Alpha Stim vs. TENS vs. Microstim HELP, 3rd Request!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by aprilhuque, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. aprilhuque

    aprilhuque New Member

    Hi, does anyone have any input in terms of comparing the above units. I know a lot of positive things about the TENS, it also it much cheaper than the others, and I think that maybe the Microstim is for MD use only, but I heard somewhere that it helps break up the knots and threads of trigger points . . . which would make it worth it to me . . .

    CAN ANYONE GIVE THEIR INPUT?? I think I asked this a couple of times, got no responses, but that is ok, I know it is NOT PERSONAL!!! I know that Alpha stim is sold here but it is like $400 +, is it THAT much better than the TENS??

    Please and thanks either way, just for even letting me put the question out there again!!!

  2. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I can't help you, but do not want you to think that no one is paying attention to you!

    I know there are people here who use the Ten's, I guess they are just not on the board right now.

    Keep your post bumped up untill you get some answers.

    Shalom, Shirl
  3. Kay2

    Kay2 New Member

    I use the ALPHA STIM 100 microcurrent stimulator. I dont know any thing about the tens unit though. Linda
  4. Harmony

    Harmony New Member

    Hi April...I use the Tens and do like it. I don't know anything about the others you mentioned though. What does your Dr. suggest? I think you would be happy trying the Tens Unit. If you do get it, make sure and get the electrode pads that have the connectors coming out of them and have good adhesive to be reusable. Some are like bandages and tear up easier. I had both kinds of electrodes and can see a big difference.

  5. aprilhuque

    aprilhuque New Member

    my MD likes TENS but he also mentioned that he thinks that most of us have somataform disorders . . . !!!!!

    I also know that my physical therapist doesn't know crock about fibro either . . . I have heard that alpha stim also helps with depressive and anxiety symptoms, was looking for input on that if anyone knew . . .

    heard that microstim helped inactivate trigger points after long term usage . . . this was in some research articles . .

    h m m . . . it is only the weekend, time will only tell, let's keep talking, i like it :)

    thanks a million
  6. Misdiagnosed

    Misdiagnosed New Member


    I have recently bought a Dr Ho's massage unit and it is definitely helping in breaking up the lumps and fibrous tissue.

    I have really big lumps and when you get into them they are fibrous - tight, almost like taught guitar strings.

    I've found this little unit great so far - only had it 4 days though. My neck is already a bit softer and so is the area around my shoulders. I've got lots of trouble with a permanently raised muscle next to my spine on the right side that is going to need lots of attention. My continual use of this is going to help my remedial masseur get his fingers into the fibrouns bands. You can use it on any part of the body except chest and front of your nexck, for heart reasons.

    At least I feel like I'm doing something towards breaking up the congestion in my muscles - just waiting around for my weekly massage isn't enough.

    Dr Ho has a website and it is recommended for fibro.
  7. aprilhuque

    aprilhuque New Member

    here on the board re Dr. Ho's product?

    I am going to look it up and take the info to all of my ignoramuses, I mean MDs, but ultimately, it is my decision!

    Thanks for the wonderful input!!!

    Anyone else?
    Thanks so much everyone, this is great!
  8. Kay2

    Kay2 New Member

    If you just type in ALPHA STIM 100 IN SEARCH A GREAT deal of info will come up. My insurance paid mine 100%. It Microcurrent electrical therapy, or met is a term used to describe a low level current used for pain controll applied through easy to use probes, or self adhesive electrodes. It is distinguished from previous forms of transutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (tens) in that MET uses far less current but delievers the current in much longer pulses. Where as Tens device must be constantly worn because they offer virtually no residual effects, MET effects are long - lasting, and cumulative. The second category, represented by the application using the ear clips electrodes for anxiety, depression, and or insomia control, is known as cranial electrotherapy stimulator, or CES. Results in electormedicine are based on the design of the wave forms, the amount of current(intensity), the location of the electrodes and the amout of time used. So basically this unit is used for PAIN, ANIXIETY, DEPRESSION,AND OR INSOMNIA.Make sure when you all DRINK WATER!!!! This is no bigger then a hand held transitor radio! Comes in a carrying case, with all the attachments in it and you can take it, where ever you go. I have even used mine in the car when we travel. Hubby driving of course lol!!Hope this little bit of info will help.

  9. Kay2

    Kay2 New Member

  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It just happens that the TENS company also makes the stimulator which impacts tender points and works entirely differently than the TENS unit which uses electrical current to disrupt pain signals in the brain.

    The stimulator uses current in a deep area of tissue to break up the knots from debris. Unfortunately, like injections or massage for our tender spots, the knots will reform when the system redeposits the debris which is put into the bloodstream from the treatments. Unless one is on the Guai treatment, there is nowhere for the debris to go, so it's a vicious cycle of breaking up the debris only to have it redeposited in the same spots. There is some relief in between, but this doesn't really offer permanent relief.

    Love, Mikie
  11. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    has had CFIDS since 1989 and began taking codeine in 1993 getting up to 300mg a day. She began using a tens machine in 1998 and was able to stop taking codeine and take neurontin instead. the tens machine was extremely effective against extensive pain in the legs, especially in knees and feet. unfortunately, the machines available in the US seem to be much larger and clunkier than those available in Britain. If you want the address of the tens machine company in the UK, let me know.
  12. chuggie

    chuggie New Member

    After years of asking, I finally was given an RX for a TENS Unit. I have had it for about 2 months and I love it. In addition to FM, I have back problems and the unit really helps with the pain. It also helps with the headaches I get.
    Only problem I face now is that my health insurer denied the unit. I intend to fight them on it, I refuse to give it up, because it does me so much good.
    As for the size of the unit, it is the size of a pack of cigarettes. No one knows when I have it on because I keep the unit in my pocket or hooked to the waistband of my clothes.
    Please let us know what unit you decide on and if it helps.
  13. Kay2

    Kay2 New Member

    it came out after the tens unit. Also as small as a transitor radio, and you can also wear this clipped on you pants or put it in a pocket and do your thing:))))
  14. nina

    nina New Member

    who has used TENS and muscle stim a lot on patients. Not familiar with the alpha one. I would not recommend TENS for long term use, your body adapts to the stimulation quite rapidly over a 5-10 min period and you have to keep cranking up the power to get any benefit from it.

    The muscle stim, however does not need constant readjustment and you can actually work with small muscles (ie neck) along with it for strength gains. My patients get better results with the mm stim as you can prgress treatments with it. Something like DR Ho. is a very cheap version of a mm stim (and no it is not strong enough to do all the things it says it can on the commercials!)

    I would recommend something over $600 Cdn as I assume you want it to last a while. The ones we use in the clinincs are between $600 and $1000 Cdn.

    email me at if you want more info. I have not personally tried them out with my pain yet as I got pregnant 7 mos after I got CFIDS and it is contraindicated in pregnancy.

    good luck