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Advice needed for wearing a TENS unit.

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Old 12-17-2007, 01:57 PM   #1
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Advice needed for wearing a TENS unit.

I was fitted with a TENS unit today. I haven't really had a chance to mess around with the different setting yet. I do have a couple of questions for those that wear one.

1. When do you wear it? (only during flare ups, only at night when going to bed, all the time?)

2. Does it help you cut back on the amount of pain meds that you take?

3. How much does it help? (especially during the BAD flareups)

4. Does anyone wear the pads on their feet? (this is what I am going to do wearing the pads criss crossed on the bottom and top of my feet)

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:31 AM   #2
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Re: Advice needed for wearing a TENS unit.

My hubby uses one for foot pain(and back pain). He only wears is when his pain is flaring and nothing else works. He has been known to wear it 24/7 when his back was killing him. I think that if he wore it on a regular basis he might be able to reduce his pain meds but he wears it when his meds don't work. And to answer your last question...he wears his on the top of his foot and on his ankle. Just make sure you criss cross the pads correctly. He's always telling me how important it is to place them correctly to get maximum pain relief.

Hope this helps a little.~Mush
undiagnosed lung and back pain after pneumonia in '03, tmj, migraines,(two failed surgeries for) Kienbock's disease

Old 12-18-2007, 10:54 AM   #3
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Re: Advice needed for wearing a TENS unit.

Hi Brian:

I too just got my TENS Unit this week. I'm lovin' it. I am pretty much in pain at about a 6 24/7. Since starting the TENS, I would say I'm down to about a 4/5. YAY!!! I'll take whatever I can get. I had gone off of my patch and was just using Percocet 10/325 TID, but at this last visit, my doc decided to put me back on the 25 mcg patch just through the Holidays, and order me a TENS unit along with continuning the Percocet as directed previously. I had recently had a terrible spike in pain with the recurrence of those dreaded muscle spasms. Oh, and he also put me back on Zanaflex so I could perhaps get some much needed sleep. My pain had spiked to around a 7, and I had a new intermitent pain thing with my feet that feels as if I were walking across hot coals. BURNING bad and a pain I can't describe. Lyrica didn't work for me in the past due to negative side effects too numerous to mention. back to the TENS Unit....

I got 4 recharable batteries to go with it. The unit itself is an RS Medical Unit. It has 5 different settings. I have to change the batteries about every 12 hours or so, but I keep mine cranked up pretty high. I prefer the "tap tap tap" setting, and I guess what you would call the "constant/typical"... you know like the one you would get in Physical Therapy. My problem is at L4-S1 so that is where I wear the pads. They informed me the company would mail me new pads every month at no charge, and gave me all info, including a self addressed, stamped envelop for return of the unit in case of malfunction. There is also a 1-800 # on the unit for questions as well as a great manual.

The rechargable battery charger comes with the unit, and as I mentioned, 4 batteries come with it. I keep one or two in my purse charged and ready to go. I keep two in the charger. One note of caution, the book (my manual) says that the batteries are not to be charged for more than 14 hours (12 is typical) as it can shorten the life of the battery.

Right now I am using the TENS 24/7. I had to drive 3 hours yesterday (one way) for a two hour meeting, eventhough, officially I am on break until Jan. 14th for the Holiday! LOL. I am SO paying for it today. I have not been able to get up today really, except to go to the bathroom, and have been just sort of laying around!!! I've got the TENS unit almost all the way up, and am using Heat today. LOTS OF IT!!

So far, I'm very happy with the TENS, and with the exception of yesterdays car travels, I think it has helped to decrease my pain. I wish the doctor had prescribed this a while back. I've had scar tissue to develop around the root of the sciatic nerve. It's starting to pinch it, or "smother" who knows what is down the road. Perhaps nerve ablation?? Dunno about that, but I'm just SO over surgery!

I live in the DEEP SOUTH, and not doing so well with the recent cold spell. And yes, to us down here 32 degrees is COLD! LOL. It's like I can feel my hardware. Is that weird??

I really hope you are able to start getting benefit from your unit soon!! I'll keep you up on my TENS....Like I said so far so good.

Sorry, I'm so verbose. Just not a woman of few words! *blushes* Sorry about that! *blushes again*

Take care,
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:05 AM   #4
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Re: Advice needed for wearing a TENS unit.

i do believe i answered another post you had about this on like the neuropathy boards?but i just wanted to let you know something that I did not know til i spoke with my rep who i was renting my machine from til i actually purchased it since it worked so well for me.i don;t know if this is the exact same with your unit or not,but with mine,the rechargable batteries kind of look like a standard 9 volt?i found out that you can actually use the standard 9 volt batteries with it so you dont always have to be certain that the rechargable ones are always charged?i was using mine so much there for awhile i was forgetting to pop the old one in that charger?when i called the rep and asked her about just sending me out some more rechargable ones,that is when she told me to just go out an buy a big pack of the 9 volts since they work exactly the same and are okay to use in your TENS unit.just thought i would mention that if your unit has what looks like the standard 9 volts.they work just the same but of course you cannot just recharge them,this is always good to know in a pinch,in case you do what i did,like over and over again,oops.

i wear mine only when i have flares or when i am going to be doing something that is going to require me to have to sit more than 15 minutes(car rides are always fun) or when i am going to have to be on my feet for a longer than usual time frame?also,that alternating setting is always been the best for my feel the stim like every other second or something?but you do have the criss cross thing down.that is the key to good current flow thru the pain areas.this does give you the best possible relief in most cases.good luck with this,it usually takes some playing around with the trodes before you find the 'best' settings for you.let us know how things go,K? i hope you can get the type of relief i have been able to get with mine.this is the ONLY thing that helps with the horrid burning RSD knee flares.the ONLY thing.god bless those little trodes.marcia
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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.

Old 06-28-2010, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: Advice needed for wearing a TENS unit.

Before you say anything..... I know this is an old post. I came across it when I was looking for help with my tens unit and saw Marcia's post about using a regular 9 volt battery instead of the rechargeable ones that come with the unit. Mine were on there way to tens battery heaven.

There have been a few post lately regarding tens units and I just wanted to pop this thread back up and say Thanks for that great info. I'm on my way to Krogers to stock up on 9 volts.

Also, if anyone else has an EMPI VT model tens. I'd love to know what number program you set yours on. Mine is currently set on 8. Any other suggestions?


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