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TENS placement and suggestions please!

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  • TENS placement and suggestions please!

    It looks like things are finally in place for me to get my TENS unit next week. Big mess, but anyway I'll be seeing a different therapist than was recommended to me so I'm not sure she even knows what IC is. I thought I'd ask to see what everyone else does to maybe help her out. What are the common places for placing the pads and what is the commonly used intensity? Any other suggestions as I start out? Exactly how fragile are the wires? I'm wondering about being able to carry my little girl around, or am I going to have to come up with some creative ways?

    ~Darcy R (WI)

  • #2
    TENS has been a life-saver for me, and still is, even AFTER my Interstim surgery. I've got an Interstim on the right side, yet still need to use the TENS to get relief from pelvic floor pain and that awful bearing down feeling of pelvic pressure.

    Before I had the Interstim here is the placement I used for frequency/urgency:
    - two electrodes placed very low on the abdomen, right above the "hair line"
    - two electrodes placed about 2 inches above those on my what we affectionately call the IC belly

    Many people have success placing electrodes on the inner and outer upper thigh, with the other set low on the abdomen, as above [img]smile.gif[/img]

    My doctor has suggested placing electrodes near the ankle on the inner leg (that's where the nerves that control bladder function lie) [img]confused.gif[/img]
    I never could get quite the right placement for my bladder to respond, but came really close; it's really a pain to put electrodes there 'cause of all the wires, but success would be worth it!

    Right now here are the placements I use for pelvic pain/pressure:
    - on the back just above the tail bone area, about 1 or 2 inches from the spine; one electrode a little above, and one about 2 inches below

    - the other set of electrodes is placed very low on the buttocks just above where my legs meet my behind. This is the ONLY place and the MOST effective form of pelvic pain relief I get.

    By the way, the Saratoga unit from this site is the one I bought in June 2000 and the one I still use for most of my waking hours. It is wonderful and durable. [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]biggrin.gif[/img]

    I keep the control box in a leather fanny pack that I wear on the right side or left side of my tummy. It stays out of the way, is protected, and does not have settings changed by getting bumped etc.

    Finally, settings are something you can work out with your physical therapist. Some people prefer higher stimulation to lower. With your therapist's and doctor's approval, you could experiment with different settings until you find what works for you. Some people like modulated stimulation (it comes and goes on a timer) others like constant stimulation, and still others prefer the "burst setting". For me, frequency/urgency was best controlled by the modulated setting - the Interstim has that pretty much under control. For pain, I find the modulated or burst setting much more effective.

    As for the pulse width and pulse frequency settings inside the controller, your therapist and doctor will be able to help there. Or, if they approve, you can experiment to find out what's both comfortable and works for you.

    Whew!!! This is really long, but I hope it helps you and others. I'm telling you, that without the TENS for the last 1 1/2 years, I don't know where I'd be today. At least I can "crank it up" and be able to ride in a car, handle a 20 min. shopping trip, and stand and walk for a short time. It really gave me some semblance of control.
    Positive thoughts and prayers that new treatments for IC will reach all who struggle with this disease,