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WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
I don't know what we would have done if we had not had ScripHessco as our supplier. From the days before opening until now, they have been here for us. The promptness of your services have been fantastic. The array of products is phenomenal and the great pricing you just can't beat. I want to say a great big "thank you" to Brenda as well she has been the best rep that anyone could ever ask to have call on an office. She is so knowledgeable and has the expertise to help you through from opening to anytime you may need her.
Dr. Roby Taylor Myers, Owner & Lead Chiropractor at East Coast Elite Chiropractic-Sports Performance & Rehab
I appreciate all the support over the last 2 years while setting up my new practice. I have had successful results with over 90-95% of my patients with disc injuries/ neck/ back pain in utilizing the DTS table as a stand alone treatment. I will be honest- it was a tough decision initially because of the financial investment/ commitment while I was starting practice. I am glad that I decided to integrate the DTS into my practice from the start because of the referrals and the wonderful response from my patients. Thanks again for all your help over the last 2 years and continued support.
Dr. Michael Sobran
Electrodes & Wraps
GUIDE TO ELECTRODES & WRAPS
The Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit is an electric stimulation device that excites sensory nerves on painful areas of the body and interrupts the pain signals that go to the brain. Electrical pulses are delivered to the desired body part by wires that lead to electrodes attached to the skin through sticky pads. This effect also causes the body to release endorphins that act as natural pain relievers. TENS unit pads are an accompaniment of every TENS machine and have a finite lifespan.
What Are TENS Unit Electrode Pads?
TENS unit pads or electrodes are primarily used to deliver a desired electrical impulse directly to the body. These pads are placed on the skin and have a sticky conductive gel that allows them to stick to the desired place. Their functionality and efficiency reduce with time, hence the need for replacement at some point.
GUIDELINES WHEN BUYING ELECTRODE PADS
It is important to do your research and understand your target pain areas when purchasing replacement pads for TENS units that are ideal for you. Here are a few things to consider to ensure that you make the most appropriate purchase.
Check Fitting Type
It is essential that you are aware of what type of connection your TENS machine uses. This will ensure that you narrow down your search and buy a product that best fits your machine.
Choose Shape and Size
Electrodes are available in various shapes and sizes available, including square, round, butterfly, and strips. It is advisable to get a shape that best suits your needs. You can also consider buying a combination package if your TENS device utilizes multiple areas.
Determine the Frequency of Use
When you buy electrodes in bulk, you are more likely to get a better price. If you use your TENS device more often, you may consider purchasing and storing more pads for future use. Determining how frequently you use your TENS device will help you know how many pads you should buy.
There are useful tips that you can use to prolong the lifespan of the electrodes. It is important to read the manufacturer's guidelines before taking any actions to avoid damaging the pads. Here are a few recommendations on how to care for your electrodes.
To apply electrode pads:
Make sure the area of application is dry; clean with skin prep wipes. Apply only on unbroken skin.
After removing electrodes from the packaging, set it aside for future storage.
Ensure that you lift the edge of the electrode when peeling away from the release sheet instead of pulling it up by the wires.
You can use a few drops of water if the pads do not stick or they seem dry.
Finally, hold it down lightly to ensure that it has maximum contact with the skin.
Follow these steps to remove the pads:
After peeling off the electrode, use a non-alcoholic wipe to clean or rinse with cold water.
The sticky side should face up to ensure it does not adhere to anything; place it back on the clear sheet it arrived in.
Ensure that you store the electrodes in a cool, dry place to prevent permanent adverse effects on the gel.
Do adequate research on the various options of pads available. Customer reviews and feedback can give you a good idea about some of the best products on the market. Reading the manufacturer's details and specifications will provide you with more information on what you are buying.
How Long Do TENS Unit Electrodes Last?
The lifespan of electrodes is dependent on several factors, as detailed below.
Quality of the Pad
The make of the electrode pad determines how fast it will undergo wear and tear or how fast it may get torn. Expensive TENS unit electrodes made from longer-lasting material tend to withstand regular therapy sessions compared to cheaper pads. The notion of paying for what you get is a critical point of concern.
The Number of Sessions Done
The number of times you use your pads determines their longevity. If you use your pad multiple times in a day or several sessions in a week, your pad will wear out faster. This is in comparison to someone using their machine one to three hours a week.
Number of Pads You Have
Interchanging pads one after the other helps keep the pads moist, especially for people doing several sessions in a day. Rotating between two or more pads reduces wear and tear, ensuring they last longer.
Prepping the Skin Before Use
Making sure the skin surface you are going to apply the pad to is clean helps maintain the condition of the pad. The presence of oils and cream on these surfaces limits the pads' ability to stick, altering impulse delivery.
Cleaning the Pads After Use
Cleaning pads of any residue either by washing or wiping helps maintain their ability to stick. Keeping pads unclean attracts an unhealthy environment for impulse delivery.
Proper Pad Storage
Storing clean pads in an airtight environment reduces the instances of breakdown and tear that result from poor storage. Poor storage, in this case, involves storing pads together with sharp objects that may scratch sensitive parts of the pad affecting impulse delivery. These airtight storage cases prevent light, heat, and humidity for longer-lasting pads.
Maintaining Proper Pad Moisture
After using a pad, it is necessary to not only clean but also to apply the correct amount of electrode gel. This reduces instances of the pad sticking to other sticky substances in the same storage compartment.
The lifespan of an electrode pad is 12 to 15 times of use. The TENS machine's efficiency, however, is dependent on the condition of the pouch used to store it.
Do I Need to Use Electrode Gel With My Pads?
Unlike over-the-counter medicine or prescription medicine, TENS unit pads can be used repeatedly without the need for replacement. Over time, however, they may lose adhesiveness due to simple wear and tear. Debris from the skin in the form of oil, cream and dirt make the pads less sticky after several sessions. Reduced adhesiveness may mean you have to replace your pads. You can also choose to make them sticky again.
We recommend that you first make the TENS unit pads sticky again before deciding to buy new ones. Electrode gels are a perfect solution to improving the stickiness of TENS unit pads if thorough cleaning does not improve their stickiness. Apply this product to both electrode pads to uniformly transfer electrical pulses for effective muscle stimulation.
Electrode gels improve the lifespan of electrode pads up to 20-30 times. Before applying the gel, it is recommended that you clean the pad first with a washcloth to wipe off any debris. Other than electrode gels, there are also electrolyte sprays. Depending on personal preferences, whether you choose to buy the gel or the spray, both improve the TENS machine's efficiency.
What Pads Are Suitable If I Have Sensitive Skin or Latex Allergies?
Most conventional TENS unit pads include latex or acidic ingredients in the adhesive gel. These two components tend to affect patients with sensitive skin. Individuals with sensitive skin often experience skin irritation when using latex pads. As a result, latex-free hypoallergenic electrodes are available. The hypoallergenic pads provide mild adhesion due to the reinforcing fiber that maintains structural integrity.
Other Health Concerns
It is important to check the product description for FDA clearance. Some pads are cleared for over-the-counter use while others are not. You can check for FDA clearance on the company's website to confirm.
For hygienic reasons, it is recommended that you not share your pads with others. They are clearly made for single-patient use and are most effective this way.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do electrode pads work?
Electrode pads are disposable or reusable adhesive patches with wires connected to them. They are attached to a person's skin, usually at or near nerves in a painful area, and connected to a TENS unit or an EMS machine. These portable units deliver small electrical impulses through the electrode pads, stimulating the body area they are attached to. The ultimate goal for electrical impulses from TENS units is to flood the nervous system and thus block the transmission of pain signals to the brain and spinal cord. Instead of nerves, EMS units focus on muscle stimulation, in order to strengthen and help rehabilitate them.
What are electrode pads used for?
Electrode pads are generally used for pain relief, from period and labor pain to postoperative joint, neck, and back pain. Other conditions that benefit from electrode pads are arthritis, sports injuries, pain caused by endometriosis, tendinitis, bursitis, peripheral artery disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes-related neuropathy.
Where are electrode pads placed?
Electrode pads should be placed around a painful area, at least 1 inch apart. They should never be used on the temples, the front or sides of the neck, the mouth, or the eyes. Don't place them simultaneously on the chest and the upper back and make sure the TENS unit is switched off when you position them. Another important aspect is the skin you apply electrode pads to has to be clean and dry. Stay clear of irritated, broken, or infected skin, varicose veins, or any numb areas of the body.
How can I make electrode pads sticky again?
Reusable electrodes lose their stickiness over time, but that does not render them unusable. All you have to do is clean them on a regular basis and apply conductivity gels and sprays before attaching them. These not only help them better adhere to the skin but also increase their efficiency in conducting electrical impulses. If you notice that the TENS electrodes lose their stickiness often, it can be an indicator that you are not caring for them properly. It is not enough for the electrode pads to be clean but the skin they are applied on must also be free of oils and debris.
Since not all electrode pads are meant to be adhesive, you may need wraps to secure them. These wraps can also be used for holding hot or cold packs over the treatment area.
How do I clean electrode pads?
TENS unit pads can be very easily cleaned with just a damp washcloth, as is the skin area they are to be used on. To make sure they last longer and perform better, store them in their packaging and cool them off in the fridge after each use. When cleaning the stim pads, there is one additional step you can take every now and then: brushing them lightly with a toothbrush to expose a larger sticky surface area.
How should I dispose of electrode pads?
While TENS and EMS units need to be disposed of at recycling facilities, regular and specialty electrode pads used with them are non-toxic and can be disposed of as regular trash. However, before you do that, inspect the pads and make sure they have no blood on them. That would classify them as potentially infected, requiring them to be disposed of with hazardous waste. You should also cut the wires attached to the stim pads to prevent reuse.
Where can I buy electrode pads?
Scriphessco.com offers a wide range of reusable TENS unit pads, carbon electrodes, and comfortable electrotherapy wraps for your practice. The electrode pads come in various shapes and sizes and they can be fabric-backed, antimicrobial, foam-backed, or made with blue gel for sensitive skin types. We also offer disposable electrodes with snaps ideal for hands, fingers, feet, and ankles; stimulating electrodes specially designed for the lumbosacral region; and hypoallergenic electrodes for pelvic muscles. We recommend you check our entire Electrotherapy selection for complementary products.