Oesophageal Patients Association
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Nerve Damage Pain

Had anyone every tried a Tens machine to releave nerve damage pain? I had complications following my op 9years ago and had a chest drain in my right side. This left me with a lot of pain. Some days I feel as if my fibs are in a vice being squeezed tightly. Any suggestions for pain relief would be appreciated, I don't want to become dependant on pain killer tablets.

5 Replies

Not tried it. Can't hurt to give it a go. Would be interest to hear how it goes.

Do you think the pain is associated chest drain site or, presumably from when they broke or spread your ribs? I have the same pain and the same feeling of having a belt around your ribs done up too tight.... 


Hi Lilia

I'm afraid I haven't tried a Tens machine, but suffer a lot of nerve damage pain in my right side where all the scars are and particularly in my ribs and middle. I too feel like I'm in a corset vice around my middle that is being squeezed tight all the time and the pain doesn't go. Im 18 months post op and was hoping this would improve by now but think this is it. I too don't want to take painkillers but have to or the pain gets unbearable. I just take one  co-codamol twice a day, lunchtime and bedtime which takes the edge off, I don't mind some pain but not unbearable. Surgeon said that small dose is absolutely no problem long term. On good days, I occasionally miss the lunchtime but usually regret it later. If you try the Tens machine please let me know how you get on.

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I'm only seven months post op and I have had this same problem since I had the operation, I describe it as feeling as though someone heavy is sitting on that side of my chest. I also have some pieces of plastic card just below the surface at the base of my back scar. The specialist said they would gradually grow out!  I was hoping that it would gradually go away, but reading other people on the site it seems that this could be a long term thing.

I have the same worries about pain killers in the long term after reading about how people become addicted to them. I only take them during the day if I can't distract myself from it, but I have given up at night, the last thing I do before I go to sleep is take two tramadol or codeine.

I do gain a degree of confidence from reading the experiences of others like myself, But I do wish I had been better informed before I had the IL op, I seem to suffer all the negatives with none of the 'fast recovery' benefits.

Still have to look on the bright side, I await with interest to see if anyone has experience of these tens machines

Good Luck with the pain control



Hello Lilla, did you see the post from Steve 45, 5 days ago, about pain to ribs? There are lots of suggestions (including one from me about Tens). 

All good wishes, I really hope you manage to get this under control.


I get that pain but it is not continuous, I am a 9.5 year survivor at this stage.  I have a 6 and 4 year old so I try to hide it from them but I do not take painkillers, I do get it when I eat too much.


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