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Ideal TENS Unit Placement For Restless Leg Syndrome




TENS Unit placement for Restless Leg Syndrome

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If every night is a constant battle to get a good night’s sleep then this article on TENS unit placement for restless leg syndrome may be of interest for you.  TENS therapy is a medication-free way of alleviating your restless leg syndrome.  No doctor’s prescription needed.

TENS electrode placement for Restless Leg Syndrome

TENS Unit placement for Restless Leg Syndrome

As you can see in the below picture you want to place the 2 pads on the back of the legs just above where your knee is. Place 2 pads above the back of your ankles just below the calf region. 

After the pads have been placed turn on the TENS unit and set it to the desired intensity level.

It will take some trial and error at first. Just keep in mind that if your muscles begin to twitch it is a sign that the setting is too high.

You want to feel a tingling sensation with minimal muscle contraction.  At no point should you feel pain while using a TENS unit. 

If this is the case TURN down the intensity level. 

Another placement that can help with RLS is by placing one electrode pad on the upper leg.

TENS placement for Restless leg syndrome

The placement of the pads for RLS is important.  Before placing the electrode pads make sure to clean the area first.  There are 2 reasons for this-

  1. You want to have the pads adhere to your skin in order for the electric stimulation to work
  2. The oils in your skin can breakdown the gel on the pad over time and it will shorten the lifespan of the electrode pads.

How High Should I Set My TENS Unit? click here to read what settings to use.

Want to know where else you can place a TENS unit for pain relief?  Check out my TENS Unit Placement Guide. It goes over where you can use a TENS unit safely and effectively to help with pain for.

Knee Pain
Neck Pain
Shoulder Pain
Tension Headaches
Golfer’s Elbow
Plantar Fasciitis
Rotator Cuff Pain
Ulnar Nerve Pain
TMJ Pain
and more…..

Best TEN Unit For RLS

tens unit restless leg syndrome

This is the exact TENS unit that I use. It is perfect for alleviating many common types of pain especially RLS. The TENS + EMS Pain Relief & Recovery System is a great little device and has a lot going for it. It is well under $90 and has several programs to choose from and is small enough to fit in your pocket. This is a well made device and beats the lesser quality Amazon TENS units hands down.

You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a quality TENS unit and iReliev gives you a ton of value for the price being paid. Best part is they are based in Dallas, Texas and have phenomenal customer service FREE shipping and delivery in 3-5 days. Get yours today on the iReliev website by clicking here.

Magnesium and Restless Legs

Magnesium for Restless leg syndrome
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Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer and can definitely help with your restless legs and improve sleep.

It is safe to take with no side effects.

Studies show that more than 70% of the population has a deficiency in magnesium.

Make sure that when you buy magnesium supplements it is Magnesium L Threonate.  L Threonate has a high absorption rate compared to magnesium sulfate and glycinate.

I get my magnesium supplements from Amazon. High quality and I know what I’m getting.  Plus the quick delivery does not hurt either.

Magnesium for Restless leg syndrome
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If you are not a fan of taking supplements then try magnesium spray for restless legs and cramps.  It has a high absorption rate and can be applied directly to the legs. 

Click on the picture and check out this highly reviewed magnesium oil on Amazon.


What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) also referred to as Willis-Ekbom Disease, is a condition where you feel the impulse to move your legs.  This usually happens when you are sitting or asleep.

The feeling can be described as tingling, burning or aching sensation in the legs and sometimes pain or cramping occurs.  Sometimes just moving around can help temporarily.  For others who have a more serious case of RLS medication along with lifestyle changes are needed. Unfortunately, there is not a cure for restless leg syndrome so it  is vital to look into ways to manage and reduce the pain.

FAQ about TENS units

Can using a TENS unit cure my pain?
Unfortunately, using a TENS unit will not cure you of aches and pains but it will help reduce and alleviate the pain and allow you to function.

Is using a TENS unit safe?
As mentioned in the post, using a TENS unit is safe to use.  The great thing about it is that you can use it multiple times per day to help with managing pain.

Do I need a prescription from my doctor to purchase a TENS unit?
No prescription is needed. These devices are easily available online on sites such as Amazon or Ebay.

How far apart should the electrode pads be placed?
They should be a at least 1 inch apart on clean, dry, healthy skin.  It is important that the pads never touch or overlap.

How long do the electrode pads last?
Usually you can get a few months of use out of the pads depending on how often you clean them.  Before placing the pad on your skin make sure you clean the area to remove any excess dirt or oils

How do I clean the electrode pads?
Simply put a few drops of water on each pad.  This will remove the oil from your skin that can accumulate on the pad making it last longer.

How to store my TENS unit when not in use
If you have a unit that uses disposable batteries always remove them from the device when you will not be using it for long periods of time.

Wrap the wires around the TENS unit after each use.  This will keep the wires from getting tangled and ensure you get plenty of life out of them. Always store in a cool,dry location.

I hope that you are able to find relief from RLS by using TENS therapy and that it makes a difference in the quality of your life.

About the author

10 responses to “Ideal TENS Unit Placement For Restless Leg Syndrome”

  1. Kathy Ferguson Avatar
    Kathy Ferguson

    Hi my name is Kathy and i was reading your article about tens and rls, i have a question for you. Do you know if it is safe to place tens unit on legs just for stimulation to the muscles, to cause better circulation?
    Thankyou for taking the time to answer.

    1. Optimize Health 365 Avatar
      Optimize Health 365

      Hi Kathy,

      Yes using a TENS unit for increased blood flow is perfectly safe. I recommend people getting a TENS/ EMS (electric muscle stimulation) combo device. The TENS blocks pain while the EMS stimulates muscles.

      If you need help finding one check out my review article – https://optimizehealth365.com/what-is-the-best-tens-ems-combo-machine-available/

      Let me know if you have any questions,
      Thank you

      Optimize Health 365

  2. Lois haynes Avatar
    Lois haynes

    My RLS symptoms were Nearly gone in minutes using your recommended electrode placement. Thank you so much for the information.

    1. Optimize Health 365 Avatar
      Optimize Health 365

      Hi Lois,

      That is great to hear! I’m so glad that using a TENS unit worked on your RLS. Thank you for letting me know.

      Take care,
      Optimize Health 365

  3. KAREN PEACE Avatar

    can you recommend the best tens unit for rls. I am desperate — I have severe rls. thank you.

    1. KAREN PEACE Avatar

      sorry — read more and see thatyou have given advice on this. thanks!

      1. Optimize Health 365 Avatar
        Optimize Health 365

        No problem Karen. Hope you find relief from your RLS 🙂


  4. Robbie Avatar

    You can’t second guess which leg is going to be most affected on any given day, can you use TENS on both legs at one time?

    1. Optimize Health 365 Avatar
      Optimize Health 365

      Yes. The TENS unit can be used on both legs at once. You can put 2 leads (TENS pads) on each leg.

      Optimize Health 365

  5. […] and found effects of TENS to be beneficial. This specific review referenced a study in which a TENS unit was used to activate a nerve found in the leg, and that targeted activation found a decrease in muscle spasms. […]

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