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best TENS machine?

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  • Jocotter
    replied
    I bought mine on Amazon and followed Sully's instructions. My doctor was OK with me doing that since it was the same machine as they use. It was just under $50. It does help some, but isn't a miracle cure. It seems like its a strategy, along with heating pads, pain pills, instillations and the whole range of things.

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  • biagina
    replied
    Tens unit

    Thanks Tala
    I have been usingthe EMPI TENS UNIOT which is for the back. I do have lectrodes for the pelvic area and found guidance on how to use them.
    I also have been studiously followingthe IC DIEt and think i am on the wayto low pain.

    I now may have a UTI so that throws a wrench in it but one day at a time
    Thanks
    Betty

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  • Tala
    replied
    I have been using my TENS for many years; the way my physical therapist ( and many articles I have read) describe it, you can indeed place the pads "diagnonally", with one pad over the area you want it to cover and the other electrode diagonally on the back (as in one on left front abdomen, one on the right rear lower back/hip area, and the other pair right front and left rear). I have used it that way and gotten good results, but ymmv so try it both ways and see what feels better.

    The idea described to me is that electrical current flows between the connected set of two electrodes, which seems to reduce nerve pain, so having the electricity flow "through" the painful area helps most. There is a lot of reading on the subject on the web. Hope this helps!

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  • Tala
    replied
    TENS unit without Rx

    For those who feel up to taking this route, and need a TENS unit without a prescription:

    I just wanted to mention that years ago I purchased a functional, very small TENS unit with brand new pads for about $60 at a local pawn shop. It works magnificently, has a belt clip and is the size of a pager. Very handy! (I had some extra pads from another electrostim device I had, too.) The unit I have is American Pain Control Center (APCC) brand; they are based in New Jeresey.

    So if you feel up to the adventure, you may be able to find one there, too! (and they just sold it to me, no problem). I began using it for back pain, but I am glad to still have it for my abdominal pain.

    (p.s. - I am not familiar with the legal ramifications of selling/purchasing medical devices via pawn shops, but seems to me that profit is their only concern, and pain relief is ours! I just wanted to mention the idea for those who want to look. Do test it out before purchasing. I think the pawn shop didn't know what it was, to be honest, but that can happen anywhere.) Good luck!
    Last edited by Tala; 07-21-2011, 06:08 AM.

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  • biagina
    replied
    i am new here
    I have had two flares after a year of no flares
    Started after knee replacement??????????also have low IGG#3 antibody and am on plasma replacement for 7 years

    I think this last one was caused by PCP telling me to take gatorade 3 8oz glasses a day for sodium that was low.
    Itis now 135 from 113
    I need advice on EMPI
    I have had back surgery and use it - the belt with pre placed electrodes. I wonder if that is enough or do I need to use the single electrodes ( I have those too on front)
    I am pyridium after asking and asking for something and it is helping but not as fast
    I see some people use tums and I am using pr elief with each meal

    Betty
    Last edited by biagina; 07-14-2011, 05:14 AM. Reason: forgo tto sign and spellc heck

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  • icadvice
    replied
    tens

    I've tried this treatment and I think it's great it helps most but it always hurt a pelvis on the right side and for days that right muscle felt like it was pulled or something. It hurt really bad when my PT turned it on. We tried more lubrication and tried adjusting it and making sure it was on tight.

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  • wtotten
    replied
    Thanks Sully. That helps.

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  • sully02
    replied
    Bill,
    One pair go in the front just above the pubic bone. Not over hair because that will cause them not to stick as well. And the other pair go just above your tail bone next to your spine, not over your spine, one on top of the other. Or you can use both pairs over your pubic bone but crisscross the pads of the pairs at an angle, I mean with one pad low and the other pad higer but next to it. Then do the same with the second pair of pads. The pair kinda talk to each other as far as on one pair. Sorry if this part is confusing. Hope this helps and hope the tens unit will help with your pain. IC is really a difficult, crazy, frustrating illness to deal with. I have recently found relief, temporary at best but with a nerve block. The first one lasted about 3 weeks and this second one is still working after almost 3 weeks. It is nice to get a breather after being in constant pain for 3 yrs. I can only do so many nerve blocks before they stop working or I have too many steroids.

    sully

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  • wtotten
    replied
    Need better explanation of placement of pads

    Jocotter (or Joyce or anyone who can help),

    The pads work in pairs. Does one half of the pair go on the front (near the pubic bone is where you described) and it's "partner" go in the back? Or, does one pair of pads go on the front and the other pair on the back?

    Thanks,
    Bill

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  • Jocotter
    replied
    I have my TENS unit and looked at it, but I wasn't hurting too much until today. I came back here to see Sully's instructions and will try it soon.

    I have my trip coming up in 10 days and not only do I have the IC, but a couple of weeks ago, I twisted my knee and now I'm also wearing a knee brace! I told my sister-in-law that I may be in pain and have to walk slow or get a wheel chair, but she says that's OK.

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  • endogirl2
    replied
    Originally posted by 123456 View Post
    I have an EMPI. My insurance totally covered it. Don't forget to get a probe along with the electrodes for internal work.
    Do you have to request a certain precription from your doctor to get the probe as well?
    Also, does the doctor have to note the brand/type you want filled?

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  • Jocotter
    replied
    I totally understand about trip concerns, the bathroom visits, etc. So frustrating. My sister-in-law is back to normal now, but when it happened, she had to have emergency surgery and she couldn't eat for a few weeks except by IV. She lost so much weight. It was really scary.
    We are planning our trip for May and I am getting my own hotel room just so I dont have to worry about bothering anyone.
    Hang in there!

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  • sully02
    replied
    Jocotter,
    Thanks for understanding the depression I have been feeling all weekend knowing my sister and cousins are laughing constantly and I am home, not laughing and reading non stop about IC. I think I was so stressed about this trip that I made it worse, worrying about food, taking drugs that are supposed to stay cold or frozen, clothes that I can wear when all the clothes have to come off time, but still look OK in front of my male cousins while everything hangs loose, sharing bathrooms with 7 other people when I need it 80% more than anyone else. It is a great big beautiful house in the middle of the desert. Also, sleeping with my sister or cousin..........I get so obsessive about the bathroom,etc.
    Sorry about your sister. Is she OK now? I had a colonoscopy in Oct and just as he was starting it, the weather radio in the procedure room said "take cover now, tornado WARNING" he just went on with it and then the adreneline must have taken over because they could not knock me out and I felt it and my bladder felt it BIG time, the nurses were pushing on my stomach to try to get it through, all I could picture was Dorothy flying around in the sky with a tube flying in the breeze:-) Thank God it did not puncture anything.

    The size of the tens unit is about 3X5 and it has a clip on it to attach to your pants or shirt. The electrodes are about 30 inches long, maybe a little longer.

    Have you had a hydrodestention or spinal injections? Both offered to me but scare me.

    Nice talking to you.

    sully

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  • Jocotter
    replied
    Sully, thanks so much for the explanation. I like the idea of the automatic shut off, like my heating pad has. I'm so sorry you missed your trip. I love the chance to travel, but I too worry about pain. My sister in law and I go on a trip each year ( for the past 25 yrs). Last year we planned to go to Disney World, but she got a perforated intestine during a colonoscopy the week we were supposed to leave, so she had to cancel. Now we have a trip planned this May, and that's why I want to try this.
    I hope you have lots of pain free days in your future! Thanks so much!!!

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  • sully02
    replied
    Jocotter,
    The unit comes with some directions but I am glad I saw a PT that explained some things to me. But, you could use the one from amazon. I will tell you what the PT told me and you could try it. First start at the lowest number and go up very very slowly. I only use it max at 3. Or between 2-3 is most comforable. Put 2 pads on the top of your butt crack (I know there must be a better name for that), one on top of the other. And then 2 next to each other right above your pubic bone on your abdomen. Be sure to wash the area clean first as I found out the pads do not stick as well if you have lotion or body oils on the skin. You can also order extra pads which you will need, at the same time. You could also put them all on your belly but mix them up as far as the electrodes go.........I know confusing..........there are 2 pads with each electrode so you would put one pad on your pubic bone and the other opposite and above it and then do the same with the other electrode. My pt told me they talk to each other that way so it is sorta like crisscross pattern if that helps. Be sure to read the liturature because you should not use it on your head, neck, or over your heart. And you can not use them if you have a pacemaker or any other things like that. Maybe an interstim? Don't use it while driving, or get it near water, while sleeping.......most of this comes with the instructions. The best idea might be to get a PT referral so they can show you how to use it properly. MY PT also said to use it for one hour and then turn off for one hour. My 7000Tens unit has an automatic off on it which is nice, the EMPI did not. Good luck. Some insurances pay for them but mine did not.

    I really, really know what you mean about having 5 good days and then being "knocked down" again to only have pain. It happens constantly to me, to the point where I am house bound, bed bound and rarely make any plans. Today I should have been in Arizona, instead of Michigan, on a free trip with my sister and cousins. I am so bummed and depressed all day. I only said no because I knew I would hurt and then I would ruin their fun and I would be more miserable. Sad ain't it??? Thanks for listening.

    The TENS unit comes with 4 pads and the reuseable electrodes.

    sully

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