How To Use a TENS Unit For Achilles Tendonitis Relief

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The Achilles tendon is one of the largest tendons in the human body. Tendonitis or micro-tears in the Achilles tendon can ultimately weaken the tendon. 

Pain can be felt when the Achilles tendon is injured. One way to help is to use a TENS unit.

In this article, I’m going to go over how to use the TENS unit for Achilles tendonitis

The TENS unit is a powerful pain-relief device that brings many positive effects (and a few humorously negative ones!) to those who have Achilles tendonitis. I’ll tell you about that below.

What Is Achilles Tendonitis

Tendons like the Achilles tendon connect the muscle to the bones. Sometimes, due to a variety of reasons, there could be problems and injuries involving the tendons. 

In the case of Achilles tendonitis, the tendon becomes inflamed due to injury and overuse. Although the tendons will (hopefully) heal, the speed of healing is not as fast as the injured muscles, due to the lack of blood supply. 

Most of the time, the injury of the Achilles tendon is called Achilles tendonitis. However, there might be cases when the tendon isn’t inflamed. The problem lies in the micro tears found on the tendon. 

There are a variety of causes for this.

They could include a sudden increase in the intensity, duration, or frequency of activities that use the Achilles tendon. There could be poor muscle flexibility. Or you could be wearing the incorrect footwear. 

Sometimes, there could be a complete or partial tear of the tendon when it is stretched beyond its capacity. This could happen when you are forcefully jumping, accidentally falling, or overstretching the tendon. 

Regardless, a TENS unit can be used to help with the healing of the tendons as well as pain management brought about by the injured tendon. 

How To Use TENS Unit For Achilles Tendonitis


A TENS unit is a device that produces an electric current to interrupt the sensations of pain. This is done by blocking the nerve signals that tell your brain that your body is in pain. 

It can be used on most areas of the body (excluding the face) but is particularly good for foot issues like Achilles tendon issues and plantar fasciitis.

Apart from blocking the pain messages to the brain, the electric current can help improve circulation in the area. That is quite useful for the healing tendon. With improved circulation, the nutrients needed to help the tendon heal will be easier to get. 

To effectively use your TENS unit for Achilles tendonitis, you have to know where to properly place the electrode pads.

Where to Place the TENS Pads for Achilles Tendonitis

The first thing you need to do is to cleanse the area where you are planning to stick the pads. By cleaning the area, you can better make sure that the electrode pads will stick properly and won’t fall off. 

As for the placement of the pads, that would depend on your goals while using the TENS unit. Pain relief is one of the most common reasons why a TENS unit is used for Achilles tendonitis.

Usually, two electrode pads are used at a time to help with the pain. The most common area where the electrode pads are placed is at the area just above the Achilles tendon while the other is placed just below the calf. 

The most common area where the electrode pads are placed is at the area just above the Achilles tendon while the other is placed just below the calf. 

For pain relief, you have to let the pain guide you while you adjust the placement of the pads.

You can move the pads around so that you can experiment a bit. By trial and error, you will find the area where you feel the most relief when using the TENS unit. 

You can use the TENS unit to help with acute injury healing. In this case, you should place the pads over the area of the injury, surrounding the area of the injury. Most of the time, the area where you feel pain is where the injury is.