TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain

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This article will give you directions on TENS machine pad placement for knee pain and help you understand your knee pain better

What do you do during knee pain? Whether you walk, run, get in or out of your car, cook, sit, your knees are the ones carrying your weight responsibly. Knee pain can be as worse as anything. Completing daily life tasks becomes tough. 


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain5


The pain can be because of ‘n’ number of reasons. It is not making you feel uncomfortable, but it can later lead to less muscle control, low strength, motion restriction. Earlier it was the case in older people only. But now youngsters are also in its reach. One-third of Americans have knee pain at some time or another. 

But this is just a problem statement; what about the solution you have come for? The TENS machine for knee pain is the best solution you can get! It is a proven method based on many scientific studies[1][2]. Many people are aware of TENS machines and their benefits, but they don’t know it is ‘correct pad placement.’ 

This article aims to educate you about TENS machine pad placement for knee pain.


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


12 Causes Of Knee Pain

Multiple reasons can cause you severe knee pain.

  • Tendon ruptures: This condition occurs when quadriceps and patellar tendons rupture partially or majorly. 
  • Meniscus: Injuries can cause the meniscus to fear afloat, which causes significant pain.
  • Dislocation: Sudden and powerful joints on the knee dislocate some bone joints. The lower leg and upper leg joint undergo a dislocation that causes some stretch and tear in the ligaments, nerves, or arteries. Although it is a rare condition, it requires immediate medical action.
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome: This syndrome is also called runners’ knees, in which you feel pain behind your knee cap. This occurs when your kneecaps move abnormally when the knee is over bent or straightened. During this condition, the cartilage of the knee cap undergoes wear and tear. You may not feel the pain initially, but it comes at which time.

There are more on the list.

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fractures around knee
  • Anterior knee pain
  • Ligament strains and sprains
  • Overweight
  • Overuse
  • Gout
  • Old injury


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


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7 Ways To Manage Your Knee Pain

Depending on what kind of pain you have, the treatment can vary.


For cases of rheumatoid arthritis or gout, doctors prescribe medications to treat the condition. Many medicines are proven to relieve acute pain. We do not recommend having medication as it may be addictive. Make sure to seek medical advice before having it.


Sometimes the muscles around the knee become weak and unstable. Physical therapy to strengthen those muscles helps in improving the condition. You may have to go to physical therapy or perform some strengthening exercises.

If you are a sports person, a good exercise is highly preferred to correct your knees’ patterns. 


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


If the pain is due to wedges and non uniformly distributed pressure, doctors suggest braces to support the knee joint.


You have to inject corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, and platelet-rich plasma to improve the condition in some cases. The effect of injection can last as long as six months. But not all of them are effective.


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This may sound very scary, but sometimes the condition gets worse, and you badly require surgery. The surgery can be arthroscopic, partial knee replacement surgery, or total knee replacement surgery. In these procedures, surgeons cut away damaged parts of your knee or thigh to treat the disease.


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


Home remedies

If the pain is in its starting stage, you can try out these home remedies. 

These self-care measures are effective in curing an injured knee.

  • Take enough rest. Taking a break from your everyday activities is necessary. Because the less you walk, the less strained your knees are. It won’t relieve the pain but prevent further damage. 
  • You can use ice on your knee cap. Wrap a few ice cubes in a towel to protect your skin from direct contact. Ice therapy is safe, but still, you should not use it for more than 20 minutes at a time. This is because your nerves and skin may become irritated.
  • Applying a heat pack to the pain source helps in relieving pain.
  • Find a compression bandage that should be lightweight and breathable. Make sure it’s tight enough to compress and support your knee without disturbing the circulation. This compression therapy helps in fluid buildup in damaged tissues; hence your knees stay aligned and stable.
  • If the knee or surrounding area is swollen, pop your injured leg on pillows. You can also get relaxed sitting on a recliner.


Acupuncture is a process where needles trigger the pain point source and relieves pain. You can use this anywhere. Some might not be very comfortable with the procedure and rather need a non-invasive means to alleviate the pain.


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


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TENS machine

It is a new term added in medical science that is highly effective as compared to other measures. A TENS machine, also known as a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit, is an advanced treatment strategy that can curb any pain.

It is a tiny portable battery-operated device. TENS machine for knee pain works on closed gate principles. It releases short electrical signals in your body that ultimately relieves pain.  This isn’t the electric signals you get from a short circuit but is a very comfortable one. So nothing to worry about using a TENS machine on your knee. The best part is these units are non-addictive. 

5 Tips For TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain

If you want to get the best relief from knee pain, don’t forget to follow these tips while using the TENS machine for knees

  • Find the source of pain. If possible, outline the concise and tender area.
  • Use two pads on either side of the knee cap. If you have intense pain, use four pads. 
  • You can keep pads in any of the three directions- vertical, horizontal, and angulated.
  • Pads must be at a 1-inch distance. 
  • Don’t apply a pad directly on a joint like knee, elbow, or ankle. 


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


How To Use A TENS Machine On The Knee? 

Using a TENS machine is easy. You can use it on your knees just like you do on other body parts. Place the pads near the pain source, insert the electrodes and switch it on. Slowly increase the intensity to suit your needs. It will give you a tingling sensation, and it’s normal.

Electrodes produce electric signals in your body that obstruct the path of pain signals. Hence the pain-carrying nerves are unable to transfer messages to the brain and spinal cord. This way, you don’t feel any pain. For normal knee pain, use one channel and for acute pain, use two channels.


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2 Tests For Detecting Knee Pain Injury

If the pain is not reducing after applying any of these methods, your doctor may ask you for these tests.

Imaging tests

If there is any bone fracture or degenerative joint disease, a doctor may ask you for an x-ray test. You must also have to go from CT Scanners that is an advanced version of X-Ray. Ultrasound is also a very well-known technology that produces real-time images of soft tissue around your knee. 

Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI works on radio waves and magnets to produce three-dimensional photos of your knee. If there is any issue in ligaments, tendons, cartilage, muscles, or other soft tissues, MRI helps to detect.


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


Lab tests

Next is a lab test. Dr suggests you go for a lab test only when the doctor suspects infection or inflammation. Under this, you may have to have a blood test or arthrocentesis. A needle is inserted in your knee joint to remove small fluid and then sent to a laboratory. The report of these tests may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to come. Depending on what kind of issue you have, the doctor suggests medication. 


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Other Uses Of The TENS Machine

You might be thinking that this machine is only helpful for knee pain, but it is a complete pain-relieving pack that you can use for anybody’s pain taking from headache to period pain.  There are many conditions in which you can trust a TENS unit blindly.

5 People Should Never Use A TENS Machine 

If you fall in any of these categories, do not try the TENS machine without the doctor’s suggestion.

  • If you have cancer.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If there is cognitive impairment.
  • Suffering from epilepsy.
  • If you are pregnant.

3 TENS Machine Cleaning Tips

Now you know everything about the benefits and use of TENS machines. However, if you cannot clean and maintain the unit, it can cost you something big.

  • What you need is to switch off the machine and take out the lead wires from patches. Now wipe the unit with a soft and moist cloth gently. Here are three things you should never use for cleaning a TENS unit: Chemical cleaners, Rubbing alcohol, Excessive water
  • Store the TENS machine at a cool and dry temperature when not in use. I prefer keeping it between minus 14 degrees Fahrenheit and 131 degrees Fahrenheit. The relative humidity must not be more than 90%. 
  • If the unit is not in use for a long time, take the batteries off the unit so that the battery liquid does not leak.


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TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


8 Places You Should Avoid TENS Machine

The fact that you can use TENS machines for all types of pain is actual, but it is forbidden to use specific body parts. It is because the unit won’t relieve you but worsen the condition.

  • Wounds or rashes.
  • Swollen, infected, or inflamed skin.
  • Cancer suspected areas.
  • Insensitive skin.
  • Any part of the face
  • Throat
  • Both sides of the chest and trunk
  • Directly on the spine.

Leaving these places, you can use the TENS machine anyway to get relief. 

8 Factors For Buying A TENS Unit

If you are determined to buy a TENS unit, don’t forget to evaluate these factors to get better out of the best. 

  • Modes ( it must have different modes to respond to another type of pain)
  • Battery life ( it should go long after 1 full charge so that you can use it for a long time)
  • Power level
  • Budget
  • Number of electronic pads
  • Ease of use
  • Lifespan of pads
  • Customer service


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain



Does the placement of patches matter?

Yes, it matters. It plays an important role in recovery. It would be best if you put the patches on fleshy areas and not hard bony joints. Try to place the patches surrounding the painful area. This way, you get relief faster. Although it won’t harm you for the wrong placement, you will get no effective result.

Can I use a TENS unit for knee pain daily?

You can use it regularly if the pain is high. But if you see no improvement, then try to take a break. A break of three to five days is helpful most of the time. If your knee pain is manageable, see that you can live without the unit or not, and you can use it for the next relieving session. Some users prefer using TENS machines when pain is worse, while others use them regularly. 


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We have mentioned everything related to the TENS machine pad placement for knee pain. The eight ways to solve pain issues are mentioned at the top of the article. Did you go through any of those treatment procedures? A TENS machine works on acupuncture points; hence you get similar benefits like acupuncture but much faster. 


TENS Machine Pad Placement For Knee Pain


It’s not necessary to use a TENS machine only when you have a lot of pain. You can use it to get relaxed and release stress from stressed muscles. A quick piece of advice is to not use it while bathing or sleeping, as it can give a shock. If you believe in electrical stimulation therapy, then the TENS machine is the best. 

Think this article can help your closed ones? Share it now!! Get a TENS machine at your home to get a pain-free life. You can get one in a local drug store or online. 


[1] https://respectcaregivers.org/tens-machine-pad-placement-for-knee-pain/

[2] https://respectcaregivers.org/tens-machine-pad-placement-for-knee-pain/