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just got a TENS Unit and have questions
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just got a TENS Unit and have questions

I just got a tens unit fitted to treat lower back pain, sciatic leg and foot pain. I fractured my back and have had 2 surgeries and am NOT a good candidate for fusion as they would have to fuse the entire L region limiting my movements to an extreme and then it might not even help. I have been taking Soma, Vicodin, tramadol, Celebrex, Advil, etc. I recently had to switch doctors due to moving to a new state and had an issue with the pain meds not showing up in my urine test and getting dismissed. I dont even know how thats possible since I've been on them for 2 years but oh well i was not give the opportunity to ask this or request another test just a letter stating had been dismissed. Found a new doctor and told her I was open to non narcotic pain treatments and was given a tens unit and a back brace.

I used the tens unit for the first time yesterday and was able for the first time in so long to go to bed without pain meds to sleep. I was fitted but am still unsure on exact placement as they did it on my back and I kind of had to feel around to see how they had things positioned. Now I think I got it right since I got relief but am wondering if I position something wrong can I do damage to myself? Do the electrode wires have to face a particular direction? Is low level buzzing better than high level? Was just told adjust levels for my comfort but want to get the best relief I can so am wondering if those of you that use one on here can give me any pointers on getting the best relief I can with it. I have a Neurotech  Avivatens unit, I am not even sure my insurance will cover it and if they don't how much it's going to cost me but if it works I'll figure something out I guess. Thank you so much to anyone that answers.
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144586_tn?1284669764
Generally the best idea is to have the physician suggest the initial placement and volt/ampere/frequency settings, and then use an indelible marker to identify nthe placement points. Some people have a digital image taken of the pads when they are placed by a professional. The pads should be stored in the refrigerator when not in use to obtain optimal life. It is usualloy beasier for some else to place the pads, if you have a partner. Otherwise you should invest in two full length mirrors. Clean the skin with an alcohol wipe before placing the pads as oily skin will limit pad life. As long as the pads are not placed across the heart (i.e. right wrist and left wrist, for which there is no justification) there is no danger. Placement of the pads anywhere around the lumbar area will pose no danger. You have to experiment and keep a journal of the settings to determine the best setting for you. nThe system works because the body can only transmit one pain signal at a time. The small electrical pulse from the device then blocks the pain from nerve compression. You might also consider use of a transdermal lidocaine patch (wear for no more than 12 hours). I wouldn't worry about insurance. The units are not that expensive. It is the pads that have to be periodically replaced that run the bills up over the long term. Ask your physician about filling out a form called a "certificate of necessity", which is usually required for insurance reimbursement.
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Avatar_f_tn
They showed me where to put it but my pain also cover quite a large area from my waist down to my thighs so told me to position to where it felt good. That is what I have been doing I just wasn't sure if the wires had to be facing a certain direction to focus the relief. Basically starting at 7 pm I position them up near my waist on either side of my spine run through a few cycles then reposition them lower down around the tailbone level do a few cycles then finish off on my upper thigh region finishing up by the time i go to sleep. I have not had to use pain mads to sleep since starting use of the tens unit. I have also noticed a dramatic reduction in pain from my left foot and I don't even put it there so am not sure the why of that.  Is the pain in my foot the nerves in my back telling me its my foot when really the issue is my back and the tens unit is breaking that signal? Not quite sure if it works that way or not and my husband says who cares WHY you have less pain and that's all that matters.
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874521_tn?1375890587
keep us updated, I am very interested in trying one of these myself, so glad you got some relief!!!
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3112530_tn?1342559764
I have had the TENS unit, physical therapy (12 sessions), all the pain medications, surgeries(metal placement), nerve blocks and more. I still had pain. One of the issues brought up was the Piriformis muscle which very few doctors knew how to treat. Then they expanded the education field of this area and I was treated with a Botox injection. IT WORKED! For the first time in years, I am relatively pain free, can walk and currently doing Pilates exercises which do help stretch the area in question.
I recently found a new pain management doctor in my area locally that are treating this Piriformis muscle and many more area of pain issues without drugs and more medical devices for diagnosis. Finally the medical community is educating doctors in areas that was once questionable. About time. Botox injection worked for me. According to my doctor, it relaxes the muscle to be able to stretch and stops the tension and spasms of this muscle. No more drugs!!!
Unfortunately, my pain management doctor has proven to be questionable. I had to 'fight' to get this treatment after rotating my PM doctors and my medical history which has been the same condition for years. Then my PM doctor wanted to put me on the spinal cord stimulator. I agreed, and went for the psychological testing which is required by law. My psychologist said I passed the test but upon returning to my PM doctor, she did not want me on the spinal cord stimulator (before the Botox injection). My PM doctor has proven questionable to me and I will be seeing another doctor for treatments. I am tired of arguing with the PM team that constantly changes hands. All that doctor wanted to do was refill my morphine and add another drug. I DON'T WANT THE DRUGS!!! All they do is dope you up but don't take away the pain. How come a simple Botox injection works but the doctors want to dope you up with drugs. This is wrong! To any pain management doctor, I say go back to school and learn what is currently being done to treat areas of pain, including muscles that cause pain. Get an eduction!!!
Stop treating people with a pseudo science and learn the latest treatments that are being used, diagnosed and recognized. The medical community in PM has a lot to learn!
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Avatar_m_tn
Amen to that madman!   Hey!~  Just thinkin'.
   What if doctors were not allowed to have any money at all invested in the drug--pharmacy--chemical--health care--their own hospital etc. So they don't make money like crazy doing just what they are now.  WhaT IF????  Omhome
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Avatar_f_tn
I wanted to give an update on the TENS unit. I have been using it for a week now and it still seems to be doing the trick. I use it every day for about 5 hours at a time in the evening when my pain is worse. I have also started on Gabapentin since I was still being awoken at 3 am with legs and back spasms. I cannot take sleeping pills as they tend to make me hallucinate so doctor suggested Gabapentin it seems to be working as I am sleeping through the night. I truly wish someone had suggested a TENS unit years ago so I could have gotten off the pain meds sooner but I am glad I found a doctor now that has since this thing has changed my life I have had no narcotics in over a week. I have had some additional break through pain during the day but am learning to deal with that and finding out just how much pain I can actually take. At this point I don't have any other option as my health ins runs out end of the year and have been denied new insurance due to my back. That's another reason the TENS unit is a godsend it's something I can use continually and not have to get prescriptions and doctors visits to receive relief. Thank you to those of you that gave me some pointers.
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