Has anyone used a TENS unit for pain relief if so doe... - NRAS

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Has anyone used a TENS unit for pain relief if so does it help.


My finger joints are now so painfull even with ibuprofen gel from doctors that I am looking for aanother way to get some reflief from swelling and pain

20 Replies

I haven't used one, but have heard they are very good with shoulder pain etc., although the people who I know that have used one did not have our condition so not sure.

Ozzy in reply to Hidden


Hi Ozzy, I've used a tenns machine for muscular problems of fibromyalgia and yes it helped to ease th pains but that only lasts for so long, I dont really think the tenns would be good for bones as such but hopefully someone else has other experience in using one for bones and joints and tell us all.

I hope your pains subside very quickly


Ozzy in reply to Philip

Thanks for the info. I spotted on amazon a tenscare iglove which is supposed to give Pain Relief for the Hand and Arthritis but the time you buy this and the unit to plug it into, the cost adds up! so I did not want to waste my money

Hi there Ozzy, I have quite a lot of problems due to the severity of my RA. I use Tens machine for pains in my left hip, lower back and my left knee... I had an RTA prior to contracting this horrible disease though, so don't know if it is more the generalised aches/pains that are lessened...

The TENS machine works by a sort of distraction therapy - sort of a small pain, constant, thereby overloading the senses... thus easing the pain.

I find it not to be a cure, but it definitely helps me when my pains are at their worst - admittedly that is really only the time I use it, as I was told - and can understand, how you could easily 'learn' to ignore any benefits. My machine has 2 sets of 2 pads, so is ideal to surround 1 'joint', or even 2 body areas... I do like the idea of the 'glove' though, as I get a lot of pain in my hands/wrists. I think I need to do some additional research...???

Hope you get some relief soon.


Ozzy in reply to janjo

Thanks for the advice. I have looked further into the glove which connects to the machine, some good reviews but one problem if like me your wedding ring is stuck on you cannot use it


Hi there

I've used a tens machine for muscle pains and its great, but unfortunately does nothing (for me) for any RA bone/joint pain. Maybe everyone differs? Good luck.


I used one in each of my three labours and it was really helpful in the early stages each time. However I can't imagine using on on my hands somehow. Have you tried a paraffin wax bath yet? Tilda xx


Tens are great, but you need to use them in the right area, usually on the motor nerve in the area the pain is, the tens interupts the motor nerve transmitting via the motor neurons to the brain saying hey pain. The CNS is a strange motorway, Hypnosis is a great tool for pain management. And when pain management self Hypnosis is incorporated the sky is the limit.

Hi Ozzy

I'm afraid that the TENS machine hasn't done anything for my hands, but I did splash out on a therapy massager, and that has helped me. It has different attachments for different things, i.e. flat pad for full hand - grip to make a fist around - rubber piece for individual fingers etc. It's also great for easing morning stiffness in my hands. Sometimes I need five minutes on it before I can even hold a towel. Not cheap I'm afraid. but I feel it has been worth every penny.

I note that you are on Ibuprofen gel - have you asked your Doctor for Naproxen - I find it much better for pain reduction.

Take care


I have used a Tens machine on and off for years, I am on my third as they improve as the years have passed. They ease the pain and it does make it easier to work although it is better, of course, to rest while wearing it. I would advise you borrow one before you buy as they do not help everybody. I have had wax baths on my hands too and they also work temporarily but if you do anything energetic straight afterwards the effects wear off. It is much cheaper to get a TENS than pay for your own wax bath.

I was able to have a TENS machine on loan from the local pharmacy here, so that I could try it out and see if it helped.

For me, I use it to top up when I have already taken my pain meds, but still have pain and it helps for a while. I bought my own after the loan as I found it helped particularly with pain in the muscles around the joints. (The muscles tend to go into into spasm when the joint is inflamed and then that causes more pain.)

Thanks for the advice. I have purchased a wax bath to try from amazon for £30 -it had good reveiws- and I am waiting for a company who specializes in tens machines to send me some info on their products. I have seen a physio a few weeks ago who told me to pace myself and try picking up buttons to keep my fingers moving, I waited months for that advice. My GP is not much use but I do have a hospital appointment the end of next month so hopefully they will review my drugs.

hi - i have a TENS machine for a few years, and now have the glove too. The glove was good for me - i tried it damp as it suggests but for me it worked better dry and with my hand/finges bent; which meant i could control the intensity of the pulses/sensations. overall the TENS machine pads have been brilliant for arm and shoulder pain - but that seems to be because the most of my pain appears to come from tedonitis. the pads take a bit of trial and error to get the best position - but worth it to give pleasant relief. A nice pain in some circumstances - if that makes sense(and its controllable!)

i would recommend trying to borrow or hire one to see if it suits - although Boots seem to have a variety which may be more cost effective?

I have a tens machine which I have used on my right shoulder but it didn't do much good (turns out I have a rotator cuff tear so that's probably why). Before knuckle joint replacement in my hand these are the things which helped me: sleeping with my hand dangling down by the side of the bed - I think this must have changed the blood flow; holding my hand in a sink full of cold water; and wrapping my hand in a cold wet towel.

My tens machine is currently 'out on loan' to my youngest daughter (she recently gave us a grandson and has had trouble with her back). I was told the other day that she's still having back problems so I cant look forward to getting it back any time soon. So she has found it helpful ! (Well, someone is getting some use from it - it will probably be past it sell by date by the time I get it back).

Judi xxxxxx

I have used my TENS unit for pain and inflammation for several years. Don't leave home without it! Yes it works. I do not know if it will help your hands, but it is worth the try. Make sure you find a TENS unit with 4 electrodes. They are not very expensive and can find good ones under $75.00. Good luck.

Ozzy in reply to joe1050

thanks for the info as my father is interested in one now for back pain so we can both try it

TENS units work great for pain relief - they even make smaller electrodes that would fit well on your fingers. If you want to read more on how TENS works, the technical aspect of it, etc. check out shop-orthopedics.com/everyt...

Hello everyone, I have a patient named Brenda that is asking about the efficency of the TENS machine.. May I please share your experiences on our RA community on genefo.com ? She will appreciate your feedback.

Thank you

I have just bought a tens machine and I do get quite a bit of relief and comfort

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