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Appropriate electrode sites and electrical characteristics for TENS 

Appropriate electrode sites and electrical characteristics for TENS
Chapter:
Appropriate electrode sites and electrical characteristics for TENS
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199673278.003.0004
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date: 28 March 2020

The success of TENS treatment depends on the use of safe and appropriate TENS technique. Uncertainty about optimal TENS technique is due in part to the variety of possible electrode positions and electrical characteristics that can be chosen for treatment. Conventional TENS uses low-intensity, high-frequency currents to activate low-threshold afferent nerve fibres in the skin. AL-TENS uses high-intensity, low-frequency currents to generate non-painful phasic muscle contractions (twitching). The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the principles that underpin the use of safe and appropriate electrode sites and electrical characteristics during TENS. The chapter covers how to choose between conventional and AL-TENS, the appropriate electrode positioning for conventional TENS and AL-TENS including instances where AL-TENS may be more beneficial than conventional TENS, appropriate choice of electrical characteristics for stimulation, and biological, psychological, and social factors influencing response to TENS

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