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Re: What's a Tens Unit???

Posted by Shaira on 7/13/98 at 13:36 (000977)

please post what a 'Tens' unit is.

Re: What's a Tens Unit???

j on 7/13/98 at 20:00 (000982)

TENS stands for 'trancutaneous electical nerve (or neural) stimulation'. The unit is the size of a deck of cards and has wires with several electrodes attached. The patient attaches the electrodes at 'trigger points' on the body leading to the painful area (could be placed on the back, thigh, calf and ankle for suspected Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome). When the unit is activated it sends electrical pulses to the nerves - the theory is that the electical stimulation will cause the nerve to calm down when not stimulated.

I tried a TENS for my right foot and did NOT realize any relief from it. When I mentioned this to a neurologist who was conducting some other tests on my leg, she indicated that most people who feel any relief are experiencing the placebo effect, and that there is no clinical evidence that use of the unit has any lasting effect...

Re: What's a Tens Unit???

Melissa on 7/13/98 at 23:04 (000984)

J gave you a very good explanation defining TENS units. However, I had a very positive experience using a TENS unit for chronic ankle pain caused by a damaged nerve. After 5 weeks of using it for 23.5 hours a day, the pain went away and never came back. I don't know (and don't care) if it was placebo effect or not, but it did work! It's a non-invasive, harmless treatment, so go for it if your doctor recommends it. My podiatrist says his TENS unit was very helpful for his back.

Good luck!