How to use a TENS Unit for Lower Back Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and Brian my
awesome model, and today I’m gonna show you how to use the tins unit for low
back pain. so let’s get started. The folks at HelathMate Forever sent me their YK15AB TENS/EMS unit and if you’re interested in
purchasing any of their tens EMS units make sure and click on the link up there.
and so while I’m doing the low back pain I’m just gonna use the tens unit. some
therapists might use the EMS for it, but I personally think when you’re doing for
low back pain, you really don’t want to contract that muscle and with the tens
you really shouldn’t be contracting the muscle. this is for that transcutaneous
electrical nerve stimulation just those surface nerves, helps increase
circulation to the area, helps control that pain because it follows the same
pain pathway as the pain pathway. so I’m just gonna use the TENS. if you want to
use the EMS I would talk to your healthcare provider, physical therapist,
doctor about it, but you should talk to them in any case because TENS and EMS
sometimes if you have an injury or certain ailment you might not should use it,
especially if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator or something like that. so
make sure that you’re getting cleared for the okay before you use something
like this. so the great thing about the TENS is you can use one channel that has
two electrodes or you can use two channels that has four electrodes. and
sometimes you can even use a really big electrode just for the one channel but
it has two connections in there, and I’ll show you that at the end. I usually like
the four electrodes the two channels because it can get a whole surface area.
so a lot of times when you have that low back pain maybe that SI joint pain area
in there, just this general back pain, it’s not specific, it just hurts. so if you
use four electrodes that covers more surface area and I like that. but you
want to make sure each channel crosses. so if I have channel one I want the
electrodes to be here in here, and then channel two crosses so you have that
cross motion to get everything in between. if I have a channel here and a
channel here then I’m not really getting that stimulation in the middle. so you
want to make sure it crosses. that’s the really important part. so I’m gonna go ahead and set up the electrodes how I want to if Brian
was just having general low back pain in this area. maybe he had worked out a
little bit too much and he was just feeling really sore, kind of that you
know back extension, back flexion was hurting but nothing specific, just
general back pain. so the channel one I would take and these might be a little
cold sorry Brian. I’m gonna do a big area so I’m just gonna go kind of up here and
then this one I’m gonna go a little bit lower right at his belt line. if you want
to go even lower kind of down into the buttocks area you definitely can do that
that’s your preference, but the great thing about the TENS is that it’s pretty
general. you don’t have to be specific like an EMS where you have to get on the
muscle belly. so then I’m just gonna kind of mirror the other side. again it
doesn’t have to be exact, but just kind of in the general area. so when they
start going again they’re crossing like that, and so they’re getting that whole
low back pain area. so then once you get it set up you can go ahead and turn it
on. and so this unit is a nice simple one. some of the ones they have are a little
more fancy, they’re touch screen and stuff like that, but if you’re not really into
that, you just want something simple that works just as well, this one’s great. and
it even has the areas that you can use. so if you want to do the back, or if you
want to do the neck, or the shoulder, or the elbow, you can just tap on that
button and then kind of go. so we would go to the back, the mode 3. and then you
have your timer that you can set for whatever time you want it to go, and then
you can just start increasing the intensity. so you can do that on the side
here. this is channel a, and that’s channel B, but both of these are channel
a, so he’s going to just increase it on the left side. so I usually let the person
that has it on them do the intensity because sometimes the very first one is
is pretty strong, so you want to have control because you want the, you know,
the intensity to be strong but comfortable. you know it might be
slightly uncomfortable, but you certainly don’t want it to be painful and you
don’t really want those muscles to contract. so if he were to go up high and
this would start really contracting and he’d kind of feel that muscle tightening,
he either has it too high or maybe we just need to move the electrodes a
little. so that’s fine you can move those
electrode.s you don’t have to just be in one specific spot. that’s the great spot
about it, and sometimes you’re just kind of maybe over a nerve or over the muscle
belly and it is going to start contracting it, but you don’t really want
that with the tens. so he’s got it going and that’s that’s good for him, but if
you’re gonna move the electrodes make sure you take the intensity back down,
just because it it will get you a little bit on your finger if you do that. so you
can do a big general area maybe if he was a little more specifically painful
in here you could move them inwards just to get it a little bit closer to the
spine. or if you wanted to, another great component about it is you could just do
one channel with the two electrodes, or you could do the one channel with the
big electrodes. so I’m just gonna take one off and then I’ll show you really
quickly like if there’s a specific area maybe even something like his SI joint
that’s specifically hurting. so he really just wants to get that specific area, so
let’s say he’s really just point tender kind of right on this spot right here, and
that’s bothering him. you can either do one on top and one on the bottom right
below his belt line, or you can just do it side to side. usually it’s just your
preference. for someone really lean like him, you probably want to get it where
it’s a little more meaty, so maybe a little bit more on the outside because
sometimes because he’s so lean and doesn’t have a lot of tissue there, he’s
gonna feel it pretty quickly. so if you get it a little bit more on a meaty part
it won’t be quite as intense. so just the same thing then he can take it up to
comfort level. so the cool thing about the healthmate forever is they’ve got a
whole bunch of different sizes of electrodes too. so if you’re looking to
do like just a mamma-jamma, a good big coverage of your low back, you can do a
big one here like this. so this one has just the two here, so you would want to
do one channel with this big one. so make sure that you’re doing just the one
channel and you got to come and find it here, and then put that on there. so again
with this you don’t have to be super specific with the placement.
usually with a pad this large, it’s usually just when you’re having that
general muscular pain in there. it’s not really a specific spot and so you can
just take this thing off, and I usually like to have that middle piece kind of
go along the spine. so you can have some equal amount on each side. so maybe -whoo
it’s cold- something kind of like that right there. and then again he could kind
of take that intensity if he wanted to, and whatever comfort level and then he
could kind of just put that in his pocket and kind of go on about his day.
so it’s really nice because then you have the timer, and so you can set your
15-20 minutes, and then it’ll automatically shut off. and then you know
a couple hours later you can turn it back on. so if you’re interested in
purchasing any of the health mate forever TENS 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 (especially with the big electrode), have
fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

38 comments on “How to use a TENS Unit for Lower Back Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Vin diesel says:

    likes to bake cake?or cookie,anyways a funny good guy n great product

  2. Roshan Wright says:

    Thx I have a simple tens to use with only 2 pads. Can you also show for knee

  3. Jamual Harris says:

    You are Wonder Woman

  4. Hell Fire says:


  5. Worry Less, Smile More says:

    Dr. Jo what kind of manipulation would a doctor do for t6, t7 area? I’m getting such back pain/pinched nerve on middle thoracic area that I seriously think it’s giving me gastritis Stomach problems. Have you heard of this area causing this? Thank you for all you videos ❤️

  6. Woodulous says:

    Bring back the cooking videos – especially dog treats ! 🐶

  7. alcott devalte says:

    Tnx champ, this must do wonders

  8. rahul prajapat says:

    Which exercise is helpful in case of heamiplagiea

  9. Da Boxer says:

    Hey doctor jo so I have a lot stiffness and tightness in my neck normally I'm a very happy confident person.But I find with this stiffness and pain I'm very quiet and have a lot unusual negative thought when in pain because it lasts for a long time when there's no pain the thoughts go away is this a common symptom of being in pain with stiffness for a long time just feeling bad and a bit negative in general 🙂

  10. Sonny Burks says:

    Your TENS vids are the only good and informative TENS videos out there. Thanks!

  11. Yeswecaen says:

    I just bought ur product, but one question, i have to put the electrode exactly at the same place or i can fail, like put them with 2cm mistake ? Thx for the video

  12. the eabster says:

    Shock him LOL sorry Brian take one for the team

  13. AskDoctorJo says:

    Purchase 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:

  14. songofangels777 says:

    Dr. Joe, could you please show us how to use it for foot/ankle arthritis? My husband has arthritis in every joint in his foot and the pain extends up the ankle but no one has shown us how to use it properly

  15. nothing says:

    so, how do i know if i am in the tens mode or the ems?

  16. Esther Sandel says:

    I have a herniated L4-L5 but no back pain, just brutal muscle spasms and sciatica in the right buttock and down the right leg. Where would I place the pads to target the area? Should I put them where the pain is (on the buttock, thigh and calf) or where the actual injury is (low back)?

  17. Tuhin Sikdar says:

    Dr I want to buy Tens …please give me the best company' name…I also want to know that tens completely cure low back pain

  18. Mohammed Anwar says:

    Many thanks, I have Ankylosing Spondylitis does it help for me?

  19. Tati Domingos says:

    Which of these machines is better for the shoulder?

  20. sboniso ernest says:

    Can you please tell me what is going to help me I got a bad back pain and it's painful anything that can help me please assist?

  21. Amazing G says:

    I’m pregnant and my back is always in excruciating pain, can I use this?

  22. Iki Kolohe Chinchillas says:

    I have this exact TENS unit… I had a super bad, huge infection the end of 2018 in my psoas muscle (spent 3 weeks in the hospital after being med-flighted to Honolulu)… it's left me major back and groin pain. I've seen images of 6 pads (4 on the back and 2 on the upper thigh of the side with the groin pain), but they aren't clear if the 4 pads in back are crossed, then the 2 showing in front are the same channel, or if they are crossed somehow. I can't seem to find anywhere that shows how the 6 pads are broken up into the 3 channels… help?

  23. Deborah Rydman says:

    All you can see is words can’t see the tapes

  24. Will Not says:

    I just got that model and it is powerful. Can make me twitch like crazy

  25. belal smart says:

    Very useful, thanks

  26. Carey Stevenson says:

    My tens unit says not to cross the spine like you’re doing here. Is it okay to do?

  27. Ma. Rebecca Garcia says:

    Hi Dr. Jo, just wanted to ask if this device can help my mother who has a cauda equina syndrome, she had the operation for the nerve compression last Feb 2017. Unfortunately, she was not able to recover her nerve damage specifically on her bladder and bowel control. So she is still using cathether as of now because she cannot control her urine. Just wodering if this device can help her nerve and muscles?

  28. PAVAN SAINI says:

    Yadi ye kaha jaye E.S.T /(Tense) 9 unit to isme kitne pad use hone chahiye plz help me

  29. Bayron Acosta says:

    thank you, the video was great and informative!

  30. Nabeel Ashraf says:

    Good video and very usefull and helpfull

  31. Eric Carlson says:

    Very helpful. Thank you.

  32. أنمار المعالج says:

    If the pain is coming down on one of the legs. Where do we put the poles.

  33. Piyali Banerjee says:

    Doctor Jo, Which is the company of this Tens?

  34. henn sipper says:

    I've got my cord and pads on order, and i can hardly wait. 😣

  35. Jeremy Thomas says:

    Will this help with thoracic back pain

  36. Nasus Yad says:

    hi dr jo , can the tens be used for painful tailbone? i broke mine . thank u for the instruction . very helpful.

  37. hb2553 says:

    Please tell us where to purchase the large pad like in the video! I have a tens unit but the pads are really small! Thank you!

  38. MsLeelee94 says:

    I got a tens unit from Walmart and I like it I might upgrade to this one mine has 2 pads but I would like this one thanks for the video it has helped me relax and feel better

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