T.E.N.S. for spinal stenosis pain

Posted by crockett @crockett, Oct 4, 2016

I have severe stenosis, especially at L4-L5. Has anyone had success using a TENS unit? I have never tried one.

Liked by grammydove

@user_ch30d2d11 My TENS unit is just a bit bigger than a deck of cards. It is battery powered,has adjustable strength settings, and uses wire leads which attach to you by sticky electrodes. I use mine daily. It cuts back on the amount of pain medication I need to take for neck pain from degenerative discs and bone spurs, as well as fibromyalgia.

REPLY

Crockett here; In case you are curious, TENS is an acronym for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The periodic trickles of electrical stimulation, which can be programmed to your liking, distract the brain from the pain signals it is receiving from the same area of the body. This helps in at least two ways: (1) It reduces the perceived strength of the pain signals to the brain; and, (2) It interrupts the cycle of muscle tension that can be triggered by pain, and cause other secondary problems.

A friend on this site had a TENS unit that had not been effective for her, and she offered it to me to use when my stenosis was most severe. It was wonderfully effective. I have since had a bilateral laminectomy, cages inserted between L4 and L5, and between L5 and S1. These three vertebrae have also been fused. My surgery was just three weeks ago, and I am now more free of back pain than I have been in 15 or 20 years. Now I am using the TENS unit on my right hip, which is just about worn out. My pain is like a prairie dog. Eradicate it in one area, and it pops up somewhere else!

REPLY
@crockett

Crockett here; In case you are curious, TENS is an acronym for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The periodic trickles of electrical stimulation, which can be programmed to your liking, distract the brain from the pain signals it is receiving from the same area of the body. This helps in at least two ways: (1) It reduces the perceived strength of the pain signals to the brain; and, (2) It interrupts the cycle of muscle tension that can be triggered by pain, and cause other secondary problems.

A friend on this site had a TENS unit that had not been effective for her, and she offered it to me to use when my stenosis was most severe. It was wonderfully effective. I have since had a bilateral laminectomy, cages inserted between L4 and L5, and between L5 and S1. These three vertebrae have also been fused. My surgery was just three weeks ago, and I am now more free of back pain than I have been in 15 or 20 years. Now I am using the TENS unit on my right hip, which is just about worn out. My pain is like a prairie dog. Eradicate it in one area, and it pops up somewhere else!

Jump to this post

@crockett I am glad to hear that the TENS unit was helpful for you. I tried one years ago and for me it was just more pain on top of pain. But that is a good example of why we all should keep trying new things until we find what works best. 19lin

REPLY
@user_ch30d2d11

I haven’t heard anything about this unit? Is it small and portable. Did someone you know use it successfully?

Jump to this post

@user-ch30d2d11 just saw this post Ive had my Tens unit for years The hand held unit vibrates electrical sensation and relaxes my muscles My chiropractor puts it on my back with ice or heat In summer,ice,but in winter ,heat, this is what I use I have a personal one I use at home .It will relax your muscles and all ,tissues ,nerves so they are free to move .Dr. Showed me where to apply the electrodes love mine.

REPLY
@sandytoes14

@tonyc55 A TENS unit stands for transcutaneous (applied to the skin) electrical nerve stimulation. Here is a link about with in depth information. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tens/img-20006686

Jump to this post

@jen Thank you Jen for explanation Ive used my TENS unit at least for 10 years My nerves going into legs are effected from back .I can tell everyone who is interested
in this unit it relaxes the muscles and nerves I do get relief its not a cure all but relieves the pain.

Liked by lioness, barbarn

REPLY
@lioness

@jen Thank you Jen for explanation Ive used my TENS unit at least for 10 years My nerves going into legs are effected from back .I can tell everyone who is interested
in this unit it relaxes the muscles and nerves I do get relief its not a cure all but relieves the pain.

Jump to this post

@lioness – I have this little tens unit that I bought at Target – yours sounds nicer, and longer lasting. May I ask what brand, and where did you get it?
It does seem a little inconvenient if you have to hold it in place?

Liked by lioness

REPLY
@barbarn

@lioness – I have this little tens unit that I bought at Target – yours sounds nicer, and longer lasting. May I ask what brand, and where did you get it?
It does seem a little inconvenient if you have to hold it in place?

Jump to this post

@barbarn Its a Prospera I got it online.It has to be at least 10 yrs since I purchased it I think I replaced the pads once. They probably have all different types now you can choose. Enjoy yours I love mine.

REPLY

I have spinal stenosis. I had surgery several years ago on L4 and L5. It was successful for a while. I had to have the surgery because in addition to the spinal stenosis on of the vertibrae had shifted and was hitting a nerves. I was told I could lose control of bladder and rectum. I now have the stenosis back in other vertibraes I had physical therapy for several months. I only did a few of the machines. I used the treadmill. I was totally physically treated by the therapist. It worked well for me. I still have problems but nothing like I use to. I use a tens unit. It helps a lot. It doesn't always get rid of the pain but dose a lot. The therapist used it. I use the Omron one. You can buy it at the drug store or order in online at Omron.com.

REPLY
@russy

I have spinal stenosis. I had surgery several years ago on L4 and L5. It was successful for a while. I had to have the surgery because in addition to the spinal stenosis on of the vertibrae had shifted and was hitting a nerves. I was told I could lose control of bladder and rectum. I now have the stenosis back in other vertibraes I had physical therapy for several months. I only did a few of the machines. I used the treadmill. I was totally physically treated by the therapist. It worked well for me. I still have problems but nothing like I use to. I use a tens unit. It helps a lot. It doesn't always get rid of the pain but dose a lot. The therapist used it. I use the Omron one. You can buy it at the drug store or order in online at Omron.com.

Jump to this post

@russy sounds like your taking care of yourself as much as you can I have a fractureL2 since 05 I too have had bladder @bowel issues but have learnt that for me cranberry and prunes are good friends when needed.But my issue now is my nerves going into my legs are affected cant get relieve so have burning pain mostly all day Any suggestions? from anyone?

REPLY

I also had pain down both legs before my back surgery which I mentioned was several years ago Also had leg pain when I went to physical therapy this year. It helped a lot. I still will have pain in legs that gets me up at night but not real often. I have exercises which were shown in PT which help a lot.

REPLY

Has anyone that has used a TENS unit also have AFIB? My family practice doc doesn’t think it’s a good idea but my pain management doc is pushing for it

REPLY
@russy

I also had pain down both legs before my back surgery which I mentioned was several years ago Also had leg pain when I went to physical therapy this year. It helped a lot. I still will have pain in legs that gets me up at night but not real often. I have exercises which were shown in PT which help a lot.

Jump to this post

@russy I was thinking of P T have to get referral thanks

REPLY
@chris24

Has anyone that has used a TENS unit also have AFIB? My family practice doc doesn’t think it’s a good idea but my pain management doc is pushing for it

Jump to this post

@chris24 My by pass surgery is 22yrs old I've used my tens unit for 10 yrs still very active

REPLY
@russy

I have spinal stenosis. I had surgery several years ago on L4 and L5. It was successful for a while. I had to have the surgery because in addition to the spinal stenosis on of the vertibrae had shifted and was hitting a nerves. I was told I could lose control of bladder and rectum. I now have the stenosis back in other vertibraes I had physical therapy for several months. I only did a few of the machines. I used the treadmill. I was totally physically treated by the therapist. It worked well for me. I still have problems but nothing like I use to. I use a tens unit. It helps a lot. It doesn't always get rid of the pain but dose a lot. The therapist used it. I use the Omron one. You can buy it at the drug store or order in online at Omron.com.

Jump to this post

Did the TENS unit help with the bowel and bladder problems

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.