TENS machine for pain relief

Hi all!
I got a TENS machine about a week ago. My spine Dr. set it all up and the rep. for the company showed me how to use it. It is very simple. You control where you place the "sticky pad" and how much strength you wish to use.
It is wonderful!
I can get right to the spot where I have a spasm or where I hurt. My machine has 4 "sticky pads". I can use it as often as needed and it even turns it self off, should you wish to use it at bed time.
The pain relief is fantastic!
Please ask your Dr. about the machine and if it is right for you.
Any and all feed back is welcome.
Em

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I bought one a year ago, but unfortunately, it only helps when I am using it. Once I turn it off, the pain is there. I have spoken to a Pain management doctor, and he gave me a DVD and told me how a Pump stimulator works. It is the same as a Tins machine, however, it is implanted. You first must do a trial run to see if it works. For two weeks they do it without the implant, so you can't drive, lift, or really do too much of anything or you will pull the wires loose. If it works and you want to do the survery, they implant the device and you have like a remote control to regulate the desired strenght of the stimulating. You cannot drive, lift, etc. for 8 weeks after the implant. As I have no one to help me during that time, I have not been able to go through with it.

If you are interested, you must get your primary care doctor, or internist to refer you to a Pain Management Specialist. I don't know the cost, but I will be looking into that if I can work out the help issue. It would depend on what your insurance covers of course. I can't afford to have a live in, but I am checking to see if someone that can come once a week and take me shopping, carry the grocery bag and put things away. I will also have to get a cleaning lady. Anyway, you may want to look into this.

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This is all very interesting information. Never thought of it as a treatment source for people with pain. (Tens) I am going to wish the
Ladyluckb all the best in finding people to help her out with daily activities if she gets a stimulator implanted. Do not be afraid to bring it up to clergy that you need help. They are often good with ideas. This site has educated me and still keeps me thinking.

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Thanks for your reply, Landmark and Ladyluckb.
Landmark, I agree this site does keep one thinking. It is also a wonderful way to speak with people who have experienced what Osteo and real pain is like, with out boring them to tears.
I find with healthy people, they really don't want or need to be "burdened" by illness "chat".
We have a joke at our house, when visitors ask how I am feeling, I tell them I will mail them the CD...that gets a laugh and normal conversation goes on.
There were times that I felt so lonely and had no one to talk to about the illness and the pain. When I found this site, I found that not only could I learn but I could give info that might help someone.
Ladyluckb, I don't know if you are on medicare but I believe they will send people out to your home a couple of times a week to help with lite housekeeping and grocery shopping. Try calling the customer service number on the back of the card. You may need the Dr. to sign off on it. I hope it works out for you.
Any way, this site has been a lifesaver.
I hope you have a good day today and some happiness.
Thanks again.
Em

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I've bought a TENs machine - which is 4 channel so also a EMS (electronic muscle stimulator). Have to go to my P.T. to get it set up (bought it online) next week - managed to catch the yearly fall allergy/bronchitis thing right after I got it. There is also a type of TENs machine I saw while I was shopping for one (on Amazon) that you can clip to your belt, put the sticky pads in place under your clothes, and wear all day if you want. Turn it off and on as needed. I opted instead for the TENs/EMS machine in one unit because I wanted both functions. You can also buy extra sticky pads (with wires) there for most any TENs machine; from what customers said, they don't last forever without losing their stickiness.

When I was going to P.T. I found the TENs treatment (and massage) before exercising meant that within a month I could sit again for long periods while on the computer or while reading in bed with no more pain (docs hadn't been able to answer what the problem was so that's why I got sent to P.T. - turned out to be Performis Syndrome (which I'd found online and asked the P.T. about) - http://www.thestretchinghandbook.com/archives/piriformis-syndrome.php, if you want data about it.

It's one of the pelvic muscles that can get tangled up with or actually go through the sciatic nerve (though the sciatic nerve in this case doesn't cause pain in your thigh like regular sciatic problems but instead that muscle causes deep buttock pain when exercising/walking improperly or sitting too much on the job or in a car - and I'm on the computer long hours daily with an online business).

In addition to using the TENs machine, I also bought a very long heating pad that I can both sit on and lean back against to use while reading in bed - the warmth relaxes that periformis muscle and helps a lot. Next best thing to massage. :>) I did also buy a tube of BioFreeze which is what the therapist used while massaging my back, and it helps for pain relief though messy to handle putting it on (the therapist used to go wash her hands immediately after finishing my massages as it causes her hands to feel very cold and numb).

At any rate, after the TENs machine and exercise during therapy, the buttocks and low back pain went entirely away. Since I've been sick the last 2 weeks I'm noticing it coming back so not a cure but definitely a pain reliever.

I now have a small walking-only (fastest speed is 4mph) electric treadmill (with long handles to hold on to and a panic clip that shuts it off if you stumble or step off it) that I do a brisk 1/2 mile on 3-4x/week, plus a Pilates ball that I use right after the treadmill for other exercises the therapist taught me that are safe for those with osteoporosis (treadmill first as it was hurting to exercise first and the therapist says the walking first 'warms me up from the inside out'). Plus I dug out my old Total Gym 2000 for doing leg squats (keeps my back protected lying on it), do some light weight lifting (5 lbs. only each hand) while lying down, and some Yoga stretches. Doing this stuff, I was without pain for several months until getting sick and being inactive for the last 2 weeks - it was wonderful - and allowed me to concentrate on other ways to rebuild bone (re bone-rebuilding supplements and vitamins - refuse to take any of the bone-rebuilding meds other than Evista - and don't even like taking Evista).

The equipment and exercise had also cured an upper back pain I've had for about 14 years, long before I had osteoporosis (car wreck that broke a rib and damaged a vertebrae), under my right shoulder blade. Turned out there's a bursa under each shoulder blade that evidently had been continually irritated since that caused enough pain I'd had to take 1/2 a Codeine #4 2x/day ever since to keep working and living normally and 'no doctor had figured out what was causing the pain' - x-rays galore, a lung biopsy because they thought a small lump in my lung that turned out instead to be a bone build-up bump on that rib now pressing into that lung from the outside - duh! as they still didn't figure out the bone bump irritating the bursa could be the cause of the pain. I have a pretty high pain threshold and a fear of addiction from pain meds so was able to get by with that little Codeine though my prescription says I could take up to 4 pills a day, but it wasn't pleasant.

So, the one thing I'll be adding as I get back into that exercise routine is the TENS and EMS (EMS because of a small area of muscle wasting from the years I took a statin Rx that, probably needless to say, I no longer take). Will report back if adding the TENS/EMS machine helps return me quickly to a pain-free state. Plus I'm still in the process of adding supplements/vitamins one at a time till I make sure no reaction to each (and yep, one is strontium citrate).

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If you need simple pain relief without narcotics, the TENS unit is the best!
As I type, mine is working quite nicely!

I have had mine for quite while- Starting with one that only used batteries; and now have the unit that is capable of both AC-DC and/or battery function.
It is an exceptional device, and I use it often.
The first time I had it put on my back, I began at about a #13 setting on both leads- I am now up to around 50, which provides me the best relief [for me] if I set it to 'modulate'.

Like any drug warning, please be sure to know how it affects you before you would ever chance to drive and use it. It is much like a massage.
I also use it in conjuction with my Rx Voltaren gel (which is simply diclofenac made into a lotion you would spread on your painful sites 4 times a day). Diclofenac trade names can be found @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diclofenac#Trade_names
The gel dries very clear and has a very pleasant odor to it.

My tens unit also cuts down on my use of narcotics most of the time, and is invaluable to me.

The best part of all is that with my Disability insurance, plus my other ins, I had to pay ZERO for either machine. (Admittedly I did trade the first one in for the new one).
Going through Zynex Corp, I have never had to pay for supplies either; AND they have the BEST customer service around.
Have your pain management doctor write your prescription for it. Ask for Zynex Brand if you want great customer service.
Also ask your pain management doctor for the Voltaren Gel. (Mine had samples, so I knew it worked before I filled my script).

Zynex Medical
9990 Park Meadows Drive
Lone Tree, CO 80124
Toll free: 1-866-940-7030

XOXO
Me

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Hi, not knowing what TENS was, I used Google, and here's the uses of TENS for whoever might want:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcutaneous_electrical_nerve_stimulation#Us es

Also the general wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcutaneous_electrical_nerve_stimulation#Us es

It doesn’t recommend to use it on the neck so it’s out for my recently acquired certain pain behind the ear from the head down to the neck! MRIs on brain/neck didn't show anything. Just started with Klonopin and will see what happens. :) It also says TENS has a number of other restrictions. Leidi

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To answer ANY questions about a TENS Unit, please go to the site for TENS
http://www.tensunit.com/questions.html

Thank you for posting about this Sweet Em; and I hope you enjoy your unit as much as I do mine!

XOXO
me

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Hey Psput! Thanks for all the info...I haven't gotten my bill for the machine but the rep. mentioned I could bargain the price down from an expected $120 to about $80...mine is a "Care Tens" unit that uses one 9volt battery and has 4 sticky pads...it is the best thing I have used since homemade peach ice cream! ( I eat the ice cream, I don't put it on my darned back! Hee-hee) Thanks for the info on Zynex and the Tens web site. I will look them both up.
And hey to you too Sahgb!
Thanks for all your info as well.
I just love this site...you guys make my day!
Hope everyone has a beautiful afternoon.
Love,
Em

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TENS is a great modality, but the you must use the proper settings so you get that nice modulating wave affect. If it feels uncomfortable (doesn't hurt, but feels noxious) it isn't on the right setting. Not all OTs and PTs know how to set them. I really believe TEN units are grossly underused. I have seen amazing results.

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Emmie, thank you re asking Medicare about people coming to help. I will check that. I know they come after a surgery but not sure for how long or if they grocery shop. I am going to wait until the first of the year to possible move forward. My plan changes the end of this year, and I am researching what I want to do.

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Hey Ladyluckb;
Glad to be of help.
I also know that in a lot of communities both church groups and VFW etc. have home helpers.
Good luck.
Em

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In July 2010, I fractured three vertebrae, T11, 12 and L1 while exercising, my normal jump roping, I came down on my heels wrong.
Anyway I was prescribed a tens machine and I wore during the day time for several months. It really helped with the pain while I was healing which has been 15 mos. now, but I am healing which is a blessing.
The machines keep the nerves happy which kept me happy.

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Ggma;
Good news! Hey, anything that helps with the pain is great in my book.
Thank you for sharing.
Emmie

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