A man treating his ankle sprain using the Compex FIT 3.0 muscle stimulator

An ankle sprain is a common sports injury that can affect a runner, especially when moving on uneven terrain like cross-country competition, or a trail run, for instance. Pushing the foot on uneven ground can cause a twisting movement of the ankle, which can then put excessive tension on the external ankle ligaments. This can result in a simple ligament stretch (mild sprain) or a rupture of ligament fibers (severe sprain). The pain is sharp, and the ankle will swell quickly, contributing to painful symptoms that typically last for 3 to 5 days.

The TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) Pain Relief program helps alleviate pain following an ankle sprain by blocking the transmission of pain through the nervous system.

Using TENS to Treat an Ankle Sprain


TENS Pain Relief (or Modulated Tens depending on the Compex model).

Duration of Treatment

First 3 to 5 days after the ankle sprain. We recommend talking to a doctor if there is no improvement after the first week of use.

Treatment Procedure

Multiple sessions per day are possible if necessary. At a minimum, 1 session per day.

Electrode Placement

Cover the affected area with your electrodes in the following way:

Wired Placement

Wired Electrode Placement for the Ankle

Wireless Placement

Wireless Electrode Placement for the Ankle

Body Position

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.

Adjusting the Intensity

Desired effect: Achieve a tingling sensation, but without pain.

For devices without mi-TENS technology, aim to achieve a tingling sensation without pain. Gradually increase the intensity until you feel the tingling sensation. Reduce intensity if unwanted muscle contraction occurs as this will prevent good treatment of the ankle sprain.

For devices with mi-TENS technology, the optimal stimulation intensity zone automatically adjusts the stimulation energies to prevent any untimely muscle contractions.

On the SP 4.0 and SP 8.0, the device will automatically lower the intensity if an undesired contraction is detected.

Edema Drainage: Muscle Pain from an Ankle Sprain

If your ankle and lower leg are still swollen:


Muscle Pain Relief (or Endorphin-based depending on the Compex model)

Treatment Duration

Start on the 4th day after the injury if your ankle and lower leg are still swollen due to the ankle sprain.
We recommend talking to a doctor if there is no improvement after the first week of use.

Treatment Procedure

1 to 2 times per day, preferably one in the morning and another in the evening.

Electrode Placement

Wireless Placements

Wireless Electrode Placement for the Calf

Wired Placements

Wired Electrode Placement for the Calf

Body Position

Comfortable resting position, lying down or sitting, preferably with legs raised.

Body Position for treating swollen ankles

Intensity Adjustment

Desired effect: Achieving visible muscle twitches while remaining comfortable.

For devices without mi-RANGE technology: aim for a muscle response similar to a beat or a strong vibration, also called muscle twitches. This muscle activity, very different from a true contraction, acts as a pump, crucial for the significant increase in blood flow in the stimulated muscle. This can help to reduce the swelling caused by the ankle sprain. As intensity rises, the muscle beat starts subtly and becomes more visible before it reaches a peak where the muscle response is maximal. It's possible to increase the intensity higher, but it doesn't provide more benefits.

Devices with mi-RANGE technology show the optimal intensity zone on the screen.

On the SP 4.0, there's a small bracket indicating the optimal zone; thus, maintain the intensity within the bracket.

When using the FIT 5.0 and SP 6.0, increase the intensity until "Optimal intensity level found" is displayed.

On the SP 8.0, the mi-AUTORANGE function will automatically adjust the intensity. Once the intensity is found, "Optimal intensity level found" will be displayed.

Do not ignore pain. Consult a doctor if the pain is pronounced and/or lasts for too long.

A woman treating a sprained ankle with electrostimulation

Proven Effectiveness

Supported by clinical studies proving their efficacy, Compex stimulators belong to the category of Class II medical devices and meet the requirements of the European Medical Standard 93/42 EEC.

Compex - Always with you

We're on the side of athletes, amateurs and also ordinary people. From the search for better performance to post injury recovery, from post fatigue massage to pain treatment. At Compex, we have just one goal: people's well being.

To choose the one that's right for you, take a look at our buying guide.

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