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Tens Unit for Rotator Cuff & Bicep Tendonitis or Tendonosis
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Tens Unit for Rotator Cuff & Bicep Tendonitis or Tendonosis

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone ever used a Tens Unit to any great success.  I had a nagging rotator cuff/bicep strain going on 7+ months; only aggravated when I exercise.  Had an MRI and no tears were indicated. Took two months off from working out and pain was back as soon as I started back in the gym. I have a Tens Unit that is actually hooked to my shoulder and arm as I type this but need some additional true life experiences and/or additional guidance.

Thanks,

Guy
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I have mixed feelings on the use of a tens unit. It hasn't seemed to help with my back pain overall, but it can help for a day or so when I start using my tens unit again. I've used it on my knees before and after surgery and it didn't work for that. However, my dentist used it on my jaw for TMJ pain and it worked for that. So to answer your question, I think it really depends on you and your body. Some people may have some success, while others may not. I hope that makes sense....
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Florida,

My husband, who passed away 1n 1997 from Diabetes Complications, used a TENS Unit for MANY years on his legs for his Diabetic Neuropathy and it saved him from some REALLY horrific pain. It was so bad that he couldn't walk or stand at all. This was back in the late 1980's and early 1990's. I can ONLY imagine that strides that have been made recently in the machines.

I hope that you are able to get  the relief that you so rightly deserve. Best of luck and PLEASE let us know how it works OF you decide to give it a try.

I wish the VERY BEST  for you....Sherry

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Avatar_f_tn
Would surgery not help you?
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I had rotator cuff surgery and tried to put it off with therapy and the TENS unit.  I wasn't really impressed with it before the surgery, but it did help with the muscle spasms after surgery.

I had been weightlifting for a few years and blew the shoulder out raking leaves of all things.  Like you, I tried rest for several weeks but as soon as I got back on the weights it came right back.  To this day I wouldn't even think about doing a shoulder press.  If you're going to try to keep working out, absolutely perfect form is essential.  

Unless you have an MRI that shows damage, I doubt any surgeon will want to go poking around in that joint looking for trouble but you never know.  If you look hard enough there's always someone willing to cut.  

Did you try any physical therapy while you were off from the gym?  It really can buy you some time and sometimes can keep you out of the OR altogether.  You have to go really slow and build up the shoulder muscles so the affected ligaments and tendons don't have to work so hard.  Regular anti-inflammatory meds are also essential so you don't develop osteoarthritis, but don't take them without checking dosage with your doctor.  

If you do have surgery at some point, you have to do the rehab work or you might as well not bother.  Shoulder PT was in many ways worse than the rehab for cervical fusion surgery for me, but I got through it.  Expect 6 months to a year before you can sleep reliably on that side too.  The shoulder is a very complicated joint and since it gets used so much it takes time to heal.  Best of luck to you.  This is going to take some time before it gets better.  :-)
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the input.  Since the MRI did not show any issues, I don't want to have surgery.  What I found in my research was that I probably have tendenososis versus tendonitis.  This is a break down of the collagen and fibers due to trauma.  Treatment methodologies include

*Tendenososis

1 very common

2 requires months/years to heal

3 treated with rehab exercise

4 irritated my NSAID's

5 shows up black on MRI

6 Degenerative

7 feels better with movement

8 soothed by heat

9 worse with ice and rest

10 helped with massage

11 surgery offers no help

12 cool to touch

I have a sports massage appointment for the arm and getting a referral for PT as well.  I also purchased a book on how to treat your own rotator cuff injury and doing those exercises. I can't give up the gym at this point in my life.  As I get older, the muscle is something that is really keeping the body together.  I see my peers on the planes (I travel quite a bit) and they really look 10 years older than they are.

Thanks for your input,

Guy
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Avatar_m_tn
i was building a steel structure and was knocked off an I beam, i was able to grab another I beam after falling 10 feet.this happened 5 months ago ,my shoulder makes cracking and popping sounds along with a good amount of pain.does anyone have an idea of what this could be,ive dealt with it this long but really need to get this checked out,not getting any younger
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Avatar_m_tn
i was building a steel structure and was knocked off an I beam, i was able to grab another I beam after falling 10 feet.this happened 5 months ago ,my shoulder makes cracking and popping sounds along with a good amount of pain.does anyone have an idea of what this could be,ive dealt with it this long but really need to get this checked out,not getting any younger
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Avatar_m_tn
also im not in pain all the time, just when i move my arm a certain way
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