Should I Use a TENS Unit for Tennis Elbow?

Should i use a tens unit for tennis elbow?

Don’t let the name fool you—tennis elbow plagues more victims than just tennis players. The uncomfortable condition is caused by repetitive stress to the extensor muscles in the forearm. This overuse often comes quickly with the regular swing of the tennis racquet, which is where the condition gets its name. But there are dozens of other ways in which a person might develop tennis elbow. Fortunately, there are a handful of treatments too, including using a TENS unit for tennis elbow.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Overuse of the extensor muscles in the forearm and poor or careless technique puts stress on nearby tendons. As tendonitis develops around the elbow, a person will feel pain on the outside of the arm where the elbow meets the forearm. Inflammation of these tendons can affect the entire arm. Those with tennis elbow might end up feeling weak, stiff, and uncomfortable in the rest of their arm. When this is the case, using a TENS unit for elbow tendonitis is particularly helpful. The immediate pain relief that TENS brings can help you get your strength and range of motion back. Additionally, the portability of TENS makes it easy to get these benefits even when you’re making the repetitive movements that may have led to tennis elbow in the first place.

TENS Therapy for Tennis Elbow

How Does Tennis Elbow Develop?

So how does one develop tennis elbow if not through a tennis match? Any motion that repeatedly strains the muscles and tendons around the elbow can lead to tennis elbow. Plenty of people actually have jobs that require motions such as these. Tree-cutters, painters, cooks, musicians, assembly-line workers, and carpenters, for instance, are all at risk. When the movements that cause tennis elbow are part of your career, it’s imperative that you find a safe way to manage the pain.

TENS therapy for Elbow pain

How Often Can You Use TENS for Tennis Elbow Relief?

That’s what makes using a TENS unit for tennis elbow such an effective option. Unlike with over-the-counter and prescription painkillers, there’s no limit to how often you can use TENS. As long as you give your skin a break in between sessions and follow the instructions, you can use TENS as often as needed. You can wear it while you’re at work, or while you’re at home relaxing. Different intensity settings allow you to find a TENS therapy that works well for you.

TENS Unit Pad Placement for Tennis Elbow

TENS unit pad placement for tennis elbow is also flexible. You can try placing two electrode pads above the elbow and two below, creating a square around the elbow. Or, place one larger pad directly above the elbow and one below. Adjust the pads accordingly to find the placement that targets your specific pain.

Does a TENS unit work for Tennis Elbow?

Other Ways to Find Relief for Tennis Elbow

In addition to using a TENS unit for tennis elbow, one can also find relief through physical therapy. There are stretches and exercises that can help strengthen the muscles and tendons surrounding the elbow. The key is finding a way to relieve the elbow of repetitive stress. While you’re searching for a permanent solution to the root source of the problem, TENS can serve to make a tennis-elbow inducing lifestyle more manageable and pain-free. 


Disclaimer: While we do promote TENS therapy as an effective and non-invasive form of pain relief, the information contained in this blog is for general information purposes only. We recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional before proceeding with self-treatment.

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By Mike Williams | November 07, 2017 | 0 Comments

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