How to Use a TENS Unit for Neck Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

How to Use a TENS Unit for Neck Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and Brian, my awesome cool model. and today we’re going to show you how to use a TENS unit for
neck pain. so let’s get started. so the folks at Healthmate forever sent me their TS8 tens EMS unit, and that’s the
one we’re going to use today. so if you’re interested in purchasing any of
their tens EMS units make sure you click on the link up there. so I’m going to
show you how to use the tens on the neck right here, where Brian our lovely model
is showing. so the great thing about tens is you can use one channel with two
electrodes, or two channels with four electrodes, and so you can use them a
little bit differently. I personally wouldn’t use an EMS or electrical muscle
stimulation in the neck area, especially if you’re having a lot of pain, so we’re
just gonna do the tens, but they are different with the tens. you really
shouldn’t get a muscle contraction. so if if you’re putting it on you feel like
that muscle is contracting, either it’s too strong or maybe the electrodes are
in a place where you need to move them a little bit. so sometimes you have to
adjust it a little bit, but the great thing with ten’s is the placement
doesn’t have to be exact. you’re really just trying to cover the area of pain. so
let’s say Brian has some pain just really just general kind of in the back
here, maybe where those levator SCAPs are, and so it’s kind of a general pain area.
so what you want to do is kind of cover that pain area. and each channel should
cross so they shouldn’t be side to side or on top like that, but the channel one
should be here in here and channel two should be here, in here. so it’s crossing
that big area to cover it all that area of pain. so when you’re doing that, here
you can see that this is channel, one channel, and it has the two electrodes. so
they’re probably gonna be cold, Brian I apologize. and so you’re just going to
place one maybe here kind of where the upper trap is, and then you’re going to
place the other one, just get a nice broad area a little bit lower maybe
towards the rhomboids. I usually don’t like placing it right on the scapula bone or that shoulder blade. sometimes that’s a little
uncomfortable. so if you can get it on a more meaty area that usually is a little
bit more comfortable. and then so you’re gonna take the other Channel and then
just cross that so kind of mirroring each other. you again you don’t have to
be exact, so it doesn’t have to be in the same spot on each side, the only thing
that it really needs to do is it needs to cross. so I’m just gonna put that one
there, that one there, and so you can see how then this channel is crossing, and
then this channel is crossing. so once you turn it on its really cool because
this one has eight different settings. that’s the eighth part of the name. and
so when you’re going the ones that have the the person using the the weights
trying to make more muscles make muscle stronger, that’s the EMS. so the first
couple ones are the ten. so I would stick with those. and then a lot of people ask
me well which one should I use because they feel differently, and you know there
may be different wavelengths or different frequencies, and to be honest
some therapist might say oh you need to use this one for this and you need to
use this one for this, but with a TENS this is really for pain control. this is
to increase the circulation to that area, so this is a feel-good kind of thing. so
really I would say just try each setting and then see which one feels best for
you. but again you shouldn’t get a contraction with the muscle. they should
feel comfortable. it should be strong but comfortable. so here once you see you
can press you know the one that’s that’s kind of a nice one, and then you go 2
and so when you press on that, it starts moving that means which one is going. you can also just press the plus and minus for the intensity here, but you can also
do the plus and minus buttons here. so I’m actually gonna let Brian kind of go
at his own pace because you know he’s the one feeling it. so I usually let the
patient or the person that it’s on to do the intensity. but as you can see, see
right there is getting him a little bit, so that one might be a little bit too
high, so I would tell him to take down all the way back down, and then I
would just move this one slightly down and then let him try it again. so again
it’s not an exact. sometimes it takes a couple times to figure it out a little
bit better. yeah and then so there’s there’s that little bit of contraction.
so for him he might we need to go a little bit less, or again we might just
need to move the electrodes in a little bit different places. so again it doesn’t
really have to be exact, but that’s kind of how you’re gonna do it. so if he wants
to do something now, like let’s say this side is super painful, what we can do is
then just do the one channel which is two electrodes. and that usually gets it
a little more concentrated in there because the way this works is if they’re
closer together it’s usually stronger. if they’re further apart then it’s just
more general getting the area. so you can drop down to just two electrodes and
then that will make it a little bit stronger. and then you can get a specific
spot. so when you’re doing that you really want to get pretty close to the
area that’s hurting. so a lot of times people might have like a trigger point
or something like that, and so the best way then to do that is let’s say his
trigger point is kind of right here in the trap area, maybe right there or
something. so I would either go on top and bottom
but that might trigger that muscle again, so I would just do them on each side. so
if that was the spot, I would just kind of go right there. so then that one
channel is going back and forth between those electrodes right there. so again
then I would just give him the option of doing the settings. going up a little bit,
going down a little bit, just getting that good feeling. not super painful but
you know strong comfortable kind of feeling. if he gets a little twitch
that’s okay, but you don’t want that big contraction because you know he’s he’s
lean he doesn’t have a whole lot of tissue in that area, so sometimes you’re
going to get a little bit of a contraction with someone lean like this
no matter what, so it really just each person is different. the placements going
to be different for each person, so again it’s great because it is kind of general
and so you can just play around with it a little bit. so you
can also move the electrodes a little bit further up the neck. sometimes it’s a
lot harder for people who have long hair just because the hair gets in the way,
but you can move it up higher on the back of the neck. I would be very careful
about putting it on the front of the neck, and I would always ask your health
care provider if it’s okay because sometimes you might have certain
injuries or certain ailments especially like a pacemaker or something like that,
where you shouldn’t use any kind of electrical stimulation. but let’s say
Brian was having a lot of pain through here his levator SCAP and it was coming
all the way up maybe giving him headaches. I could bring it all the way
up to his hairline up there, and then come down about where it attaches to
that scapula or that shoulder blade, and do the two right there. I could also, if
he was having pain on both sides, then do the cross that way as well so he might
just feel it a little bit more up there. there’s a little more vessels and stuff,
so again just being a little bit careful starting off really low and not going
too crazy for it. but you can go up higher on the back. just be careful about
going more towards the front of the neck. also what’s really cool for the healthmate forever is they have a lot of different styles of pads. so if he wanted
to do something maybe just across the whole lower neck, upper back area, they
have some larger pads where you can easily do that as well. and I’m not going
to put it on his back but I’m just going to show you. like let’s say he had some
general pain through here the whole area, you could do a big one like this and put
it on there, and just kind of that that middle piece just follows along the
spine, and so then there’s one on each side. and you can even do that further
down the back as well. so there’s a couple different placements that you
could do to that, and it’s just really nice because you can kind of get that
whole area of neck pain. so if you’re interested in purchasing any of the
healthmate forever units, make sure and click on the link right above my shoulder over
there, and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking down there. And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

34 thoughts on “How to Use a TENS Unit for Neck Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Was a life guard too…๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’,all-rounder doc๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚๐ŸŽ‚

  2. Thank you! Your videos are always very informative and practical, easy to understand and helpful.

  3. thank you so much, this is great. my unit didn't come with all of this information, & I have been sitting through some uncomfortable muscle contractions, so I am really glad I ran into your posts. one question, if the pain is radiating from the neck to the front or the clavicle, would you put the pads on the front? TIA,

  4. Use code DRJO to get 10% OFF a Healthmate Forever TENS/EMS Unit here: (affiliate link). Want more in-depth info about TENS Units and/or EMS Units, including step-by-step color photos for a wide variety of placements all over the body? Buy my book here:

  5. I was in a vehicular accident. I am still having pain with severe headaches on the left side of neck. I have been seeing a Chiropractor since the accident for 3 months using the tenz unit. He mentioned it should be normal to still have them . Where could i put them to help at home and for how long.

  6. Would the placement you used in the video be a good placement for a pinched nerve in the shoulder blade due to neck issues?

  7. If the scalene muscles are the problem of the pain, can I still use TENS to ease the pain. Until now I couln't find a position for the pads to help the pain.

  8. Developed a shooting pain up in upper neck, shooting into the head, left side behind ear. Can I just put one electrode on the neck?

  9. Dr Jo,
    Where would you put the pads if there is tightness at the suboccipitals and along the facet be specific C2-C3? Thanks

  10. Just went to my therapist for my neck pain, he ended up putting the 4 nodes on my neck and shoulder and after about 30 seconds of using it I got dizzy and light headed, is that normal?

  11. What is the difference between the electrodes being spaced and being close together.

  12. If pain and numbness come down on the arms. Where do we put the electrodes.

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