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sprinkles69ssprinkles69 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Pain Management
Is a tens unit worth buying to use at home? They use one on me at physical therapy and I was told I can ask my doc for a prescription for one to use at home. It only helps while it is actually on, correct?
I have L5-S1 herniation.


  • Check and see what they are actually using on you at PT. There are several types of electrical stimulation devices. TENS units can be helpful depending on your situation.

    It might be helpful if the PT writes in their notes which the doctor reviews how well you respond to the TENS treatment. If the outcome is positive, he/she will be more likely to write the script.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I have a failed back fusion l4-l5 and now, two badly herniated/ruptured discs levels l2-l3 and l3-l4. I do take pain meds but I wear my tens unit for at least 4 hours a day to help minimize the number of narcotics I have to depend on.

    Mine is an Empi Select and it clips onto my pants. It is very light - a few ounces I would guess. If it helps in physical therapy it might really benefit you.

    I will say that there are some days that it doesn't help but those are the days that nothing will help. Good luck. With a prescription, my insurance picked up most of the cost.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    I am sure it is different for everyone, but I got the most relief from my home Tens unit when I was using it. The following day, I needed it again to get the same relief. So, it wasn't a cure, but just another tool in our arsenal to combat pain.

    My home tens unit cost under $100. A pilot friend of mine picked it up when he had a route over to Japan.
    Works fine, but since all the dials and instructions are in Japanese, I had to learn by pressing buttons, jumping out of my seat, etc.

    They are a small investment and can provide you with some relief.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have one and it has made a world of difference to my pain management. The one I have can be set for relaxation as well as muscle stimulation, I have only used the muscle relaxation myself but it has help me a lot and has allowed me to do things that I would not ave been able to do because I know I can use it to get my muscles to relax after wards.

    I would highly recommend you get one but do your research and get a good one. Mine was around $125.00 three years ago.

  • until my recent operation 6 weeks ago i was using my acticare in the same place every day.but now i have had to change where i use it but i would not be without it .so YES but you will more than likely need your pain killer too as the TENS only works when its on and if your pain is really bad you will need both
    tony {uk}
    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
  • I love my TENS unit but my skin breaks out from using it more than a few hours a day. Sometimes, it's the only way I can get through my work day. I used it last Wednesday but ended up keeping it on all day. Now my skin on shoulders is broken out and I have to wait for it to heal before I can use it again. I tried electrodes for sensitive skin but it doesn't help.

    Neck pain since 2004
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