In this article, we will discuss: Is a TENS machine useful for tennis elbow and your best options to buy. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot of your best options.
Last update 2021-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Are you someone who is having joint pain near your forearms? Are you looking for a good treatment for your elbow joint pain? Don’t worry, guys; you are not alone in this situation. According to research, tennis elbow affects around 3% of the population. The name comes from the fact that nearly half of all tennis players get this problem during their careers.
Many topical creams and lotions are floating in the market that claims to give relief to the patient. They stimulate the skin’s sensory nerve and provide comfort to the person, but the effect is temporary in nature. Also, there are elbow straps, thermal wraps, etc., which reduce elbow pain. But some are slow, and some have unwanted side effects.
One of the best methods is electrical stimulation which has been in use for quite some time. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a method of pain relief using mild electrical impulses.
Is A Tens Machine Useful For Tennis Elbow And Your Best Options
Do TENS Machines Work For a Tennis Elbow?
The TENS machine is used to decrease the pain and increase circulation. TENS is a good substitution for medicines. It has two or four electrodes with cross currents. The vibration of the TENS machine relaxes the tight muscles and gives relief to the person.
Basically, it obstructs the release of the pain signal and reduces the feeling of chronic pain. The impulse then aids in the release of endorphins during the process. Endorphins are the natural pain killers released by the body.
The TENS machine is a noninvasive method to get relief from pain. It starts with temporary relief and ends up in lost lasting relief. They are easy to use and set up by anyone. With a multifunction remote, anyone can use the machine easily. TENS machines offer different levels of intensity for all kinds of injuries. The user can change the level of electric shock and can treat the pain.
Various types of wounds can cause elbow pain, like tennis elbow injury, sprains, tendonitis, arthritis pain, etc. With the TENS machine, one can relax the overworked forearm muscles that have become tight. When combined with other treatments like physiotherapy, relaxation therapy, etc., the TENS machine can improve the injured elbow’s motion.
These days, many companies offer a TENS machine that can be used as a massager as well. This can be done by users themselves by following the instructions. The TENS machine is an affordable device available in the market. As compared to other health gadgets, they are pocket-friendly.
One research from 2014 stated that the TENS machine treats both acute and chronic pain very effectively. It eliminates the situation of taking painkillers and any other drugs.
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TENS Machine Pad Placement For Tennis Elbow
TENS machines are small and lightweight, which makes them easy to move. The TENS machine reduces the pain intensity, reduces inflammation, and brings back the elbow to function normally. The machine generally comes with a remote and pads. The remote has buttons to manage the device.
It is important to understand TENS machine placement for tennis elbow. You have to place the pad with electrodes correctly to get the best result. The pads should be placed above and below the elbow creating a square around it. They are placed at least one inch distant from each other. It is advisable not to put the pads on the bones.
The skin should be clean and dry and should not have any cuts or irritation. The next thing is to set the intensity, timing, mode, and pulse rate. Initially, the machine is used continuously with strong intensity to cure the pain of the desired area.
The user has to notice the elbow’s movement and has to decide the intensity level and the frequency of using the machine. After a few days, the time and intensity can be reduced. Once the session is done, carefully remove the pads from your skin and clean them with soap and water.
Risks or Side Effects of Using TENS Machine
Generally, the TENS machine electrode pads are safe for all without leaving any sign of side effects. But for some, it may cause allergies with redness and irritated skin.
It is not advisable for a person who has a pacemaker or has any electrical or metal implant in the body.
Also, if a person has epilepsy and heart problems, he can avoid using the TENS machine. One should also not use it when near water or operating machinery.
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Choosing the Right TENS Machine
While selecting the suitable TENS machine for tennis elbow, the user has to consider many factors. Some important ones are: how long have you been having difficulty from the pain? What is the type of pain? What is the pain area? How long do you want to use the machine?
If the user is suffering from multiple pain points, then the dual channel TENS machine is good for you. It has four adhesive gel pads and multiple power intensities, which can be used in different areas simultaneously. For those who want a smaller machine with fewer pad points, then the original TENS digital pain reliever can help relax the muscles and ease the pain.
Suppose you are looking for a device to take along with you on holiday. In that case, the disposable TENS machine will be the ideal device. This design will also have touch control buttons and large pads attached to it. It can be used for a week or so and then can be dumped so that you don’t have to carry it back.
There are many wireless devices also which help you to stick the pads quickly and hassle-free. You can attach the pads and set the intensity level and then do the everyday chores easily. It will eliminate the situation where the person needs to sit in the same place for a longer time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often can we use TENS for tennis elbow pain?
Unlike medicines or painkillers, TENS machines have no fixed time of usage. With proper guidance, the person can use the machine anytime he like. The person can set the level of intensity as required to cure the pain. It can be used at the office, or home, or anywhere the user wants.
How long does pain relief last after using the TENS machine?
Many people shared different experiences. Some said the pain returns as soon as they switch off the TENS machine. Some said that they got relief for 24 hours. A study suggests that a person will get relief from pain for a long-duration after continuous use of the TENS machine. It is also noticed that pain relief depends on the area affected too.
Can we use a TENS machine for forearms also?
Yes, a TENS machine can be used for forearm pain also. For forearm pain, you need at least two pads. Place the pads with a gap of one-inch minimum. Depending on the pain intensity, one can set the duration and power of the device. The machine will help to loosen the muscle and will improve the circulation of the blood.
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Here are a few products among which you can choose the best one.
Best TENS Machine For Tennis Elbow
#1 TruMedic TENS Electronic Pulse Unit
- sy to use: This TENS machine comes in shape similar to that of a television remote. We have a clear and large display with huge buttons that have labels on this machine. It makes the process easy for older people.
- Pads: The electrode pads in this are designed in a manner where they can be used on any body part. When you place the pads on the body, they target the pain very effectively.
- Modes: The machine comes with three major modes like knead, beat and massage. It also has five auto stimulation programs giving multiple options to the user. Along with these, we have options to set the required intensity and speed levels.
#2 TENKER EMS TENS Unit
- Size: It comes in a compact size and is portable. It can be carried around with us wherever we go. The unit uses low-frequency electrical muscle stimulation, which helps the user to carry it and use it outdoors for a long duration.
- Modes: The machine provides twenty-four modes which help in targeting different types of pains. We are provided with a default timer of twenty minutes, and it can be adjusted to sixty minutes. Twenty intensity levels can be adjusted based on necessity.
- Battery life: Once charged, we can continuously use the machine for ten hours. To recharge the battery, you can use any USB port or wall charger. It also indicates the life of the battery so that the user is aware of the time left.
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#3 KEDSUM Rechargeable Tens Unit
- Modes: The machine provides us with sixteen modes that can be used efficiently. Their intensity levels can also be adjusted. There are two to four massage methods with every mode which can be used according to the requirement.
- Easy to use: The machine comes with an LCD, making it easy to use even at night. It also has a two-output design that can be used by two people or two different body areas simultaneously. You can also use four different size pads.
- Pads: The electrode pads used in the machine are made of high quality, and they remain the same even after thirty uses. The pads are one mm thicker and stick to the skin tightly. They are pre-gelled, making them easy to use. To increase the shelf life of the pads, add drops of water before and after use.
#4 Ohuhu AS1080 TENS unit
- Adjustable intensity: The machine has a timer that can be adjusted between twenty to sixty minutes. It has twenty different intensity levels that give vast options to the user. The machine will switch off automatically once the desired time is finished.
- Pre-programmed modes: The machine has twenty-four diverse settings, which satisfies everybody’s needs and requirement and gives a pleasant massage session.
- Reusable pads: The machine has sixteen electrode pads in it. They are reusable and easy to stick in the aspired area. They are divided into different forms and can be used according to the need of the user.
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#5 ET-7070 iReliev TENS unit Machine
- Modes: It comes with fourteen unique modes to address various ailments. It also comes with a special mode to treat arthritis.
- Intensity levels: This machine has twenty-five intensity levels. The levels can be modified based on our level of pain. It can address both acute as well as chronic pains.
- Timer setup: This provides an option to set up a timer for sixty minutes when you start some mode on your body. The time required for treatment can be changed based on the level of pain.
#6 TEC.BEAN EMS TENS Unit
- Pads: The pads are covered with nonwoven cloth and conductive wire end layer. The electrode pads in this machine can be used 35 times approximately. The pads also come in different sizes to cater to the needs of different body parts. There are three sizes, from large, medium to small, with eight pads in it.
- Battery life: The battery is made up of lithium-ion. It has a longer shelf life. If you charge it entirely once, you can use it for upto 20 hours. It also has a provision to indicate a low battery when the charge is down.
- Modes: The machine comes with sixteen adjustable massage modes and has twenty adjustable intensity levels to address acute and chronic pains.
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Get rid of all those excruciating pain with a simpler yet highly effective device, i.e., a TENS machine. You will not only get relief from pain but will also get a healthier life.
This article has selected the best TENS machine for tennis elbow based on a number of pads, channels, and intensities.
In our opinion, the TruMedic TENS Electronic Pulse... is the best TENS machine for tennis elbow. This is because the machine comes with three major modes like knead, beat and massage. It also has five auto stimulation programs giving multiple options to the user.
The TENKER EMS TENS Unit with 8... is another great choice because the machine provides twenty-four modes which help in targeting different types of pains. We are provided with a default timer of twenty minutes, and it can be adjusted to sixty minutes.
If you are looking for a value for money option, you can also consider the TEC.BEAN EMS TENS Unit Muscle... offers great value and features at a very reasonable price point.