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Tens Unit

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I'm sure this question has been asked before but bare with me while I ask it again. :) I just got a Tens Unit and I'm not sure if it helps or it just distracts from the pain.

I have been dealing with upper back pain for over 6 months now. I think the Doctor is going to order an MRI but he really doesn't think it will show anything. He thinks my back is weak because of my small frame and that I just need to see a PT. My Doc is a D.O. and thought he could fix me right up but that has not been the case.

Anyways, now I have this Tens Unit and as I said, I'm not sure if it helps or its just a distraction. Any opinions out there?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833

    This is going to be a two-part answer
    For the most part its only a distraction. While you are using a Tens unit, you generally feel more comfortable and have less pain. Depending on the severity of your condition and the amount of time and frequency you use a Tens unit, the length of time of pain relief will vary.
    But it is NOT really fixing the problem. A Tens unit is NOT going to fix a herniated disc, its NOT going to correct DDD,etc

    However,the longer you are having less pain and discomfort, the better the chances are for your body to start to heal some situations. Disc flareups, muscle spasms, etc may benefit from the fact that you body is dealing with less pain.

    One of my physical therapists warned me, Do not get a false sense of strength from using Tens units That being said, if you do get pain relief form a Tens unit, do not go running out afterwards and think your problems have been solved.
    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
  • Thanks Ron, I just don't feel it's really helping my pain other than distracting me from it. I certainly don't feel a false sence that I have been cured. I wish I did.

    Did it help you with your pain? My Doc said it helped some people and others it did not. It's all I have right now since my Doc cut me off any pain meds. You see I am a recovering alcoholic and had been sober for over 2 years and had a relapse 3 weeks ago. Although it was a short relapse it was enough for my Doc to cut me off of any pain meds. He said he was going to cut me off anyway since he felt I had been on them far too long. I was not abusing them in anyway but that didn't seem to matter to him.

    My bad. I am just so depressed with the pain and not being able to do anything I enjoy. I don't know how to deal with all of this, its so new to me.

  • Sorry for your pain your going through.
    I felt as though the tens worked while at PT. Until I got back home.
    Some it works for great. Like my mom in law who broke her back yearssssss ago.

    I would get that MRI before I would let any PT or Chiro anyone touch me. Ya never know whats going on back there.

    Ron had great info for you. Tens is not going to cure a exsisiting problem that is going on with disks, DDD etc..

    So go get that ordered if possible then you will know and it will put your mind at ease and info for all drs.

    Feel better soon sweetie. Use lots of heat. If a jacuzzi is available use that. I have a portable one from boscovs that has a soft mat that hooks into the tub. It does wonders before bed.

    Let us know how you make out. We are here anytime you need us!!!!! >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Thanks Teri,

    I really felt the tens unit is just a distraction for me but was really hoping it would help.

    I finaly got my Doctor moving and have a MRI scheduled for Saturday morning, August 9. I have to say I am scared to death, not from the actual MRI but what they may find. CANCER!!! My husband and my Doctor think I am being paranoid as I have no symptons to suggest thats what it is but my mind works overtime on that sort of stuff.

    I do have a hot tub that I use nightly and that feels pretty good. We just had a new home built and we made sure we could walk straight from our master bath to the hot tub. No more walking clear through the house to get to it.

    I am so tired of hurting and not being able to enjoy just little things like taking my Pug for a walk but I guess I don't have to tell everyone here about that, we are all in the same boat and sometimes it feels like its sinking fast.

    My Doc and hubby don't like me visiting this site, they think it gives me too many "what if" things to think about. I don't know maybe it does but it also makes me feel like I am not alone and I'm not crazy.

    Thanks a lot and I will keep you all posted.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,833
    You are not the only member in this situation. Either their doctor and/or spouse or family has some objections to spending time on Spine-Health.

    1. Time consuming
    2. Potentially opens up to many questions, what ifs, etc
    3. May confuse the situation

    But for every potentially negative aspect, I can come up with 10 reasons WHY logging into Spine-Health is positive.

    However, it is always important to realize that members here, including Administrators, Moderators are not doctors. For the most part we are just like you, another person that has had or is experiencing spinal problems. Knowing that, then people understand that you dont log in to get advise to change a plan that your doctor or spouse already has in place. Spine-Health is a resource. Anyone that has dealt with spinal problems understand the value of knowing all the details behind their condition, what kinds of surgery there is and what to expect. Plus there is an added attraction here. You can deal with people that understand what you are dealing with. To me, that alone can be one of the most important reasons for coming to Spine-Health.

    Suziee, enjoy your Tens unit, enjoy your Hot tub.
    Your upcoming MRI is so important. No matter what the results are, it is always better to know what you are dealing with than to deal with the unknown.
    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
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