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Tens Machine

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Old 06-02-2004, 04:52 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 254
Sara5678 HB User
Question Tens Machine

I recently acquired a Tens Machine. It is quite small and has 4 patches and 2 lead wires. I am not sure how to use it. It is for back and leg pain (pinched nerve and spinal stenosis).

Can anyone tell me how much I can use it? Can a person use it too much? Can there be any harm? Will it relieve the pain for a while after it is turned off? Can I use it on the back for a while and then put it on my leg for a while? Thanks everyone.

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Old 06-02-2004, 10:44 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 230
Re: Tens Machine

Hey Sara,

I wish i could help! I to have a Tens Unit and all I got was burns in spots. I know i didn't use it right. I am afraid to use it again!

My advice is to call your PT, they know how to use it!

Pain doctors also know how to use them as well.

Take care!

Old 06-03-2004, 03:45 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 301
Haw'nCarl HB User
Re: Tens Machine

[COLOR=Sienna]Aloha Sara,

TAZMZN gave you some good advice, you should get some help from a professional on how to use it. As far as the burn spots, this could have been the skin reacting to the sticky pads that you place on your skin, some people may be very sensitive when it comes to their skin. There are some things that you can put on your skin to prevent this from happening. Another problem which could cause burns would be a defective pad. I never had any problems with my skin or burns, and I sometimes maxed out the intensity knobs, but every one is different. I used mine 2, sometimes 3 times a day for 30 minutes at a time. It sends electrical messages to your brain that hopefully fools it and that results in some pain relief. It worked wonders for me, and I absolutely love it. I am not sure if you can over use it but if you feel that you need to use it more than 2 or 3 times a day, you need a lot more help than the tens can provide.

Mine had two channels, two pads per channel. You do not need to use both channels with all four pads, but I usually used all four. I would crisscross the pads to surround the area that I was trying to relieve the pain for, which was my lower back. This is how my PT told me how to use it. But you have to be careful as that little nine-volt battery packs a punch. Turn those intensity knobs very slowly at first until you find a comfortable pulse or current. Mine has three modes, a constant pulse, a kind of a wavy pulse, and then it has the burst mode. I didnít like the burst mode, I usually used the wavy mode. Everybody is different and you have to find what will work best for you. My PT said you could use it on most places of your body, arms, legs, back, but never put the pads on or around your head or heart. If you acquired this machine second hand and do not have new pads you should definitely go out and buy some new pads, I wouldn't recommend using someone else's pads. They are easy to come buy, just call your local medical supply store.

Again, this is my experience, but you really should have a professional teach you how to use the machine properly to get the best results as TAZMZN pointed out, you may cause more discomfort than you already have, and that would be terrible.

Good Luck and God Bless


Old 06-03-2004, 06:36 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3
Re: Tens Machine

Definitely contact your PT about proper use - there are certain locations that the pads must be applied in order to be beneficial. They should have given you an instruction booklet with it. The sales representative ususally will show you exact placement, how to use it, and how to change the batteries.

Yes, you can overuse a TENS unit. You don't want to leave it on all day - the nerves can be overstimulated. My specific course of treatment was 1 hour on and 1/2-1 hour off.

I hope this helps - but please contact your PT/DR for specific pad placement.

Good luck.

Old 06-03-2004, 08:40 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 469
scotty12 HB User
Re: Tens Machine

each lead connects to 2 pads on area with most control 2 pads with 1 cntrl and the other 2 pads on the 2nd cntrl.turn on and raise level slowly until you feel the pulsing
you may have 2 controls..1 for level and other for pulse legnth

it should offer some relief when on but it is more of a distraction (interupts pain signal)when off it wont help.use for 15 to 20 minutes at a time....

make sure you have the pads on before turning on because if you have them in your hands it does shock you.hope you get some relief from it ...........scott

Last edited by scotty12; 06-03-2004 at 08:42 AM.

Old 06-03-2004, 01:56 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 408
standingman HB User
Re: Tens Machine

OK, I'll repeat what others have said. Definitely get instruction from a PT or doc on how to use it, how long, where, etc.. There are some dangers, not only from overuse, but from putting pads in the wrong place (chest, neck, etc.). Used correctly, TENS can be a big help to some people--it has been for me.

Good luck with it!


Old 06-03-2004, 09:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 254
Sara5678 HB User
Re: Tens Machine

Thank you to everyone for your responses. I will be going or PT soon and I will go over the instructions then. It is a great device.

Old 06-10-2004, 09:59 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4
conniej HB User
Re: Tens Machine

Depending on what area you use it for, place the pads on area that is directly below the spot that is hurting if possible. Turn TENS unit on slowly and you will begin to feel small electrical impulses, continues turning unit up until it is a bit uncomfortable and then leave on for two hours. Turn off unit for two hours and continue all day. Do not sleep with the unit on. Good luck.

Old 06-11-2004, 09:20 AM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 408
standingman HB User
Re: Tens Machine

I think the timing and placement also varies from person to person--it's a bit of trial and error--which has some "fun" in it, if you like that sort of thing!


Old 06-12-2004, 07:06 AM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 60
JenEbean HB User
Re: Tens Machine

I love my TENS unit!!! Finally, some pain relief. I had to go to PT before I could get the unit. They showed me lead placement, they said to put the electrodes in the area of the most pain. Turn it on for an hour and off for an hour. Sometimes I forget though and leave it on for hours because the pain relief is so great. Good luck with it. Hope it works as well for you.

Old 06-12-2004, 12:00 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Spring Lake, Mi. USA
Posts: 234
acme HB User
Re: Tens Machine

I used a Tens unit for years! Great device! I used to run it full bore 8-10hrs. a day. I'd pick the impulse that Felt good Crank up the current.......Man it felt good. When I got mine a casset tape came along with it! Also.....There are different size pads & different adhesives!!
Help me tolerate the pain till I had my fusion.......Now pain free!!

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