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frenchfriffrenchfri Posts: 325
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi, just wondering if anyone has ever used a TENS unit. The PT suggested that I get a script for one from my OSS. I had a 2 level ACDF on 12/9/2010. I still get major neck and shoulder pain, knots and spasms. I have been on the computer alot of work. I am a teacher and tend to look down quite a bit or turn very quickly. My ROM has increased, but my strength is still quite poor. I use the cervical stim 4 hours a day. I went back to work on 2/14/2011 and started PT on 2/21/2011. I still have some swallowing issues, not major. Has anyone used the TENS for pain? How did is work? Was it worth it? Thanks for your responses. Hope everyone is having a good day and is kind to their neck or back. :)


  • My insurance wouldn't cover a Tens Unit, but did cover a muscle stimulator. I had high hopes, but I did not get any relief from it other than when I was using it. Can't keep that thing going all the time, unfortunately. But, I know there are many others who have had good results, so I would definitely try it. After 30 days or so of consistent use, if it isn't helping, then turn it back in. I used a "loaner" from RS Medical and we never even filed on my insurance because we decided to test it first. It can't hurt to try.
  • I love my TENS Unit. One of my best friends along with my friend Ice. I actually am considering getting another one so that I can be hooked into both my lumbar/SI area as well as my thoracic area. I have found if I hook into my thoracic area then the pain seems to work itself down to the lower spine then. Sometime though I can't use the TENS because the Sciatic Nerve going through buttock gets too sensitive and I can't handle the stimulation what so ever. When it is too sensitive like that it feels like I am burning the nerve. So I just rely on the ice only then. I can where my Tens for hours and get the ache to calm down or convince the brain that it isn't aching that I feel, but tingling. I have it at full blast at all times. I noticed where they are running a trial on a Cuteous stimulator that is like a TENS but maybe more like a Spinal Cord Stimulator like they implant inside your body. I had the trial for the SCS but because of the scar tissue was not getting the signals where needed. This new gizmo looks like it goes on the outside of the body like the TENS. I will be keeping an eye on the trial and hopes that it will be something that will be a step up from a TENS and give alot of relief when used.
  • its good for lower back pain but not so good for neck pain .but there is a unit called acticare as for as i know its the only unit that is an external spinal cord stimulator too {as well as a high end TENS} its a UK made unit .i live in the UK and we tend to buy our own here they are not available on script {as far as i know ...and if they were they would only be cheap rubbish} see www.acticare.com } i have had an acticare for about 6 years now and i use it every day {i have it on now} as soon as i wake its pain killers/TENS drink recliner ..in that order!.the acticare is a very high end unit and even if you live outside the UK they will let you try one out and if you don't like it you can return it and get a full refund .don't confuse with inferior units this is a hospital grade unit
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Went out and checked out that site and what a nice set up. Now if I am a good girl all year maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas. Right now that is a little pricey for me. It would cost me around $322.00 plus shipping to the States. Unfortunately I don't have that laying around because either the Dr gets my money or the Pharmacy does. Then I get what is left for a little running money. LOL When I burn out my TENS which shouldn't be long at the rate I use it I will look into one of those you have because it looks like it is a TENS unit on Steroids. I am still curious as to what this Cutaneous Field Stimulator Trial will end up producing. Will it be something similar to what you have already? Will it cost a fortune? Thanks for sharing about your gizmo. It was good reading and has spiked my interest for sure.
  • I appreciate everyones replies. The OSS still has not gotten back to me about a script. It is the PT who recommended it, but they can't write scripts. My insurance is giving me a hard time with PT. Had 12 sessions, PT filled out paperwork and then insurance only gave 2 more sessions. Ridiculous.
  • Hello, I was just reading your post about the TENS unit. I have had L4,L5, and SI problems for about 10 months now (it seems the stresser for it all was the birth of my baby and then going back to work)I was given a TENS device while I was going through the first series of steroid injections in my L5 and SI joints. It worked great then, but now 2 months later, the pain is back with a vengeance, and the TENS device no longer helps, it causes more pain.. have you had this happen with yours?
  • Your PT needs to send the recomendation to the OS/NS- then he writes a script- and then you get fitted with the stimulator and sign some paperwork with your PT. Have you done the trial (mine had me take it home for a week before asking my NS).

    Call your OS/NS and tell them the recomendation is being faxed over- call every day until you get the results you need.

    I don't use mine as much as I used to since I cant reach the area in my T-spine but every once in while when I am in uncontrolable pain I have hubby/daughter hook me up.

    You can also ask for lidoderm patches (lidocane) they help alot- again need help to have these put on.

    Right after my ACDF I used mine alot. It was a life saver.

    Feel Better :)

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