Electrode Placements Knee & Lower Leg Pain

Patellar Tendinitis

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the primary source of pain, in this case, directly over the patellar tendon. The first photo above shows a more typical placement when pain is toward the proximal end of the patellar tendon; the second photo shows an electrode placement for pain presenting over a more distal portion of the tendon.

The bony prominence or comfortable location for the rectangular Dispersive Electrode is on the lateral side of the knee, starting from just above the midline of the knee, with most of the electrode placed below the midline angled just slightly toward the anterior of the knee (see photo above). The electrodes will be approximately 0.5 inches apart from one another which is the minimum spacing between the electrodes. The rectangular Dispersive Electrode if possible should not be placed over the peroneal nerve and softer tissue on the posterior lateral side of the knee because delivering stimulation over the softer tissue or stimulating the peroneal nerve will limit the ability of the patient to achieve higher intensity levels and therefore not as strong an electrical field will be created under the smaller electrode over the pain site. Higher intensity levels produce greater and longer lasting efficacy.

Half of one inch (0.5 inches) is the minimum spacing between the electrodes on extremities. Electrodes must not touch each other.

Patellar Tendinitis – Alternative Placement for Rectangular Dispersive Electrode

E-set: If the patient feels stimulation along the peroneal nerve because of a lateral placement of the rectangular Dispersive Electrode, then an alternative comfortable location to place the rectangular Dispersive Electrode is vertically on the medial side of the knee, starting from the midline of the knee, with most of the electrode placed below the midline and angled just slightly toward the anterior of the knee (see photo above).

Half of one inch (0.5 inches) is the minimum spacing between the electrodes on extremities. Electrodes must not touch each other.

Central Knee Pain Focused
in One Location (e.g. ACL Sprain, Meniscus, Bursitis, Osteoarthritis)

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the primary source of pain typically at the anterior/medial edge of the patella, as shown in the photo above.

The bony prominence or comfortable location for the rectangular Dispersive Electrode is on the lateral side of the knee, three quarters of the way up the patella, touching the lateral edge of the patella, angled across the anterior of the knee, and touching the patellar tendon as shown if spacing permits as in the photo above. The rectangular Dispersive Electrode must not be closer than 0.5 inches from the small round Primary Electrode. This is the most comfortable place to receive stimulation into the knee and will allow the patient to achieve a higher intensity level, so even more of the therapeutic signal develops in the volume of tissue beneath the small round Pain Site Electrode.

Half of one inch (0.5 inches) is the minimum spacing between the electrodes on extremities. Electrodes must not touch each other.

Medial Knee Pain (e.g. MCL Sprain, Bursitis, Osteoarthritis)

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the primary source of pain on the medial side of the knee, as shown in the photo to the right.

The bony prominence or comfortable location for the rectangular Dispersive Electrode is on the lateral side of the knee, three quarters of the way up the patella, touching the lateral edge of the patella, angled across the anterior of the knee, and running completely across the patellar tendon as shown in the photo above. This is the most comfortable place to receive stimulation into the knee and will allow the patient to achieve a higher intensity level so even more of the therapeutic signal develops in the volume of tissue beneath the small round Primary Electrode.

Pes Anserine Bursitis

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the single location of pain over the Pes Anserine Bursa on the medial side of the knee, as shown in the photo above.

The bony prominence or comfortable location for the rectangular Dispersive Electrode is on the lateral side of the knee, three quarters of the way up the patella, touching the lateral edge of the patella, angled across the anterior of the knee, and running completely across the patellar tendon as shown in the photo above. The rectangular Secondary Electrode must not be closer than 0.5 inches from the small round Primary Electrode. This is the most comfortable place to receive stimulation into the knee and will allow the patient to achieve a higher intensity level, so even more of the therapeutic signal develops in the volume of tissue beneath the small round Primary Electrode.

Lateral Knee Pain
(e.g., LCL Sprain, Bursitis, Osteoarthritis)

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the primary source of pain on the lateral side of the knee, as shown in the photo to the right.

The bony prominence or comfortable location for the rectangular Dispersive Electrode is on the medial side of the knee, three quarters of the way up the patella, touching the lateral edge of the patella, angled across the anterior of the knee, and running completely across the patellar tendon as shown in the photo above. This is the most comfortable place to receive stimulation into the knee and will allow the patient to achieve a higher intensity level, so even more of the therapeutic signal develops in the volume of tissue beneath the small round Primary Electrode.

Pain Throughout Entire Knee (e.g. Total Knee Replacement, Total Knee Arthroscopy, Chronic Osteoarthritis)

B-set: For pain throughout the knee, for example, following total knee arthroplasty, one round electrode should be placed on the medial side of the knee over a painful area; the second round electrode should be placed over the lateral side of the knee, also over a painful area.

In some instances patients may have pain that presents both inferior and superior to the patella so one round electrode can be placed above the patella and one below the patella, both over painful areas.

If the surgical incision has not yet healed, then the electrodes may not be placed over the incision but may be placed very close to the edge of the incision.

Quadriceps Tendinitis

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the single location of pain typically over the quadriceps tendon just above the patella, as shown in the photo above.

The bony prominence or comfortable location for the rectangular Dispersive Electrode is on the lateral side of the knee, starting just above the midline of the knee, touching the lateral edge of the patella and running completely across the patellar tendon as shown in the photo above. This is the most comfortable place to receive stimulation into the knee and will allow the patient to achieve a higher intensity level, so even more of the therapeutic signal develops in the volume of tissue beneath the small round Primary Electrode.


Calf Pain (e.g. Gastrocnemius Strain)

E-set: For calf pain, for example from a Gastrocnemius strain, the small round Primary Electrode should be placed directly over the primary source of pain over the calf as shown in the first photo above.

The bony prominence or comfortable location for the rectangular Secondary Electrode is on the lateral side of the knee, three quarters of the way up the patella, touching the lateral edge of the patella, angled across the anterior of the knee, and running completely across the patellar tendon as shown in the second photo above. This is the most comfortable place to receive stimulation into the knee and will allow the patient to achieve a higher intensity level, so even more of the therapeutic signal develops in the volume of tissue beneath the small round Primary Electrode over the calf.

Warning: Electrodes must not touch each other.

Illiotibial (IT) Band Pain
in One Location

E-set: The small round Primary Electrode should be placed directly over the single location of pain on the lateral side of the knee, usually proximal to the center line of the joint, as shown in the photo above.

The bony prominence or comfortable location for the rectangular Dispersive Electrode is on the lateral side of the knee, three quarters of the way up the patella, touching the lateral edge of the patella, angled across the anterior of the knee, and running completely across the patellar tendon as shown in the photo above. Feedback reported from patients is that this placement location provides the most profound treatment effect for IT Band related pain. The placement of the rectangular electrode is also the most comfortable place to receive stimulation into the knee and will allow the patient to achieve a higher intensity level, so even more of the therapeutic signal develops in the volume of tissue beneath the small round Primary Electrode. Make sure there is at least 0.5 inches of spacing between the electrodes.

Posterior Medial Knee Pain

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the single location of pain on the posterior side of the leg behind the knee.

The rectangular Dispersive Electrode should be placed over a bony prominence (comfortable location to receive stimulation) which is on the medial side of the knee, starting just above the midline of the knee, touching the medial edge of the patella and angled across the patellar tendon as shown above.

Posterior Medial Knee Pain

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the single location of pain on the posterior side of the leg behind the knee.

The rectangular Dispersive Electrode should be placed over a bony prominence (comfortable location to receive stimulation) which is on the medial side of the knee, starting just above the midline of the knee, touching the medial edge of the patella and angled across the patellar tendon as shown above.


Shin Spints

B-set: The two round Primary Electrodes should be placed directly over the source of pain along the shin. Typical placements for pain from shin splints are shown in the two photos directly above.

If the electrodes are placed about 1.0 inch apart from one another, the therapeutic electrical field formed beneath each electrode will overlap internally allowing the entire region beneath both electrodes of approximately 6 inches by 3 inches to be stimulated and treated.

One inch is the minimum spacing between the electrodes. The electrodes must not touch each other.

Posterior Lateral Knee Pain

E-set: The small round Pain Site Electrode should be placed directly over the single location of pain on the posterior side of the leg behind the knee.

The rectangular Dispersive Electrode should be placed over a bony prominence (comfortable location to receive stimulation) which is on the lateral side of the knee, starting just above the midline of the knee, touching the lateral edge of the patella and angled across the patellar tendon as shown photo above.

Illiotibial (IT) Band Pain
in Two Locations

B-set: For pain in two locations along or at either end of the illiotibial (IT) band, place one round electrode over the first painful area and place the second round electrode over the second painful area as shown for example in the photo above.

There is no maximum spacing between the electrodes.