit, check the material of the pad that if you have any kind of allergies towards it.
Stop using a tens unit & consult a doctor if you face:
- Skin irritation such as itching, tingling, rash, or redness
- Severe headache
Overall, the tens unit is an excellent device to treat mild, acute, and chronic pain, especially any kind of knee pain. People who have knee pain doesn't matter what the reason is, can undoubtedly rely on the tens unit to get relief from this terrible pain. So, get a tens unit, use it accurately and enjoy a pain-free life.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can you use TENS for total knee replacement pain?
Yes, you can use it. Even orthopedic surgeons recommend using tens units after knee replacement to get relief from the pain. But it will be best if you carefully use it.
- Does a TENS unit promote healing in a total knee replacement surgery?
Yes, promote healing in a total knee replacement surgery by increasing the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide and P substance. It also helps you to get relief from the pain.
- Are there any risks of side effects?
No, there is no risk or side effects of using tens units for knee pain. But use it carefully and accordingly.
- Can I overuse a TENS unit?
If you are going to overuse it for a day or two, then it will not cause any harm. But if you are regularly overusing a tens unit, it will be very harmful and cause many internal injuries or nerve damage.
- What is the best TENS unit for knee pain?
The best one actually depends on your budget. First fixed a budget and then searched a tens unit of that budget. Almost all the tens unit works greatly for knee pain. You just need to get a good tens unit.