Pelvic Pain Support Network

TENS treatment

Have been trying TENS unit for nerve damage pain. Both my physical therapist and massage therapist say TENS may provide temporary symptom relief, but doesn't heal nerves any faster. It may also have some specific uses for knee replacement, etc. But I had so hoped that it would stimulate blood flow or other healing components for my various nerve damage. Any comments?

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I use TENs as part of my pain relief package. Doesn't get rid of the pain long term but certainly helps me get through the day when I need it.

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How do you use TENS? Ten minutes off and on throughout the day? Is it portable and can be attached to a pocket or belt?

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Yes it's portable. I use a wireless macine which I find a lot easier. However is more expensive. I place pads where needed and off I go. Will keep pads on for up to 2 hrs at a time. Sometimes longer. Instruction book will give you better idea of how to use for you.

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My PT recommends a TENS salesperson who will come to my home and help me select the best match. Sounds pricey to me, so will also shop Amazon.

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I would not get through the day without my Tens machine. I have a trapped Pudendal nerve -for over 10yrs now - I use my Tens 24/7 it doesn't take away the pain but certainly distracts from it. Better. Than any drug!

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Where do you apply the pads for pudendal nerve pain. I tried a tens machine briefly but not sure I used it correctly. Thanks.

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I am trying various positions and settings at the physical therapy office prior to purchasing a smaller TENS unit for home. I don't understand the science, but apparently 2 pads do one type of function and 4 pads intersect to do something else?

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What is your method of use?

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My pain is very localised on my right hand side just above the entrance to the rectum. It feels like I'm sitting on a jagged shard of glass and constant feeling of need for a bowel movement Therefore I place the pads as near to the pain and the 2nd one a little higher up Just jiggle them to find the best spots

The other thing I have learnt is to PACE my days The more you cram into a good day the more you suffer afterwards. Stop when you've done enough. Small amounts of driving, walking and sitting

The hardest thing is accepting the limitations this condition causes

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So many great ideas in your response, thanks! You are so right to suggest pacing rather than high pressure. I keep trying to stop PRIOR to distress. It has been hard (since 2005) to accept limitations, but when I do so with wisdom, grace, and contentment it really pays off.

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You normally get two "channels" on the machine, with two electrodes for each channel. The current will run between the positive and negative on each channel separately (it doesn't matter which way round you put the positive and negative on your body, the result will be the same). As far as I know, having two channels just means you can treat two areas at once, though there may sometimes be interaction between the two channels.

I've found it easier to focus on one side at a time. I place the electrodes where I want (recently I've been placing one pad on the top of one buttock just by where the coccyx is and one on the very lower back on the same side). Normally I use a fairly high frequency (which gives a buzzing sensation) and crank up the intensity until it's tolerable. Sometimes I use one hand to gently press on and/or slightly move one of the electrodes while it's going until I feel it best hitting the nerves. I normally use it laying on my side in bed. You just have to experiment and find out what works for your condition. I generally do about 10 minutes on each side, once a day if I can.

I'm happy with the one I got, which was £30: amazon.co.uk/TENScare-K-PER...

Just note that there are some contraindications to using a TENS machine, so check these first; also don't place the electrodes in the head or neck area, or across the heart.

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How kind to give such an informative response! Yes, there are some cautions. One of my pain areas is numb, the PT aide kept cranking up the intensity waiting for me to feel it. LOL

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I use a wireless TENs macine, which is so much easier. I keep pads on for up to 2 hrs at a time.

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I'm using a Boots chemist battery mini tens for pain from a trapped/compressed genitofemoral nerve. It works just as well as my £200 wireless tens! It certainly helps me get through the day.

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Thanks for your thoughtful response. I have only tried commercial variety at physical therapy, probably placed too close to damaged nerve and flared worse. Have a wireless credit-card size model ordered. Will test out placement of pads.

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