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where do i place the pads on a TENS unit for tennis elbow?

By April 28, 2010 - 8:51am
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Anyone have any recommendations for tennis elbow? Have tried injection, ice, rest, PT, and it just isn't getting better....is now in my left arm, also. Thanks so much!! This is one of the most painful things I have ever had!

April 28, 2010 - 3:12pm

I sure will...have been plagued with tennis elbow for months, and am now in PT, have had injection, the therapist is mostly using modalities for the TE, like inotopheresis, massage, and ultrasound....it is the most painful thing, and is now going into my left elbow....I go back to my doctor on Friday, and may need to see a specialist...this is wearing me down! Don't mean to whine, but just never knew TE was this painful! Thanks!!!

April 28, 2010 - 3:10pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi again ruthann,

That's great, you can get fully trained tomorrow.

As to whether it works - the jury seems to be out. Some reports say it has more of a placebo effect than anything else, others say it has worked very well for them.

The problem (at least for now) is that is is little scientific data on the TENS system and studies are not coming forth.

However, it is not considered to be dangerous, by most accounts. I have also read that the amount of stimulation used can be a factor. You'll need to talk to your doc and PT person about that because the amount will be based on the extent of your osteoarthritis and level of pain.

We can't endorse a product as to it's use, safety or results. If you have a reputable doctor, and are using it as instructed, then TENS is at least something to think about.

Sorry for being so neutral here but with little data on TENS, it's difficult to have answers.

Will you let us know how your appointment goes?

April 28, 2010 - 12:53pm

Thanks! I have a TENS....have appt for PT tomorrow and will get him to show me where to place pads...has TENS been helpful in your opinion, for tennis elbow?

April 28, 2010 - 12:25pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi RuthAnn1021,

Thanks for your question and welcome!

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (or TENS) is a stimulation device placed on the affected area of the body to treat this kind of osteoarthritis. It changes the way your brain perceives pain.

Your placement will depend on the affected area. Some people need it on the back of the elbow right on top of the sharp, bony part or some may need it slightly adjusted to another position.

You will need a prescription for TENS. Do you have a portable device? Your physical therapist, under the direction of your doctor, has to show you where to place the pad so that you can take it home and do it on your own.

Do you have an appointment set up yet?

April 28, 2010 - 12:12pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

I do have a portable device and I do not see a physical therapist because I have already been diagnosed with arthritis and understand that Tens is an affective way of treating the problem areas.

I also have 3 different tablets which I take daily for the arthritis.

Thanks for your help


April 15, 2011 - 7:19am
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