TENS Unit Electrode Gel Explained

Written by allison hope
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TENS Unit Electrode Gel Explained
Electrode gel for use with TENS machines. (bottle of aloe gel image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)

Electrode gel is a lubricating liquid used with the TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) machine for pain relief. Electrodes are attached to the body and a small electrical current is passed through the skin to the underlying nerves, blocking pain signals to the brain.

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The gel acts as a conductor enabling the current to flow through the skin and to make the treatment more effective and comfortable. The gel is placed on the electrode, and the electrode is placed on the skin. The current passes through the body at the level needed for pain relief.

TENS Unit Electrode Gel Explained
Place the TENS electrode. (electrodes image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)


With the gels, the TENS treatments are more effective and the skin less sensitive. Using the gel enables the necessary skin-current conduction to take place and prevents sensitivity and prickling of the skin that may happen when the current is concentrated on the surface of the skin rather than passing through it.

TENS Unit Electrode Gel Explained
Enjoy safe, drug-free pain relief. (spoonful of blue pills image by Margaret M Stewart from Fotolia.com)


The gels vary is cost, but as of October 2010, they start at £3.50 for 250 grams and £3.40 for aloe vera-based gel. The gels are hypoallergenic, non-staining and water soluble.

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