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TENS use after surgery

Shell74Shell74 Posts: 300
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just wondering if anyone uses the TENS unit during recovery from lumbar fusion. Just wanted to get an idea of other peoples experiences.



  • I've been using mine for the past two weeks. it really does help me. I put two electrodes on each side of the scar, and two around my rt SI area. when I finally take it off, wow, I can tell the difference.
  • My surgery was on the c-spine, but I use my tens almost daily. This can be a good tool to help with the nasty muscle spasms I get through my shoulders. They are fairly expensive, however my insurance paid for mine. ($700 I think). If you do get a tens, one trick my physical therapist taught me was to wash the pads in soap and water when they don't stick, and it sort of renews the stickiness again. I make a set of pads last through 30 uses or so by doing this. Also, there are different sizes of pads that you can order. I like the bigger ones for my shoulderblade area, and the smaller ones for my neck. Good luck, and I hope that it helps you as much as it helps me.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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  • I have a TENS unit and a muscle stim unit, I just havent replaced the pads since the summer time.

    When I was working I wore it for most of the day, turning it on and off whenever I felt like it. Worked good till I got on the floor with a child to play a game and a wire pulled out of the pad, zapped me pretty good, I scared the poor kid. It took me a minute to figure it out and shut it off.

    Guess I now what I am doing tomorrow, searching for pads,lol.

  • 10 months now after my fusion, some pain still continues...so my NS RX'd a TENS unit for me last week...WOW! It diverts the pain while you use it &I do notice some "carry-over" afterwards. In conjuction w/ your meds, PT & other modalities, it can cut some relief from the muscle spasms & general "yucky-ness" of the residual discomfort.
    I consider it another implement in my "pain modigying" arsenal.
    I did have to have "more than 10 months of intractable pain" for my insurance to cover it---but it's been 2 years for me since I've felt well, so there was no problem.

    Go for it! It't non-invasive & feels really good! According to the theory, your nerves can't carry both pain signals & electrical signals simulateously...so the TENS over-rides the pain signals for awhile...

    Take any relief you can! No one can tough it out all the time!

    My unit is a EMPI & even has a pre-set "lower back" modulation..really nice b/c when your mind is fried from the pain, you don't need to try to figure out the amplitudes, etc. And yes, the pads can be used longer if you wet them first & use clean your skin really well (alchohol pads 1st) But stock up on the AAA batteries b/c one you have it on, you'll want to wear it for 12 hrs!


    PS I did notice I was more active (b/c of the pain relief) while I wore it, so I felt more sore after I took it off--be careful you don't over-exert yourself while you wear it.)
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