View Full Version : Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

03-07-2013, 03:30 PM
Has anyone ever used a TENS unit to help with pain?

03-07-2013, 05:29 PM
yes...did nothing for me...
used one many years ago...


03-08-2013, 10:26 PM
I used a TENS unit and found it helpful. Apparently the further apart that you place the pads, the deeper the impulse goes. I need to find my unit, but the only setting that helped was the intense setting which eats batteries, so I bought rechargeable batteries. It especially helped my lower back pain.

I have lots of patches if you need some. My insurance provides them for free and I have saved them over the years. Pads lasted me about 5 uses each.

I also found Lidocaine 5 percent patches mostly helpful.

03-09-2013, 08:31 PM
I used an EMPI TENS unit effectively for years. I would place the 4 electrodes in a 3" square over the spot where I needed pain relief most. The unit used the same 9 volt battery for months but I didn't need to use it all the time.

Even though I was only supposed to use it for a short period at a time per day, when the pain was really bad I used it about 8 to 10 hours a day for three or four days in a row. That effectively numbed the nerves so I had very little pain for weeks at a time, sometimes months. It's important to place the electrodes so the path of current forms an X over the spot. The unit should come with directions and a doctor or physical therapist can explain that further. I didn't take pain medication and relied solely on that TENS unit for pain relief for almost 10 years.

03-10-2013, 12:16 AM
according to the dictionary, transcutaneous is like transdermal...
it means thru the skin...
i never understood the principal of it for helping deep pain...
i had a PT with me the first times i used machine...
my pain was deep...she said she was sorry the machine
wasn't helping me...
i gave up on it after about 5 tries...
i had a doctor tell me that the more structural the problem,
the less likely something treating nerves will help the pain.
he said that was a reason epidural injections did little for me...
maybe that is why Gabapentin didn't help me either.


03-10-2013, 09:51 AM
I went ahead and took the script the ortho gave me to order the unit. I guess it is worth a try to reduce the pain that I have below and above my short fusion. I am refusing the narcotics to help with pain because I do not want to rely upon that. If this doesn't work we may be looking at a revision in the near future.


03-10-2013, 10:01 AM
I highly recommend the TENS unit. It blocks the pain impulses. In my case, very helpful, especially when I have to sit for hours.

03-10-2013, 12:48 PM
I have a tens unit. I used it all of the time when I went back to work after my 1st surgery. It was the only thing that helped me through the day. It also seemed to continue to help after it was off. It has been while{4years}since my lumbar surgery---I will still use the unit when something acts up. I also use rechargable batteries. It is worth the money!

03-11-2013, 12:57 PM
How long do the electrodes last? I got four with the unit. Also, do I order more electrodes at the Physical Therapy office that I purchased the unit from or can I get them other places?

03-11-2013, 04:23 PM
Hi My electrodes last about a week. I get mine through Empi---they send them through the mail. If you want the contact info--message me and I will send it to you. I don't know if the price is different then the PT place,but it may be worth a phone call.