TENS Useful or Placebo?
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indytechguy posted:
In my quest to figure out how to get my back pain eliminated, I've done physical therapy, narcotics, and even an injection in my T8-T9 area. Nothing has really worked, in fact I think I am worse off now after the injection (is that even possible?). Anyway, so I've had two visits with a chiropractor who is into this "whole body" thing and is trying to solve my issues focusing on my IBS. For the love of God, I will never ever tell another doctor that I have been diagnosed with IBS in the past. A lot of what he says just sounds like quackery to me. Anyway, he has given me a TENS unit to use on my back and he suggests using it frequently throughout the day to help my back pain. I'm not yet convinced it is useful for me and have seen articles about the device being no better than a placebo?

So the question is to the mid (thoracic) to lower back pain sufferers who have tried a TENS, was it useful for you or just a waste of time?
It is not length of life, but depth of life. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Is the TENS a useful tool for chronic mid to lower back pain?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Undecided
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bj1208 responded:
Hi Indy -

I have not answered your Poll as for one I have tried several times using a TENS Unit and each time it did not help - I actually had increased pains.

However, I have spoke with several members (don't think they are still with us - been almost a year) that use the TENS Unit and have stated it reduced their pains by 25-30% which is a great reduction in pain. I also know a past member who I have as a Facebook friend that uses the TENS Unit along with his pain pump implant and swears by it.

There are those that it does help and those that is doesn't help. Right now we do have a member that is using it for the Cervical area (can be used but it's limited on where the pads must be placed) and I believe this member is getting some relief.

Hope this helps in your research~~
Take care~~

~~ Joy ~~
 
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betsey2u responded:
I am fairly new to all this ,..I took a fall off of a coffee table. (how does one fall off of a coffee table? I just took a step down over it when I moved it and fell the wrong way!) I ended up breaking my foot,..then hopped along for days on end because everyone told me I was fine. I wa sent to therapy after 2 months of trying to tell doctors something was not right. they hadnt even taken a mri only a few spine x-ray,..said all look good. I got into therapy and after 2 months of very little activity I swear that tens machine was a GODSEND! I loved it I started moving around. Then after the third day I felt so good I danced! HA and then I felt all the tingles and muscle spasms come back. I continued therapy tens felt good and kept the muscles spasms to a minimum,..but it didnt change things sort to speak.
I finally had an mri and was confirmed with the hernieated disc in lower back and beginnings of arthritis in all my discs. Orthos said oh well,..not bad enough shots and cetainly not bad enough for surgery. Take meds and exercise. So my journey has begun. I wanted to buy that machine soooooooooo bad but with bills from the therapy and the mri (yeah I have insurance but major deductable) I couldnt justify it. If I have days I do not move around enough,..my muscles spasms. I think the tens machine may have worked the muscles enough to relax them and I miss it alot.
at the same time a few therapy sessions it was a bit nutty,..I had my hand twitching the entire time one time,..and it lasted into the next day,..I think the thing hit a nerve or something. Depended on who put the electrodes on me and where they put them. after that I told them lower. But yeah I miss that tens machine.
 
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trs1960 replied to betsey2u's response:
You need to read a bok called Pain the Science of Suffering
It was written by dr. Walll and Melslef. They invinted the TENS unit and the book explains pain and the gate control theory which is a primary reason the unit does work. Later it's evloved to treat muslce atrophy and it works well for that too.

Tim
 
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Debsbears responded:
Hi Indy I have been off the boards for awhile so I just read this. I use my Tens unit daily for my 8 cervical vertebrae fusion to help control my pain so that I can get off the Narco.

Sept. 13th was my 4 surgery in this area and hope it is my last. This last surgery is taking longer to get pain free. My Neurosurgeon said it is because they had to do now work on the area then the last time. I also had to have all the hardware removed from C2 to T2.

So for me the Tens Unit is working - I am only on 1 Narco a day but still need to take Flexeril to relax the muscles. I hope this helps, Deb
 
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betsey2u replied to trs1960's response:
oh gee really I did read some stuff about the tens and they mentioned our endorphins,..then I thought yeah thats what I need! where do we get those?? lol sex? sunlight,..etc. You know I have to say it is a major plus to anyone who is suffering if placed right. Its been allmost a week and I have gone cold turkey on everything and done the dredded exercise,..I will know in a day or two if that is what is helping my recovery or not. I really should be doing more of the cold and hot therapy but there is only so much time in the day. or my energey whatever that can be a plus also