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TENS Program Series 11. Using a TENS Unit? Where Should You Place the Pads to Stop Your Pain?

When setting up a TENS unit, you will generally use either two electrode pads or four electrode pads. Most TENS units have two channels. Each channel controls two electrode pads, so you would need to use two channels to control four electrode pads.

Some general rules or guidelines for placement of two or four pads:

1. We will be providing specific videos on how and where to place the pads for specific pain issues such as back pain, knee pain, or hip pain. Go to the program section at to see specific videos on pad placement.

2. Before each use of the pads, you should clean your skin with gentle soap and water. This helps remove any of the natural oils that may take away some of the stickiness on the electrode pads.

3. After each use the pads should be placed back on the plastic piece from which you originally got it.

4. Once the pads wear out you can purchase new ones separately. You can replace the old pads by simply detaching them from the leads (wires). If you find you are purchasing a lot of pads you may want to consider joining the iReliev Dollar Electrode Pad Club to help you save money.

5. If using the pads on an area that is hairy you may want to shave it first. The hair could interfere with conductivity of the pads.

6. If the area of pain is small (hand or wrist), you may want to use only two pads and one channel.

7. If the area of pain is large (back or quadricep), you may want to use four pads and two channels. One pad from channel one placed above the area of pain and one pad placed below the area. One pad from channel two placed in front of the area of pain and another pad from channel two placed behind the area of pain. This arrangement forms a cross pattern.

Another option for four pads: One pad from channel one in the upper right corner of the area of pain and one pad from channel one in the lower left corner of the area of pain. One pad from channel two in upper left corner of the pain and one pad in lower right corner of the pain. This arrangement forms an X pattern.

However, one can experiment with the placement of the pads if they are following all precautions and warnings.

8. If using just two pads you might try to place one pad directly on the pain and the remaining pad above or below it. Experiment and see what will work the best. You can also place pads on each side of the pain.

9. Another alternative is to try placing pads over the trigger points of a specific muscle. Charts with trigger point locations can be found online.

10.The pads may cause a contraction of the muscles around the painful area. This is fine but it should not increase your pain. TENS is supposed to be comfortable and to help you relieve your pain.

For more information on the TENS programs visit:

If interested in purchasing the TENS/EMS unit by iReliev visit:

DISCLAIMER We insist that you see a physician before starting this video series. Furthermore, this video series is not designed to replace the treatment of a professional: physician, osteopath, physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, or chiropractor. It may however serve as an adjunct. Do not go against the advice of your health care professional. When under the care of a professional make certain that they approve of all that you try. This information is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Any information given about back-related conditions, treatments, and products is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this publication. Before starting an exercise program, consult a physician.

Medical Disclaimer All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

Affiliate disclaimer: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We are highly selective in our products and try our best to keep things fair and balanced in order to help you make the best choice for you.


Back Pain Relief Program

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Check out our Shoulder Program for at home exercises to get you back to business!


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Our Sciatica Program offers videos to help relieve your pain at home, work, or just out living life.


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Our Total Knee Replacement Program can help.


Self Massage Program

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Hip Pain Relief Program

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You'll be back on your feet in no time.


Knee Pain Relief Program

Is knee pain slowing you down? Knee pain relief has never been so accessible.

Learn ways to relieve pain at home and feel your best with the videos in our Knee Program!


Plantar Fasciitis Relief Program

Foot pain can affect many other parts of your body without you even realizing it!

Don’t let your pain progress- stop it NOW with our Plantar Fasciitis program! Full of videos for at home healing.

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