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pregnancy and tens unit?

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Old 01-08-2004, 03:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Longmont, CO USA
Posts: 98
lcmiller HB User
pregnancy and tens unit?

Hi all

I was just wondering if its safe to use a tens unit on my back while pregnant?

As you can imagine my surgeon was not happy to hear that I was pregnant especially since I'm not even one year out from fusion. OB doctor wants me to stop taking Oxycontin, but that's not gonna happen. I can't function without it. She would rather see me get a pain pump implanted. Not sure how I feel about that option yet.

Thanks in advance


7/23/93 - anterior/posterior fusion L2-S1 with instrumentation and cages
1/27/03 - PLIF T12-L2 with hardware extended from T10-L2
11/11/03 - Found out I was pregnant and unfortunately I'm still in a lot of pain
**************************************** **
7-23-93: anterior/posterior fusion L2-S1 with instrumentation and cages (removed all 4 discs)
1-27-03: posterior fusion T10-L2 with instrumentation (only removed 1 disc)

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Old 01-08-2004, 07:48 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Concord, CA, USA
Posts: 675
successtory HB User
Re: pregnancy and tens unit?

Hey Lisa,

Long time no hear from! Congratulations my dear! You just couldn't even wait another year could ya? hehe Having a baby so close after having fusion. I take it the fusion took and you are doing well?

A TENS unit shouldn't hurt the baby...but go to a TENS website and ask their professionals. Ask your back dr too and what did your bb dr say about the TENS? I wouldn't think it to be very good for the baby when you are in the 3rd trimester....especially if the baby kicks you back with every zap from the TENS unit! hehe ouch! The baby will feel each zap so the bigger the baby...the more it will feel the TENS. Try biofreeze. Good stuff and will help with the "achy backs". I will also suggest getting into some kind of self-hypnosis thing so when the time comes, you will be able to handle the pain much better with less drugs. Some kind of pain control "thing"....acupuncture, hypnosis, meditation, focus/concentration sessions, whatever will work for you.

But worse it will get and you know it will. Prepare yourself for it. The good thing about delivering a child is the pain DOES go away. Mine got stuck and had to be cut out. But the pain I experienced from my back injury was FAR worse that birthing a child that is stuck inside you (OK...let's use our imaginations here). How could that ask? Well, the labor pain at least gives you a few moments to catch your breath before the next bout of pain. Whereas with back pain....there is NEVER a break. NEVER a time when you get to "catch your breath" and relief is so distant on the horizon...that it seems to be forever only a dream. Not with childbirth. Thank heavens.

You should also learn to give yourself (and have hubby learn too) how to rub your back to take the day's stress off it. There IS a way this can be done. But each person is different. Body rubs are great when you can't get to the problem area. An example is a fabulous foot massage....or a hand massage.... or an ear massage. All those things have back-related pressure points and by getting them rubbed, you may help your back along the way. If anything, you will just feel pretty darn good right afterwards! hehe

I hope the new year brings you everything you hoped for. Take care my friend and congratulations once again.

Old 06-22-2004, 07:33 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1
Scrappit HB User
Re: pregnancy and tens unit?


I only just joined this board, so sorry if this reply seems extremely out of date...

I just wanted to say that here in the U.K. the TENS machine is actually recommended as a drug-free form of pain relief during childbirth. A lot of women rent them for the 4-6 or so weeks around the due date so it's on hand for the delivery. Having had scoliosis surgery myself, I was unable to have an epidural so I was willing to try about anything that might help. The TENS machine was very useful during the early stages of labor, but not so much after that. I didn't use it pre-labor so I'm not sure how effective/safe it is for long-term use prior to the big day, though.

Hope that helps!

Old 06-23-2004, 12:58 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: California
Posts: 132
Racharina HB User
Re: pregnancy and tens unit?

Hello [b]Lcmiller[/b],

How are you doing? you wrote back in January, you must be at about 7 months of pregnancy. How are you feeling? Are you still taking Oxycontin? Or the OB Dr changed your medication? How are you coping with this?

Hope you see this message, you seem to have not come back to the forum. I hope you are doing well.

You know, I hear a lot about the [b]TENS[/b] units. The tens you talk about seems to be under your skin? I have a tens machine but they glue to my lower back and I remove them after 20 minutes. To tell you the truth they [i]don't do ANYTHING!!![/i]... pain is as same as when I turned on the machine. Probably the TENS you talked about is different. Can someone explain? If this helps during pregnancy I may be able to use it if I decide to get pregnant. It couldn't hurt neither one since it is not medicine. However, [b]successtory[/b] has a good point.

[b]Lisa[/b], BTW, congratualtions on your baby

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