Is a TENS machine a good buy?

So, my first day back at work after my lovely week off and just over halfway through my shift and WHAM! Left sided S.I. Joint pain bites me out of nowhere!

I hate taking pain meds and mostly do without especially at work as they make me feel drowsy and don’t really do anything especially for sharp pain. Has anyone had good results using a TENS machine?

The success with TENS is 100% dependent on the ability of the PT who helps to locate the electrodes sets the frequency and pulse. If you buy one of the health store versions chiropractor version or other DIY units so common these days as opposed to a Dx'd and fited one from your Doc and PT, you might just as well flush you money down a toilet. I have found mine helpful for certain "types" of pain (SI is one of them) Its a learning process.....

Hi Louise,

I have a Boots Tens machine and I find it great. I suffer with a lot of pain and inflamation in SI joint and cannot stand for long. If I am cooking I put on my apron connect my Tens machine, tuck it in pocket of apron and away I go. I find I am not in the extreme pain and able to cook a relatively pain free meal. Also good if I have over done things to help take away the pain.

Hope this helps,


Thanks lamb…was advised by PM nurse who’s gonna help me if and when I get one…perks of working for the NHS :slight_smile:

Go for it, wouldn't be without mine!!!!!

Thanks blue, I hate taking more meds and maybe these machines could help me then :slight_smile:

Hi, I have used a TENS machine since last spring. I had been going to a physical therapist for the pain in my shoulder. She used a professional machine as part of the therapy. I always felt better afterwards. Then she said that she could no longer treat me because I wasn’t improving. The effects of the machine were only temporary, lasts for a few hours. She arranged for a salesman from a medical supply company to sell me a home TENS unit. I didn’t find it as helpful. Sometimes it was downright annoying. The electronic vibrations sometimes don’t feel very good to me so I have been using it a lot less lately.

Wow! This TENS machine is fantastic! Ever since I ordered it I’ve had no SI pain! Just the threat of it and I’ve improved. Can’t wait til it arrives lol;)

I have used a few different types over the years and yes it is immediately effective on the location it is placed for interrupting the pain signal. It is not effective for me and did not keep me working only because they sadly do not make one for the entire body. If you have one particular area that you can use it on its wonderful.

I love love love my TNS unit! I purchased mine through a medical supply store locally, but my physical therapist actually picked it out for me, and showed me where to place the electrodes. I've used it for back pain, knee pain and lots of other places. PT said the only rule was never above the shoulder line. Tried it on my hand once and that didn't work out at all. But I wear it to work on bad-back days and it is heaven.

Invest in medical-grade batteries. They last lots longer so you aren't carrying batteries with you every where you go.

Good tip about the batteries........will raid the store cupboard at work lol

I've already asked one of the PM nurses to give me a hand with the electrodes, it seems a long time since I used my anatomy knowledge so not gonna trust my memory!! So all set for it to arrive although if I don't have to use it for a bit (been good the last couple of days) I'll be well pleased. I'm certainly fed up with groaning my way through work, when the pain hits suddenly it takes my breath away!

I remember one day at work, they sent me into a storage closet to retrieve some files. I could see the files on the other side of the air conditioning unit, which had a coil about four feet off the floor. I knew I would have to go under that coil to get those files. I tried it; it didn't work. When my boss, in his three-piece suit, had to come and retrieve not only the files, but me, too, he told me NEVER to go in there again. Couldn't stand back up for a couple of hours! I know that pain you are talking about--it's dismal!

Not surprised he didn’t want you so go back in there! I love the fact that I can access this site on my mobile…I’m on my tea break at work at the moment. This is the worst time now for me, a couple hours left of my shift, SI pain has just kicked on my Left side and all day I’ve had a strange pain/throb in my ribs as if its under my shoulder blade, hurts to turn my head and when I breath in…so could be a test for the TENS when I get home although I’ve not seen the collegue who’s going to help me as its a weekend and the PM clinic isn’t open so it will be very much trial and error!

Slightly above the pain towards the spine is a good place to start.......

Ok lamb, ill try that when I get home…just. About to leave now for home. Thanks :slight_smile:

I’m so glad I read these posts. I just ordered the tens unit yesterday and was feeling guilty for spending the money. I figured I’ll need it for life so it should be a good buy, but reading how all of you are so pleased with it makes me feel so much better. Can’t wait to get it now.

I can report that the TENS is working well…I’ve now used it for the 3rd time, kept telling myself that the ffirst and even the second time were a fluke!
I’ve had an extremely busy 12 hour shift, I knew I was in for it today as the SI pain woke me at 4.30, so I took the TENS with me and wore it all day … I wouldn’t say painless but not nuch at all. I varied the modes during the day and turned it off every couple of hours until the pain returned.
Iwhen i woke this morning I wasn’t sure I would make a full shift but with the TENs I did :slight_smile:

Just make sure those pads stay stuck... When one comes loose it can be a shocking experience..... And be thankful you are female. You can not imagine the joy of having your back waxed so they will stick. I tried that Nair stuff once. Boy did I break out..... I appreciate those young Gals in the skimpy little bikinis for more than one reason now!!!!

Yep, I’ve had my share of waxing…I’m now older and wiser! Thanks for you advice lamb its been very helpful :).

Louise, how is the TNS unit working out? I hope it's been a good solution for you!