Where to Put TENS Pads for Neck Pain

Where to Put TENS Pads for Neck Pain

If you have neck pain due to a whiplash injury due to an auto accident or chronic pain following a workers’ comp injury, a TENS unit can help. You will place small pads on your skin, and then the device will deliver a low electrical current to the painful area. You can adjust the intensity to your desired level and should experience immediate pain relief. Before you use a TENS unit to treat your neck pain, you need to know where to place the pads. Find out where you need to put the pads and how you should use the unit.

TENS is considered a medical-grade device, and you will likely need a prescription from your doctor to get the equipment. In any case, you should consult with an experienced New York neck injury doctor or a specialist like a neurologist before using a TENS unit.

Where to Place the TENS Pads on Your Neck

You should place the TENS pads on the back of your neck, at least an inch apart. If your unit has two channels, you can place four pads. If that is the case, put two of the pads on the back of the neck and the other two on top of your shoulder blades. The pads on your neck and the pads on your shoulder blades will operate on different channels, meaning you can use different programs for each one. TENS units typically have settings for different types of pain. Go through the menu to find the right setting for your pad placement.

What to Do Before Placing the Pads

If you’re in pain, you want to place the pads and get pain relief immediately. You do need to prepare the area before placing the pads, though. Use mild soap to wash your neck and shoulders before placing the pads. If you have excess hair, you might want to remove it. The pads can stick to the hair, making it uncomfortable to pull the electrodes off.

Removing the Pads

You also need to be mindful when removing the pads from your neck and shoulders. Some people tug at the lead wires to remove the electrodes, but that can harm the wires. Instead, peel the pads off your skin, starting at the edge. Once the pads are off, remove the wires and store the pads. Place the pads back in the bag and put them in a cool place. Then they will be ready to use the next time you need them.

Places to Avoid

There are also some places you should avoid when putting TENS unit pads on your body. Never put a TENS pad on a cut or wound. Also, do not put the pads on your carotid arteries. These arteries are located on the left and right sides of your neck. Also, never put the pads on the front of your neck. They should only go on the back. You should also avoid placing the pads on or near your heart. 

Use a TENS Unit to Treat Your Pain

TENS units are portable and easy to use. Get your own TENS unit and use it whenever your neck pain flairs up. You should feel relief as soon as the unit begins delivering pulses of electricity. However, if the TENS unit doesn’t provide the pain relief you need, schedule an appointment with an experienced neurologist or  New York injury doctor.