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Built in TENS Unit

EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 920
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Pain Management
Has anyone tried the "belt" version of a TENS unit? My PM recommended it to me today because of the pain I'm having while driving. It is similar to a back support brace, but has electrode pads built into the belt and a TENS unit simply attaches to the belt.

Please comment if you have seen or used on of these!

Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2


  • My sister is a highly qualified nurse. We were discussing my pain mgmt. options for after my upcoming T10-S1 fusion and she mentiioned the TENS units. She said they aren't used as much anymore in favor of newer technology but they always worked great & I should consider it as a good option. Hope this helps a little :)
  • I've used them in the past, but that was pre-surgery. The TENS belt units I think are fairly new. The rage these days is the SCS. I will have to be in bad shape before I go that route. Not slamming the SCS, but I don't want an implant.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I have one that looks like a belt, with the electrodes in the belt itself. I actually bought it from the Sharper Image website (since they went out of business I'm not sure the website is even functional...). It worked ok, but I wanted more control over where I placed the electrodes (in other words, not just limited to the back area).

    So, I also have the TENS where you place the little pads where ever you feel you need them to be. The brand name is JABARI and it is so old that I need new pads. Apparently, this brand is not a very well known brand and I can't find the pads for it. Just my luck, huh?

    Both work just as well as the other. I am the type where if someone mentions something to try I do it. My husband came home last summer, and said he had talked with a few people with back problems at the base ball park (while our son played baseball) and THEY tried accupuncture, and thought I should give it a try too.

    Now we all know that when one person has back problems, it is the exact same thing that everyone else with back problems has. I figured, if it worked for them, it's GOTTA work for me...

    I really didn't think the accupuncture would do that much for me. But, I tried it. I actually got way more out of it than I imagined. Granted, it's just temporary relief, but it is up to 5 hours of pain free time that I can enjoy with my family. Or just enjoy period. So, I'm impressed. I'm mostly impressed that I didn't have to go in thinking THIS IS GONNA WORK I JUST KNOW IT! It worked in spite of my doubts.
    way cool.

    Good luck Keith! Hope you have some "positive" results with the TENS!

  • I would be concerned about ending up with a product where you have the electrodes not where you want them.

    I'd also be the first to say that if the tens works, then by all means use it! It did not work for me, be careful starting out, you can cause muscle cramping. Maybe you have already been using or had one used on you by PT?

    On the flip side, if the belts electrodes are in the right place it sure would beat buying electrodes all the time!

    Is the belt made to go with a specific tens unit so you can switch to pads for better placement if needed? That would ease the fear of ending up with something you can't use some.

  • Before surgery, I used a TENS and it worked so so. Since the post op pain is most likely muscular, my PM thinks it will be of some benefit. I have a lot of pain while driving which I do a lot of it for my job. I try not to take my meds while driving, but sometimes have to do it.

    With the belt, I can strap it on and wear it while I'm driving and then take it off while in doing my job.

    My thinking is that I wouldn't have to deal with wires and pads. But, if it doesn't work well, then I get the normal TENS. My PM is writing it as a "trial period" so workers comp doesn't freak out. Which ever one works out best is what they said they would ultimately write the script for.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Like jeauxbert, I have used a TENS unit with the electrode pads. It really helped me get through 6 really difficult months of pain in my back. It didn't help everything, but it did help with my muscular aches. My damage was at L4-L5, but I had muscular pain in my rear and in my thoracic region. The electrodes were easy to place and the machine was easy to operate. The only complaint about my unit was that it did not have a cover over the dials that regulated the strength. Every now and then I would bump a dial and ohmygoodness, that was a horrible feeling to have that much of a shock.

    I have Blue Cross for insurance and they paid for the unit, which was about $800 and they paid for electrode pad replacement.
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