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TENS Pain Control Unit Manuel
With proper use, TENS can provide a safe, drug free method of
relieving your pain.
TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous
Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS is widely recognized as an
effective method of relieving chronic and acute pain.
TENS sends tiny electrical impulses through the skin to the nerves
lying directly beneath the skin surface. These impulses help to block
the body's ability to send a pain message to your brain and increase
the body's ability to produce its own pain killing substances, called
It should be noted that TENS does not stop pain in 100% of the
situations in which it is employed (neither does any other pain
reliever). In the majority of situations in which it does produce
pain relief, it does not mean that the underlying cause has been
cured. The patient is expected to maintain contact with their
prescribing professional until the underlying cause of the pain is
Remember that the presence of pain is not necessarily bad. Pain
provides a very useful function of warning us that something is
wrong. Because of this warning, it is mandatory that you have seen a
health professional to obtain a prescription for this unit. In doing
so, you and your clinician will be able to identify what is causing
the pain and by working together, you can utilize your TENS to
control the pain during the healing process.
Read this manual carefully and listen to your professional as to
how they want you to utilize this instrument. Properly used, you will
be able to control your pain without any of the risks and side
effects of pain relieving drugs.
Green OFF/ON Lamp- When either Intensity Channel is turned
on, then the Green Lamp will glow indicating that the instrument is
Intensity Knobs- There are two Intensity Controls located
at the top of the instrument. Each control represents an individual
electrical circuit or channel. The numbers one through eight located
on the top of the knob indicate the relative intensity of the
stimulation output and should not be used as a method of measuring
the Intensity. The Level of Intensity you require for your TENS
session may vary from day to day according to the type and condition
of the electrode pads you are using, the moisture of your skin and
even the progress of your rehabilitation.
When each knob is rotated clockwise, an audible "click" will be
heard as you move past the "OFF" position. At this point the unit is
turned on, the Red Channel Lamp will be lit and that channel is
stimulating. By continuing in a clockwise direction, you may increase
the level of stimulation output of that channel to the intensity
suggested by your prescribing professional. When you have selected
the proper intensity for one channel, then follow the same procedure
for the other channel (if more than one channel is desired by your
Any time the stimulation output begins to become uncomfortable,
turn both controls counter-clockwise to turn down the intensity. When
the treatment is finished, turn the controls counter-clockwise until
the audible click is heard and the word "OFF" is selected on each
As your battery begins to drain, you will need to gradually turn
up the Intensity Knobs to maintain the same level of stimulation
output. Remember the correct intensity level for your treatment is
based upon what your nerves feel, not what the numbers on the
Intensity Dial may show.
Electrode Cord Jacks- Each output jack will fit a standard
subminiature phone plug that ends with two single .08 inch electrode
pins (commonly used among various TENS manufacturers). In a single
channel (two pad) application, a single TENS electrode cord is used
in one of the output sockets. With a two channel (four pad)
application, two cords are used. One electrode cord in each Intensity
Jack. At all times, make sure that the phone plug is firmly seated in
the receptacle of the instrument.
Red Channel Lamps- Will be lit or flashing (depending upon
the pulse rate) when that particular channel is being used. As you
increase the pulse rate, you will notice the lamp flashing faster
until the flashes are so fast they appear as a steady glow.
Removing the Battery Cover
If the battery Cover from the front of the unit is removed, you
will find additional controls. Normally the patient should not adjust
these controls unless directed to do so by their professional. When
the unit is initially prescribed, the professional will select the
proper settings for you to use.
Removing the Cover- To remove the cover, push in on the
cover latch and push up. The cover will tilt up and may then be
removed from the instrument.
Batteries and the Battery
Your device has a battery ribbon that will help you remove the
battery once it has been discharged. Insert the batteries into the
device so that the battery is on top of the ribbon and the battery
terminal polarity is correct. When the battery is in place, fold over
the ribbon on top of the battery and replace the battery cover.
The TENS units use a standard 9 volt style battery available at
any local store. You may use either Alkaline non-rechargeable
batteries or the rechargeable Nickel-Cadmium (known as NiCad)
variety. Alkaline batteries are cheap and will generally last longer
than the rechargeable NiCad batteries but the Alkalines are more
expensive in the long run because they must be constantly replaced.
We recommend the purchase of a rechargeable battery system with at
least two NiCad batteries. With such a system, the patient can use
one rechargeable battery while the second battery is charging. Be
very careful when purchasing new Rechargeable NiCad batteries from
retail stores. NiCad batteries are available in two versions, those
having a voltage of 8.4 volts and those having a voltage of only 7.2
volts (there is no such thing as a true '9-volt' NiCad battery). We
do not recommend the use of the 7.2 volt variety, as they will have
an extremely short operation period. Unfortunately, most of the brand
name Nicad batteries are of the 7.2 volt variety. Look at the package
carefully before purchasing!. If you have trouble locating 8.4 volt
NiCad batteries, then please call the factory and we will make them
available to you at nominal cost.
NiCad batteries should be charged 10 - 12 hours with a U.L. listed
charger. Be careful that you do not overcharge the NiCad Batteries by
constantly recharging them after an hour or two of use. NiCad
batteries work best if they are completely drained or used up before
recharging, otherwise a 'memory' condition will develop and the
battery's operation period will be severely reduced.
Battery Compartment Controls
Pulse Duration Control
Adjusts the duration of the electrical waveform pulse (also known
as Pulse Width). The range possible is 50 to 250 microseconds.
Changing the pulse duration will provide a different feel or texture
to the electrical current. This is because different types of nerve
fibers will respond differently to a particular pulse duration.
The longer the pulse, the more total energy each individual pulse
generates. It may therefore be necessary to readjust the Intensity
Controls after the pulse duration has been changed.
Pulse Rate Control
As this is rotated clockwise, the frequency (number of individual
pulses per second) will increase. The range available is from 2 to
120 pulses per second.
At the lower frequencies (below 30 - 40 pulses per second) you may
be able to feel the individual pulses and a tapping sensation will
result. Above that rate, your body is not able to differentiate each
individual pulse and a buzzing sensation will be perceived.
As with the Pulse Duration Control, if you increase the pulse
frequency, you are increasing the amount of energy being delivered to
the body. You will then need to adjust the Intensity Controls. Always
turn any dial slowly so that you don't surprise yourself.
The Mode Switch allows a choice of Normal (N), Burst (B) or
Modulated (M) modes. Use the setting that your professional has
chosen for you.
Do not switch modes while the instrument is operating. Turn off
the instrument using the Intensity Controls (the green lamp will be
off), then move the switch to the new Mode position.
Normal Mode (N)
Normal Mode is the conventional TENS mode. The Pulse Rate and
Pulse Duration controls work independently according to the settings
Burst Mode (B)
In Burst Mode, the instrument will deliver a group or "Burst" of
approximately seven (7) individual pulses. Each of the "Bursts" will
occur twice per second. When using Burst Mode, the Pulse Rate Control
will be disabled. The Pulse Duration Control is still active.
Modulation Mode (B)
Modulation Mode is designed to prevent nerve accommodation. The
Pulse Rate will start at approximately 100 pulses per second,
gradually change frequency to approximately 50 p.p.s. and then return
back to 100 p.p.s. The cycle occurs approximately every four seconds.
Note: When using Modulation mode increase the intensity very slowly
so that you can feel the Intensity over the entire range of the
In Modulation Mode, the Pulse Rate control is disabled. You may
still adjust the Pulse Duration.
Electrode Pads & Electrode
Your TENS unit can use many different styles of Electrode Pads.
The most common are the "Pigtail" style where the pin on the cord is
inserted into the female receptacle on the electrode pad. With other
types of electrodes the pin is inserted directly into a small hole in
the carbon rubber.
Multiple Use electrodes have an adhesive which can be used
repeatedly by the same patient until the adhesive wears out
(typically 1020 applications). The adhesive will last even longer if
the patient is careful to clean the skin prior to use and returns the
electrodes to their storage bags.
Your TENS unit works by applying electrical current to your body
through the cords and electrode pads that are provided with the unit.
Each channel of your TENS unit uses one cord and two electrodes as
in this single channel application (shown here with pigtail
If you are using two channels then you will be using two cords and
four electrodes as in this diagram using direct pin electrodes.
General Operating Instructions
1. Clean the skin surface of the body area to be treated.
2. Inspect the electrode cords and electrode pads for wear.
If they are not in good condition, they should be replaced. If they
are acceptable, then insert the cord pins into each electrode pad.
3. Peel away the paper backing of the disposable electrode
and place it on the body. Use the electrode sites recommended by your
4. Verify that the Battery Compartment Controls are
adjusted to the settings chosen by your clinician. If the clinician
has previously set the Battery Compartment Controls for you, leave
them alone until the clinician directs how and when to change them.
5. Turn each Intensity Control clockwise and SLOWLY
increase the intensity level to that recommended by your clinician.
Usually, that will mean increasing intensity until you can feel the
`tingling' sensation of the stimulation. If any muscles begin to
contract, turn down the intensity slightly. (Note: Some forms of
treatment may use a slight muscle contraction. Your prescribing
clinician will tell you how far they wish you to turn up the
6. If at any time the electrical stimulation begins to feel
uncomfortable, use the Intensity Controls to turn down the intensity
or turn the instrument off.
7. After a few minutes, it may seem that the sensation of
the stimulation is diminishing. This is entirely normal as your body
adapts to the electrical current. Simply increase the Intensity
Controls slightly until the stimulation is once again at the proper
8. If desired, the unit may be attached to your belt or
simply hung from your body using a cloth strap. This is a convenient
way of continuing treatment while performing your everyday
9. When you are finished using the unit, turn down each
Intensity Control until an audible click is heard and the pointer is
on the word "OFF". This will conserve battery life. You may now
remove the electrode pads from your body.
Care must be taken during long treatment periods to avoid the
incidence of irritation under the pad site. While such irritation is
rare (approximately 1.6%), it can occur with sensitive patients or
improper use of the electrodes.
The incidence of skin irritation under the electrodes can be
reduced by washing and drying the electrode site before treatment.
Firm electrode contact with the skin over the entire electrode
surface is very important. If the electrode is not secure,
intermittent stimulation may occur, which might be uncomfortable to
the patient and could result in irritation. Trim any excess body hair
which could interfere with smooth electrode contact with the skin.
Do Not place electrodes on cut, broken or irritated skin.
Consult with your professional about using alternate electrode pad
positions on your body, so that one particular area of skin does not
get constant use.
Sometimes changing electrode styles may also help. Different
electrode manufacturers use different adhesives. Despite the fact
that TENS electrodes use hypo-allergenic materials, a patient may
still have difficulty with a certain brand of electrode.
Moisturizing skin cream, applied after treatment, has been found
to be helpful for many patients. If skin irritation still occurs,
despite the above recommendations, discontinue use.
Care of the Instrument
The TENS unit is an electrical device. It should not be immersed
in water for cleaning. A soft, damp rag should be sufficient to
remove any dirt from the instrument case.
Store your electrodes in a cool dry place. Return the electrodes
to their storage bag between uses.
Do not attempt to sterilize the instrument or immerse in any
Do NOT yank or twist the cord (wire) portion of the electrode
cord. The electrode wire is deliberately made from thin strands of
wire to increase flexibility and reduce the weight of the cord
assembly. Otherwise the weight of the cord would pull the electrode
right off your body.
When removing the pins from the electrode pad, hold onto the hard
plastic part of the pin connector and remove slowly from the
electrode pad. Electrode Cords normally last at least 5 - 6 months
with normal care and will last considerably longer if reasonable care
Your instrument is warranted for five years from the date of
original purchase. Simply send the unit to the factory with your
accessories and we will fix the instrument at no cost to you and send
it right back. When sending in your instrument please remember to
include your address and day and evening telephone numbers, so the
Technical Support people can reach you if they need additional
If your instrument is out of warranty, then we will call you after
we have inspected the instrument and let you know what the repair
cost will be.
Note: Accessory items such as batteries, cords and electrode
pads are not covered under this warranty. If during a repair
(warranty or otherwise), we determine that any of your accessories
are defective, we will notify you and give you the option of
purchasing replacement accessories at a nominal cost.
Electrodes for your instrument are usually available through your
local medical supply dealer or a pharmacy that has a home health
center. Ask for electrodes that use the industry standard "Pin"
If the cost of your TENS unit was covered by your insurance or
Medicare, you may be able to get full or partial reimbursement for
your electrode purchases. Please ask your supplier and your
insurance company about their policies. Your supplier may be able to
handle the paper work for you or you may need to send in a copy of
the invoice you receive when you purchase your replacement
electrodes. If your insurance company or supplier has any questions,
you may refer them to us.
If your favorite supplier does not have TENS electrodes, have them
contact us and we will make sure they can get them for you.