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Old 12-31-2011, 03:51 PM   #1
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TENS unit

I love the stim at PT. I know the medical folks vary on using it, but I don't expect it to TREAT, just to help with the continued pain, esp since I am sick of meds. Any thoughts on home use machines? Easy to use? There seems to be a huge range on pricing. Will I need new pads each time or can they be reused???

Dr Dad says he has used one for a strain and says people report they help. I'll ask PT's opinion on getting one (he uses it w/ heat for me). I don't see my own doc for another month. Just wanted some "on the street" opinions to add in since I find fellow patient advice helpful too

 
Old 12-31-2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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Re: TENS unit

Often insurance with cover the cost of a TENS unit for home use. I suppose it depends on the individual unit, but, from my experience, pads are reusable...and the cost of those is covered, too ( at least a reasonable number, anyway).

The one I had was easy to use. It is important to learn how to place the pads in order to get some pain relief. How well it works depends on what is causing your pain. I used mine about five times and decided it was more irritating to my nerve pain that soothing. Too bad we can't exchange information. I'd be happy to send mine to you!

I got mine from my PT. The doctor was never involved in the decision.

 
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
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Re: TENS unit

hi cheyrl. i too use the the TENS for my RSD pain. and just wanted to kinda ditrto what teri told you and and add a couple things too. as teri mentioned, most ins cos DO pay for this as a 'rental' first? this is really to give the patient the opportunity just to see if this will even work without that pt having to purchase the unit outright right away(why spend any money on something that simply does not work, ya know?). mine, if i recall, actually paid for like 6 weeks of rental, which does also include all the stuff you will need to use it, and also usually includes the telephone number, or website for the particular vendor/rep that the particular PT facility uses so you can also reorder supplies. while you CAN reuse the electrode pads, they do eventually get a bit 'gunky' over time and do need replacing, but they are not too spendy. using an alcohol prep pad(mine came with my unit, but you can also use just a plain old cotton ball or gauze pad with your own alcohol too) and then wiping it over the area where you will just be placing the pads to just get rid of body oils and old spent skin cells, then letting that dry, THEN placing the pads will usually keep them better longer too.

at the end of that rental period, you are usually given the option to either purchase that unit outright(which i did) or send it back, and see if you could possibly find the same unit a bit cheaper like online? i would advise tho to look and see about purchase at another place way before that rental is up so you just have that place and that particular unit already kind of 'set up" for when that rental period ends. you just do not want to have to send it back, then try and find it, and find out you either cannot find it, or just find that the overall price is not that different than what the vendors original pricing was, or finding going outside is way more expensive either. just have that set beforehand, or do what i did and go with the one i was already used to dealing with.

i too recieved my unit from a good knowledgable about TENS unit set up type of PT facility at the referral of my PM. you just do really NEED a good facility who number one, actually even HAS the units to distribute, and then alot of overall knowledge about what the very best places to set the trodes are to hit YOUR particular pain the best and how to use the settings on it too. mine has like 12 different types of 'current/pulsation settings'. i use that alternating pulsation one since this one just helps MY pain the best. but you may find another better for YOUR particular pain. you just have to 'play' with the settings and ramping it up too to see what settings work best for you. since your current PT actually uses the TENS, they just might be a place that also would be the best facility to obtain your trial/rental from too, just check with them first. if they do not have the extra units like my facility did, i would simply ask them who you should see then. i am sure they would be able to tell you.

the only potential involvement from any doc you "may" need if your current PT does not have them to disperse to clients, would be a possible referral to one that does have them. but i would think this one you are seeing either has them, or like i mentioned, would at LEAST be able to point you TO one that does if they are using them in their practice.

my TENS is the ONLY thing i can really even use for my RSD pain when all heck breaks loose that really DOES help. meds really do nothing for that area at all when everything gets crazy. i just have one particular area on the lateral side of my knee where EVERYTHING is highly sensitive to ANY touch at all that i HAVE to avoid at all costs, or it does, like teri had, makes my pain go thru the roof. but as long as i keep that area clear, it really helps me to better deal with the pain there. i would very highly recommend that TENS for anyone to simply just 'try' for their pain. you just never really know what will or will not work for your pain processes until you at least give anything a good shot first. its just another lil pain control 'tool' i can use for back up, ya know? and by the by here, the VERY best way to set those trodes, no matter where on your body you are placing them is to 'crisscross" the wires to those trodes, which they CAN show you and usually recommend for the best overall coverage.

but DO see about getting one cheryl, esp since this DOES appear to already be something that works for you. just speak with your current PT facility about trying one first. and good luck. i hope you can get the very same results you are getting now, at home too. marcia
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