Got Tens machine today Prickles WON"T WORK FOR ME

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shelby319, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. shelby319

    shelby319 New Member

    Hi Prickles or anyone who has this Tens machine~~

    I just was fitted for it this morning, and no matter what they did with the machine, it wouldn't work until you put it almost all the way up to the highest setting...which was rather strange for the therapist doing it and to me.

    Their thinking where they put the leads up by my shoulders and neck area, where most of the pain is, it would work just fine. Well, it didn't and I couldn't feel any of the electrical impulses I should of felt.

    To everyones amazement, they tried another unit and the same thing happened, until they raised it up about as far as you could go with the impulses, where I should be feeling something going through my body. So, now their sending for another type to see if that one works.

    This particular unit has 4 leads to it already, and they have never seen anyone like me where it didn't affect me at all. They know its not the unit, but now we are thinking its my nerve endings aren't feeling anything from some type of nerve damage after my cervical spine surgery I had done in Oct. or something!!

    Now all of us are wondering what might have happened, perhaps after the surgery or if maybe the nerves are still healing from the surgery, seeing it was only done 4 months ago. Does or has anything ever happened to anyone else in this strange way?? And mostly after cervical fusion surgery?

    Now what should I do, go back to my Neuro- surgeon and be tested for nerve damage or just wait and see if I recover a little more after the surgery and maybe the Tens machine will work for that area then? Everyone is at a lost of what to do, if this isn't working for that area of the most pain and I can't use the machine for that one area. I'm kind of lost as what to use.

    It did work some in the other areas of my body, but still not like it should. They can't believe this unit isn't working unless you put the power up as far as you can.

    Whats so funny is, that almost everyone who uses it, will get some feelings of electrical impulses where you at least feel something working and it isn't!!

    Is there something else to try or is it just me? Hehehe~~I have to laugh I swear... if something can go wrong.... it will happen to me...and this is just another example of how things work out for me!! It IS kind of funny, wouldn't you agree?? I waited for over a month to get this Unit and its NOT working or my body isn't feeling it!!

    I'm so sorry this is kind of long, but I wanted to know if anyone else has had this strange experience, or if the Unit actually helped them once they found the right Unit that worked for you!!!

    Thank you to all, and if you Prickles have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciated it!! And is there another unit that might have higher settings or something else that might work instead?

    Have a sparkling pain free day to all,
  2. mdshrontz

    mdshrontz New Member

    My husband has a tens unit and even if you feel the electrical impulses at the highest level - keep it on. The tens units do not work right away - they have a cumulative effect and you need to wear it for 6-8 hours for a few days at least -- that works for my husband's upper and lower spine pain. It doesn't take the pain away entirely - just makes it more tolerable for him.
  3. desertlass

    desertlass New Member

    I would report this latest to your surgeon. I would hope he would want to know of this, or any nerve-related changes. Just consider it part of follow-up care.

    A different issue: From what I know of TENS units, the best way for them to work is for them to be pulsing right under what you can feel. It you can feel it working then it is set too high, and could cause a flare. The interference is supposed to be like distracting background noise for your nerves, not "shouting over them" in very unscientific terms. ;) This is all according to one Phys. Therapist I had, so there may be other theories, but that was his on why they seem to bother/make things worse for some people.

    But if you can't even feel it on high, I would want to know why, especially after surgery. I also feel like a lifetime of "strange" reactions to things, so I know it probably feels like just one more, but maybe this might be important?
  4. leebea

    leebea New Member

    Hi Shelby,

    My daughter has had help from tens machine both from physiotherapist and also from a bioresonance therapist. We have had enormous success with bioresonance therapy - she is the one with the major problems, and it is only from this type of treatment that she has had any help. He has unearthed and treated candida albicans, high copper levels, various parasites, CMV, rickettsia, epstein barr (glandular fever). Her blood test came back negative, although she had all the symptoms, so the medicos dismissed it. This treatment is completely non invasive. After being sick for about seven years she has gone from having about five hours a day when she could 'do a bit' to now being able to travel overseas - carefully. Her therapist uses the Bicom machine.
    Suggest you check it out on the internet - the treatment can make you feel terrible afterwards, but you are probably used to that anyway. It is important to follow the guidelines like resting after treatment, drink plenty of pure water, don't exercise on day of treatment (HA HA) No ham bacon etc, tea, coffee or alcohol on day of treatment. Also important to find a therapist who has a diploma in bioresonance therapy, and someone who has treated ME/CFS patients in the past. There is quite a bit of detective work to be done. I have absolutely been blown away by the way our therapist has methodically worked through my daughter's illness and sorted out many of the problems within her body which have caused all her symptoms - she is not out of the woods yet, but I think we are well on the way. I wish you and anyone else who reads this every success. If you Google Bicom Bioresonance Therapy you should be able to get info regarding therapists in your area.
  5. TinaJones

    TinaJones New Member

    I had to laugh (sorry!) when you said about anything that could go wrong WOULD go wrong with you - because that is ME completely! Be it medicine, or a procedure, or whatever - I'll have the exact opposite of the desired reaction...LOL..

    Anyway, I don't know much about TENS machines - so I'll let others here point you in the right direction. I have one for my neck/mid-back region; use it occasionally...but I don't have any long-lasting results from it. Even when I use it - it only helps some of the time.

    I do know there was another machine (more intensive) that my pain doctor offered to me. I cannot think of the name of it...darn. It had the initials like PNH or PHN or something? Anyway, it is something that you do in-office...they insert hair-thin things into the neck region and it breaks up some type of acid that accumulates in that area when muscles are in constant spasmsp/pain. It's supposed to give TENS-like relief, only better.

    Maybe someone knows what I'm talking about or you could ask your doctor. It's supposed to really help with neck-region pain.

    How are you doing otherwise? Did you have a good weekend?
    Hope you are doing ok. Talk to you soon...Love, Tina

  6. shelby319

    shelby319 New Member

    Hi to everyone who responded, I really appreciate all of the information and the types of machines...there's definitely enough of them!!

    There must be something I can try and I will keep looking. But first off, I did call my neuro-surgeon and asked him about it, so he's going to do some nerve conductor testings to see if there is any nerve damage in the neck or the nerves leading to the cervical area. That sure would be a shame if true, especially after going through all that surgery and NOW having nerve damage...Yuckie...

    Too funny!! So, your laughing at me, huh? Hehehe... Well...a good laugh always helps!!LOL!!! But it IS so true, isn't it? What can go wrong, seems to always happen to me, and apparently you also!! Hehehe~~

    I was hoping you would come out to answer my post, so that way we could chat about the machine and whatever else is bothering us. LOL!!

    My weekend wasn't too bad, but I did kind of overdo it with cleaning out my freezer and arranging all that heavy frozen food around the shelves in the freezer..not a good thing to do, seeing I felt it all that night and into the next day. Just when you feel like getting something done and over with, you feel so good about doing it, and then always end up feeling the pain afterwards....nah...there's always a little feeling of accomplishment though!!

    Now I'm trying to decide what to do about my tooth and the abcess. I'm suppose to have the tooth pulled next Monday and then have a temporary tooth put in until I decide if I want an implant or not later on. Don't you have this same problem? And what did you decide to do about it? Maybe we can help each other make a decision?/!!

    I can't make up my mind what to do, seeing there is that chance something will go wrong with that too!!Hehehehe~~~

    So, if you see this, which I hope you do, let me know and maybe we both can help each other with our teeth, ok? LOL!!

    I hope everything is fine with you and your not in anymore pain than usual?/!! Have they figured out when their thinking of doing the implant or what your going to do about it also?

    I'm still praying that Redheademt is ok, I haven't seen any posts from her in awhile, have you?

    Thank you for thinking of're too kind...
    I hope everything else with the boys and hubby are doing fine and dandy too!!
    Lots of hugs,
    [This Message was Edited on 02/06/2007]
  7. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide New Member

    Hi Shelby.

    Sorry to hear that it has not worked for you.
    About a year ago I was sent to a pain clinic where I was given the loan of a tens machine. I took it home and tried it.....However it did nothing for me and like you was dissapointed.
    Then recently I purchased a tens machine made by a company in the UK called Allied Health and now I would not part with it it gives me a lot of relief. I do find I have to use it for about 20 minutes or so at a high setting. Its a two pad machine.

    Hope this helps and you feel a little better.
  8. shelby319

    shelby319 New Member

    Thank you for your information also, it really helped.
    I too have this one on loan for a month, but seeing it didn't work, they just called and told me they have another one which is alot smaller and apparently has stronger electrical impulses on it.

    The one I have now is alot bigger and of course doesn't work for some reason, but as I said, this newer version has only two lines to it also, and should work alot better. I'm not sure why, but I'm willing to give it a "shot"!!LOL!!

    I know alot of people swear by using them and others claim they don't do anything for them. Maybe it all depends on which part of the body you have to use it on, who knows. But it is probably worth it to give it another try, wouldn't you agree?

    Thank you again and have a very sparkling day,
  9. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide New Member

    Hi Shelby.

    I think anything is worth a go.
    Yes you do have to fiddle about getting the pads in the right place. But at least you can do it while watching tv!!

    Have a nice day
  10. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I was going to buy a TENS unit, but after reading your post I am going to think twice about it.

  11. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    I do agree that they have a cumulative effect. There are also different kinds of TENS units. Mine is an IF (inferential) TENS.

    Follow your doctors advice.

    Some should not be worn 6-8 hours or continuously.

    I was told to do 20 minutes (it has an automatic timer) at one setting then 20 at another. Then to wait at least 40 minutes before having another treatment. They said it would become less effective or not work at all if I did not wait between treatments.

    They said I could go directly from lower back to upper back or neck without waiting 40 minutues but to wait if I was treating the same area.

  12. TinaJones

    TinaJones New Member

    I just wrote you on the other thread, but wanted to add a couple of things here :)

    After getting the MAJOR run-around, I finally got my pain implant scheduled for the week of March 2nd. I'll actually be there from the 2nd through the 5th for the "trial"; have it implanted on the 6th and probably go home of the 7th.

    It was supposed to be done at the end of January! But, at least it's scheduled now. I need to go in with a consult with the surgeon who's putting it in; my pain doc will be there to do my anesthesia. It's just IV Sedation, not a general.

    My understanding is that they thread a cathetar up into my spine region. The actually machine-part goes in the abdominal area. After the implantation, I'll have to see my doctor frequently for awhile to get the right dosage for me. I'll also have oral meds for breakthrough. I just really, really pray that it helps. So, wanted to give you the update on that!

    Re: RedheadEMT...I'm praying she is just busy with school and such - and is OK! That's the thing that's hard with the computer...when someone's away, you worry that they are ok. I hope she posts soon and let's us know how she is doing!!

    What else? I think that's it. I'm feeling "normal" pain-wise...but my energy is almost non-existent. Not that it's ever "good" but I'm just literally fighting to stay awake each day. Just normal stuff around here.

    I hope you are doing well; like I said, I'll be thinking of you on Monday for your dental procedure. Check in when you feel like it afterwards and let us know how you are doing! Love, Tina
  13. shelby319

    shelby319 New Member

    Good afternoon to all~~
    I just wanted to give you the update with the tens machine and how not everyone should dismiss it, thinking just because it might not have worked for me, there is a good chance it could work some for others!!

    I tried it out this morning and it seems to do some rhythmic pulses effect on other parts of my body. But not the area of the right side where I seem to have no feelings with it working. So there is that possiblity there is some nerve damage there. Which I will discuss with my neuro-surgeon.

    I just wanted everyone to know that it isn't the machine itself that might have not worked, so perhaps others who still want to give it a try, probably should still give it some thought about using it or trying it or anyway.

    As Prickles has said, many people get alot of relief from the tens machine, so I don't want to have others not take that chance to not use it, if given the opportunity. I don't want to let people down and give them the feeling just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean it might not work wonders for someone else.

    I wanted to make sure I cleared that up for some who might of thought differently by my statements alone. So, if you do feel the need to try it, by all means do! There is a good chance as I said, it could work for some people and again not for others.

    I hope I cleared that up for everyone.
    Thank you all for your help and compassion, I so appreciate it!!
    Gentle hugs to all,


    Seeing we put our chat here for now, I just wanted to throw out to you how glad I am that you now have your apt. for your implant in March!! When you mentioned the pain Dr. and also him being your anesthesiologist, I was happy that he is doing both of the implant and anesthesia. As he knows everything about your condition and history, which is very important health wise for you!

    When they implant this, is it considered major surgery and do an incision to open you up to put the implant in your abdomen? Is it similiar to say a pace maker where they insert is just under the skin? My Lord, my friend..I will keep you in my daily prayers that this works for you and you have the pain relief you so deserve!

    I do have a quick question silly as it may sound..LOL!! OR take it the wrong way...LOL... As you are in alot of pain already and then have this implant done to take away your pain...which is a big step all by its self....they still consider you need breakthrough meds while using this implant???? And I can't get any for my tooth extraction and bone graft??? Hehehehehe..I definitely need another Dr., wouldn't you agree?? Or maybe come and see your Dr....that sounds better doesn't it?? LOL!!

    You know I'm only joshing with you right? As we know each other pretty good by now..but maybe I SHOULD see your Dr!!!
    But I definitely will keep you in my prayers as this can't be an easy step for you to take, nor painless as there's alot involved I'm here if you need me!!
  14. TinaJones

    TinaJones New Member

    Hi...good to hear from you :) I'm glad you asked the questions you did! Information is always good!

    I still don't have an official diagnosis, really. I mean - I know and the docs know that I have CFS and Fibro but there's other stuff going on. One thing for sure is that I have a growing pineal cyst in my brain. Mostly this is just an incidental finding on an MRI (meaning many have them, they are benign in most cases, and most people don't know they have it). But mine's growing...the docs think it may be pressing on other parts of my brain, causing problems with the pituitary portion of my brain (which might explain the host of REALLY weird symptoms I have).

    I'm also going in for more MRI's. They are looking for even the tiniest of brain cyst/tumor that might also be causing a lot of my stuff. My doctor also believes that I have something wrong with the part of nervous system. I've "failed" every test for this - meaning, I'm sure I also have this too (dysautonomia).

    Point being, I'm all messed up! Really, there are days that I'm like "is anything RIGHT with my health?" :)

    I have major muscle pain (probably my biggest pain issue). The muscles in my entire body burn, ache, throb, etc. I also have joint pain, lots of nerve pain, throbbing/horrible pain in the pelvic region, and migraines. What's causing all of this? I don't know. Just the fibro (don't mean "just" like that's not enough!)..or what? But my pain's on a 8 to 9 on most days; never down below a 7, even on meds.

    Add that in to the fact that I have the most STRANGE tolerance to meds - meaning, it takes enough meds for me to work that would knock out a horse, really. So, all of these things together - my doctor offered the pump to me. My husband and I did a ton of research - and decided it would be a good thing.

    One thing the doctor stressed is that it's not going to make me "pain-free". That's not even the goal, I don't think. It's to lessen the pain, with less side effects than oral meds. Because the meds go directly to the spinal region (which is where oral meds go, eventually), you are using a FAR less amount of meds than orally. So, I'll actually be on less meds than I am now. The side effects are supposed to be less, too. I don't really have a ton of side effects, though.

    The pump is put just underneath the skin. So, it's still a surgical procedure but not major surgery. Hey, I've had six c-sections - I think I could endure anything at this point :)

    I will still have oral meds for breakthrough. I'm hoping I don't have to use them as much, but I still want them for any breakthrough pain. Also, for the first several weeks, the doc will be adjusting the dose in the pump so I might need them for that period of time.

    My doctor's neither ultra-conservative nor ultra-liberal in terms of pain management. He wanted me to exhaust my options with oral meds (which I did)...but knows how much pain I'm in, how it affects my ability to function each day, etc.

    But it took many, many trial/errors with doctors to find such a great, compassionate doctor. I'm so thankful to have found him! I pray that you will find a doctor that really, really listens to you, and is open-minded to different pain relief options.

    As a side note, I've also tried many other things besides meds...trigger point injections, massage therapy, vitamins/supplements, etc..... Ooopss - The kids need me so I need to run - sorry to just cut off like this :) But I'll write more later...k?

    Love, Tina

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