Using TENS For Common Knee Issues
The knee is a complex hinge joint, as well as the largest joint in the body, and having many components make it prone to injury. While some require surgery to fix, many common ones can heal themselves. Adding a TENS machine to a treatment plan will not only speed up recovery (1), but also provide drug-free pain relief (2).
The knee sits between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bones (tibia and fibula), with the kneecap (patella) sitting in front to provide some protection. Besides the bones, some of the key parts of the knee which are at risk of injury include cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, all of which do different jobs. Articular cartilage, for example, is a slippery substance which helps your knee bones glide smoothly across each other when you bend or straighten your leg. Meanwhile, the four main ligaments in your knee are like strong ropes, holding the bones together and keeping your knee stable.
Knee injuries commonly occur as a result of awkward movements, falls, collisions, not using gym equipment properly, overuse, and playing sports. Pain and swelling are the most common signs of a problem, but your knee may also catch or lock up or feel like it’s going to give way when you put weight on it.
Sudden twists or excessive force on the knee joint, such as repeated jumping or coming to a rapid halt while running, can stretch ligaments beyond their capacity or overstretch tendons causing pain and swelling.
There’s also patellofemoral pain syndrome, or runner’s knee, which causes dull pain behind or around the kneecap over time. Whether you’re running on the road or on a treadmill, the culprit is usually abnormal movement of the kneecap as the knee is bent and straightened, leading to wear and tear of the cartilage on the back of the kneecap.
One of the most common knee injuries, however, is a torn or split meniscus. It occurs because of severe impact or twisting, such as during weight bearing exercise, and in older people simply due to wear and tear. And finally there’s bone chips, bursitis, osteoarthritis, and tendonitis, while an old knee injury that wasn’t properly treated in the past can also cause occasional - or chronic - knee pain.
For common, non-surgical knee issues, treatment usually involves immobilisation, use of anti-inflammatory drugs, wearing a knee brace, and sometimes physiotherapy. A Knee Wrap used with a PainPod or Hidow machine offers drug-free, on-demand pain relief (2) you can use daily, while also reducing stiffness, improving circulation, and encouraging faster healing (3).
It works by sending gentle electrical pulses through pads placed over the affected area, blocking pain signals that would otherwise be sent to the brain, and encouraging the body to produce endorphins to reduce pain naturally (4). The larger silicone conductive pads on the Knee Wrap can be isolated to: above the knee, below the knee, used on either side of the knee or used on all areas simultaneously with 4 connection points. It’s also portable, so you can treat your knee anytime, anywhere.
For more information about the various PainPod and Hidow machines and accessories, click here.
- Taylor, et al. The impact of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on recovery after intensive, muscle damaging, maximal speed training in professional team sports players. J Sci Med Sport. 2015 May;18(3):328-32
- Josimari et al. Effectiveness of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Treatment of Hyperalgesia and Pain. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 6: 492–499, 2008
- Kwon, DR. et al. Short-term microcurrent electrical neuromuscular stimulation to improve muscle function in the elderly: A randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled clinical trial. Medicine. 96:26, 2017
- Vance, et al. Using TENS for pain control: the state of the evidence. Pain Manag. 3: 197-209, 2014