How to use a tens unit for herniated disc?

How to use a tens unit for herniated disc

If you have a herniated disc you can use a tens unit to help manage the pain you are having.

If you have pain that feels like an electric shock when you are exercising, walking, or even sitting then a tens unit will be able to help you.

How to use a Tens Unit for herniated disc relief?

If you plan to use a tens machine to help manage your herniated disc you will be glad to know that a tens unit will not cause any harm to you if used safely.  Make sure to read our safety tips below before using a tens unit.

To use a tens unit for herniated disc relief follow these steps

  • Check Area Where Pain Is
  • Set Tens Unit To Lowest Level
  • Place Tens Unit Pad On Area With Pain
  • Turn On Tens Unit
  • Increase Power Level
  • Repeat As Necessary

More information on these steps are

Check Area Where Pain Is

Check where the pain is radiating from and place the electrode pad in a square pattern along your spine (check the picture above to get an idea of placement of the pads)

It is highly advised using two electrodes (with single channel) or four electrode pads (with double channels). Avoid using six or more electrode pads;

Set Tens Unit To Lowest Level

It is very important to make sure the setting is at the minimum level on the tens unit, You should always start on the lowest level and slowly increase the level over time.

Place Tens Unit Pad On Area With Pain

In order to get maximum relief to your back pain using TENS Unit, you will need to know the best position to place the electrodes. Apply the electrodes directly to the affected area. Place the TENS Unit pad on the side which is having the pain for effective results

Turn On Tens Unit + Increase Power

Now turn on your tens unit, after a couple of minutes adjust the frequency and the pulse strength. Wait for some time (few seconds) and slowly readjust or increase the setting until you find relief from the slip disc pain and you feel comfortable with the TENS Unit. (I recommend checking the ‘Tens Safety Usage Guide’ for proper operation of the unit)

It is recommended not to use the tens unit for longer than 30 minutes at any one time

Repeat as necessary

Always wait 20 – 30 minutes before using the tens unit again.  If you use the tens machine for to long it could possibly burn your skin

Below is a video on youtube you can watch which also give you some other tips.

YouTube video

how to use tens unit for herniated disc in neck

If you have a herniated disc in your neck you will need to know the best placement for the tens unit electrodes.  To use a tens unit for a herniated disc in your neck follow these steps.

  • Place the tens unit electrodes on the lower part of your neck
  • Make sure the tens unit is set to the lowest level
  • Turn on the tens unit
  • After two minutes you can increase the strength
  • Do not use the tens unit for longer than 30 minutes at any one time

Do not place the electrodes on the front part of your neck.  For a more detailed guide on how to use  a tens unit on your neck take a look at this guide I wrote.

Safety precautions to take when using a tens unit

  • NEVER place the electrodes on the front side, on your chest
  • Place the first two electrode pads around the sides of your arms, approximately 5 to 6 inches apart. Make sure the electrode pads never touch each other. Further spread the other two electrode pads at the same distance, closer to the buttocks (as shown in the picture). Position of the electrodes should be around the vertices of a square
  • As discussed earlier, it is advisable to tune the settings to the lowest mode, gradually increasing it to the optimal level. If you are keen to purchase TENS Unit, I strongly advocate checking out iReliev TENS Unit user guide.
  • Before operating the TENS Unit on the back, please go through the safety tips in order to avoid any accidents.
  • Do not place electrodes too close to each other or in any inappropriate positions;
  • Switch off the TENS Unit, prior to attaching the electrodes;
  • Read ‘How to use the TENS Unit Machine for herniated disc relief’ section above to ensure that the electrodes are placed in the right position;
  • Make sure the electrodes are placed at a safe distance from each other;
  • Use the TENS Unit for no more than 30 minutes continuously. Over using of the unit can cause issues.

More information on herniated disc pain

Spinal cord is responsible for aligning shoulders, head, and upper body to maintain the position and stature of your back.

Between each vertebrae (individual bones) in the spinal cord, sits a fragment of the disc like tissue structure that offers rubbery cushion to any shocks and jerks to the spine. However, with age, these discs start depleting.

This condition is referred to as prolapsed disc, spinal disc herniation or a Herniated disc, more commonly termed as ‘Slip disc’.

A herniated disc tends to disturb adjoining nerves, that induce pain and weakens arms and legs. Contrastingly, some people are not impacted due to slip disc and experience no symptoms of pain. In most cases, it is suggested to avoid surgery for rectification of herniated disc ailment.

This article will provide some vital insights on how to use TENS Unit for herniated disc issue.

Back pains can be associated to different reasons

• Strain on the back due to heavy or ambitious lifting, or an abrupt movement;
• Structured problems of ruptured discs, joints related issues, rounding of the spine or kidney problems;
• Bad posture or inappropriate movements;
• Other medical conditions like spine malignancy, sleeping disorder, infections, or shingles.
Usually the pain transmits between lower back and legs.
Please read further, if you are keen to get relief from herniated disc pain with correct placement of TENS Unit pad, using iReliev TENS Unit.
Risk factors
Factors that increase the risk of herniated discs are immense:
• Excessive body weight causes extensive stress on the lower back region;
• People with physically demanding labour jobs have a higher chance of getting back related problems. Continuous lifting, pushing, pulling, bending and twisting, increases the risk of getting herniated disc ailment;
• In many cases it is identified that the slip disc problem is inherited i.e., genetically passed from parents to children.
Can a Tens Unit help relieve herniated disc?
The answer is yes. A Tens unit or (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a non-invasive, safe and drug-free method for treating herniated disc pain. TENS Unit can relieve the pain caused due to the herniated disc—the debilitating and radiating shooting pains that patients often experience. It’s a non-addictive painkiller alternative that is helpful in alleviating the discomfort and herniated disc pain.

Side effects of using TENS Unit inappropriately

Make sure you read this section carefully before using TENS Unit using to avoid any side effects.

1. Allergy caused due to electrode pads: it has been noted in some cases that the adhesion on the electrode pads, causes redness and irritation of the skin. If you experience this, try using hypoallergenic pads, instead.
2. Pacemaker users: people who have had pacemakers installed, should avoid using Tens unit.
3. Placement of electrode pads: prior to using the TENS Unit, do some research on where to place the electrode pads. Ensure you do not place them near sensitive or inappropriate regions
4. Pregnant women: it is absolutely safe for expecting women to use a TENS Unit. However, avoid using the unit in abdominal and pelvic regions.
5. Reusing the electrode pads: if you use the electrode pads for a longer time, there is a possibility of irritation on the area of application. Possibly clean the pads carefully with clean water, before reusing them again. Also try and leave it for a little longer time, before application.
6. Cardiac conditions: for people suffering from cardiac issues, PLEASE AVOID USING TENS Unit.
7. Epileptic users: if you are suffering from epilepsy, TENS Unit should not be used in the neck and head region to avoid complications.