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Electrical muscle stimulation?

Today at PT we did a session of EMS. It was interesting and felt really good while actually doing it, but I haven't noticed any change in my pain level since leaving the office this morning. She said that it works for some, not for all, but to give it a couple/few times before saying it's not working. She said if it does work (crossing my fingers and toes that it does) I could get a tens unit for home use. Has anyone done this and did it work? I'm really hoping it does, I would love to be able to be pain free without the use of drugs.


  • I found it does work while it is on, but the pain returns.
    Also, it isn't good for awkward places that you can't reach to attach the pads.
    Tricky in bed too with turning over a problem.
    Worth a try. Buy one of the cheaper units, or borrow one for a test.
    If you are having muscles problems, look into physio as well to get at the underlying cause.
  • We're going to try a few more times in her office before making any decisions to buy one. Thank you for your advice!
  • I found more lasting pain relief from muscle problems by taking magnesium chloride. Almost immediate benefit, and I now take it every day.
    A deficiency leaves muscle in stress and they get very tight, not able to relax and function properly.
    I'd also suggest regular physiotherapy and massage. Look at is as ongoing body maintenance.
    Ask the physio to check and loosen all spine joints. They can get a bit stiff, making the muscles sore.
  • Emma_LCEEmma_LC Posts: 11
    edited 04/16/2013 - 10:59 AM
    TENS works by temporarily blocking the neural pain receptor pathways from trigger point to your brain. Basically, it cons your brain that there is no pain, gives it something else to think about.......like painkillers do, except with a TENS there are no side effects to cope with.

    I bought a good unit from Lloyd's pharmacy for about £30. Boots sell similar. Basically, because I can't work whilst on high dose painkillers ( the side effects are detrimental to my job), I apply the pads daily, tucking the wires and unit via my bra routing to a back trouser pocket and then I'm ready to go when I need to take the edge off my pain. Sometimes I have it on for 15 mins per hr, sometimes pretty much constantly throughout the working day.

    Hope this helps.
  • My doctor got me a really nice TENs unit to take home. Like others have said, it felt good while on, but it didn't provide any lasting relief. The pads that came with the unit are horrible and lose their stickiness after a few uses. I'm glad I didn't pay for this.
    Herniation at L3, L4, L5. DDD, facet disease, foraminal narrowing and mis-aligned pelvis.
  • Hi
    Ive used tens in the past and found it works to a point but once you stop using it the pain is still there but its worth a try pads can be replaced as they stickiness after using them for awhile or clean them
  • Brandon
    Try using a drop of water on the pads when done using them. Stick them to gather or put back on the plastic strip they come on so they stay moist.
    When you pull them apart if its real hard use more water next time. I have made pads last over a month
    doing this and using them almost every day. Sometimes a zip lock bag helps keep them from getting dry.
    They do have some sprays that help but water is cheap.
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