Are you talking about a TENS unit? If so, I ended up buying one outright during my knee surgeries because they were making me use them after each one and my insurance company was getting tired of paying for it.
I have one that can actually use up to 4 leeds (electrodes) and sometimes, depending on the type of pain and the actual pain level itself, it does take the pain down a couple of notches. Other times it more or less just provides a distraction from the pain which I guess is acceptable. Some days I really have to crank it up a few notches to get relief and other days the lower settings do the job.
I can say that it was worth the investment because it's helped me make it through some really tough days, and it's not big and heavy, so if I need to I can clip it to my waist band and were it out of the house.
Same to you- I hope that TENS works and helps you through the day. It can take some getting used to. Oh- make sure the darn thing is off all the way before you pull the electrodes of because I got a nasty shock to my fingers once when I forgot to turn it off and I mean to tell you, I had that thing cranked up that day!
Did your pm tell you about placement of the electrodes? You actually circle the area of pain and don't neccesarily place them directly over the pain sites? If he told you differently, I'm interested in knowing his suggestions.
I have one also,it has four pads with it.The way it was explained to me was the brain can only detect one pain at a time,so when the unit is on,the brain is focusing on the electric pulse,and not the actual pain.But then again,if thats how it works,then why would you need to put the pads[electrodes] surounding were the actual pain is[i asked] but it has been so long since i first got mine,i forget what the answer was.But it didn't work to well for me.
That is very interesting about the brain only being able to detect one pain at a time. Thanks for sharing that information. I don't remember the reasoning for surrounding the pain either. Does it have something to do with stimulating and promoting blood supply to the area? I forget...
And I've talked to several people who use/used TENS and you do get mixed reviews about the efficiency of it actually making pain levels decrease. I think that sometimes I percieve that the pain is less because of the distraction it provides.
I am glad you went the TENs route,really,this is my "go to' resucue 'plan B" thing.when I get a flare in my knee,this is what I go to before ven considering one of my two precious BT meds.the TENs has worked extremely well for me some days and others it does help some but depending on just what is causing that particular flare inside my knee that day,it can vary.
the real key here is electrode placement.if you are just "surrounding' the area with the electrodes and not criss crossing the hook ups,you are just sending the signals "around' the pain and not actually thru it.you know what I mean?
this is why it is always best to go thru an actual PT person when you obtain the unit.they can show you the most effective ways of using the unit more geared for your specific type of pain and the location.
when you place the electrodes always always criss cross the wire hookups so the current is actually running 'thru' the painful area.this is the best way to obtain relief from it and to actually get the most benefit from it.if the current is not actually running thru it,it will be pretty ineffective for pain control.i wonder how many people actually try this and when they get no benefit from it just give it up without actually knowing the proper placement of the wires.
i am assuming you have the myriad of diffent pulses you can change too as well?i have found that the like one second pulse thing is the one that works best for me.it just sends that pulse out like every second or two seconds?on my unti it is # 12?if your unit is from Empi,this would probably be the same for you too.but it isall very individual as to what pulse works best for you.this is just the one that i prefer.i dont like the continuous signal plus it is too much for my knee to handle as it is really hypersensitive.some days I can bring down the pain by only having to ramp it up to around fifteen but there have been days where I have actually had to hit around 30 in order to even reach that pain signal,meet it and then over ride it.
but this machine,on most flare days,works sooo much better for me than reaching for the breakthru meds.as long as I can over ride what my knee is putting out I can get some good relief and even be a bit productive with a day that ordinarily when my pain flares,would keep me pretty much down and out of the gane the whole day.it has truely been a lifesaver for me.
I was renting mine thru the vendor that my ins co chose and after the allotted time the ins co would pay for the rental,i was asked by Empi if i wanted to return it or but it,well there really wasn't a moments hesitation on my part as far as keeping this wonderful little machine.it works that well for me.
it works better on some types of pain much better than some others.like it wont even touch my central pain at all but that is a more "surface type" of pain?where as my RSD has both surface issues but also has very deep pain issues too and that is what the unit seems to actually work the best on,at least what I have found with my pain.
just remember to always criss cross those wires so the current is always going thru the pain not around it,and then just work with it trying different variations of pulsations and voltages.when I first place the electrodes sometimes then turn it on,i will find that it feels like it just isn't hitting my pain right so then you just shut OFF the machine,rearrange the electrodes a bit and turn it on again.i will sometimes have to do this like three times before i find just the right place for that particular time.so don't be afraid to stop it and rearrange the electrodes a bit.you will know when you hit that 'right' spot.
just don't give up on it til you have really worked with it.i wish you all luck with this little wonderous machine.like i said before,this thing really has saved me from having to suffer thru some pretty obnoxious pain flares.i would never part with it now.
oh,just an FYI? i found out that you CAN use plain old 9V batteries if you ever forget to charge one of the extras that you get?of course you wont be able to actually recharge that when it runs out but its good to have some extra 9V batteries as back ups if this should ever happen.I didn't know this when i had both batteries drained out,i thought i had recharged the one when I placed the new one in but had not,and i was in agony,so I called my Empi rep and she said to just use the regular 9V and it would work just fine.and it is still sitting in my machine right now,lol.just a suggestion.
just never take the 9V battery out of your smoke detector,K?it needs to stay put.(you can take the woman out of firefighting but you cannot take the firefighter out of the woman,lol)
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
I had one for a neck injury I had from a rear end collision and I could not stand the way it felt. it reminded me of bugs eating at my flesh, it also felt painful and VERY uncomfortable and icky feeling. I really gave it a try, used it daily for 2 weeks and finally had, had enough of that thing. some people swear by them , I would give it a try, you have nothing to loose and they do work for some people but not for me.