I am contemplating recommending TENS (nerve stimulation) and trigger point injections to more of my fibro patients. The medical literature does show these can be helpful for fibro? Has anyone tried these with or without success?
Yes, both. Trigger point are wonderful and have helped for about 6wks at a time. I use a tens unit everyday! It's a must have and does work, wish they would find a wireless unit, would be less cumbersome. Thanks
There needs to be more education on where to place the tens unit pads for what type of pain. That being said I have both a Dr. Ho's muscle massager and a tens/ems combo. I prefer the combo unit simply because it has more settings and functionality and because I have more control. I can set it for 0%, 20% or 70% deviation (i use 0) where as the other unit does what it wants so i turn it up on the lower ones because i think I'm getting used to it and then i get pounded on the next one because i turned it up. Personal problem. I leave the dr ho one at work and use the combo at home. I find i get to sleep a little easier if i use it right before bed, doesn't help duration at all. I don't like needles and would only do injections out of complete desperation. I have done acupuncture though and it helped for a little bit, but it's expensive. I find that most things that help a little are very expensive and not covered by insurance
I found tens unit very limitting for usefulness. A few years before i was diagnosed with fibro i went to a day spa. They had a bodywrap slimming program that used infared heat therapy. The loss of excess inches was ok. But the warmth of the blanket helped my entire body feel better.
Dr. M. I had a neurostimulator implant several years ago. At first it was what they referred to as a temporary lead and then after it shifted and began to fail. I had a permanent lead implanted at my brain stem and C1 because my pain began in my neck and worked its way down my entire body. While the stimulator worked it gave me absolutely wonderful relief!!! I loved it and kept it on most of the time. Unfortunately, when they are implanted cervically
Oops, hit send too fast... If implant is in cervical spine, it doesn't always maintain proper contact and it would not always quell the pain. Then the lead migrated and shorted out. I had it surgically revised 5 times and he last time it was working like a charm and I fell down the stairs and smashed my head badly into the front door of my house at the foot of the stairs. The lead broke, as did my neck (fractures) and it never worked again. With all the scar tissue that had grown and all the wires that had been left behind during revisions I have no hope of removal without the possibility of paralyzing me and also cannot have another implant to help with the pain that has grown ten fold since that time. I have cervical spondalytic myelopathy, ruptured discs, have had laminotomies and laminectomies from C1-C6 and the only remedy left for my neck would be fusion. The problem being is that I have thoracic issues with degenerative disc disease and degenerative joint disease and I have scoliosis beginning at T7 and also have small fractures in my thoracic spine along with spondylosis. My lumbar spine is also horrendous as I have several ruptured discs, fractures and lordosis (severe). I also have SI Joint disfunction and sciatica. These issues have not been corrected with injections and even on medication, I have a pain level of approximately an 8 and sometimes higher if I over do things. I pray the information I have provided was helpful. I am sure that others will be happy to get information from you and if you ever need any other info, please come. I'll be more than happy to help where I can. I hope this has been helpful. Good luck... I pray I can assist you if you should need me. Have should you need
While I have not been tested for fibromyalgia, I do have level 8 to off chart nerve pain Like AlwayZinpain & just about the same problems with back, scoliosis & sciatica. I used a TENs unit as part of several PT sessions. To be honest, it never worked for me. I used it because ot was a suggested part of my treatment plan. I would turn it all the way up and get no relief. Eventually I could not use it anymore after I became allergic to the sticky adHesive on the pads. What I liked about PT was the heavy, hot large pad they put on my back before massage. Massage was excruciating .
DrM, I have fibromyalgia with neuropathies in my legs & hands, Sjogrens with joint involvement, DDD and OA (joints & spine) with cervical & lumbar radiculopathy. I tested with fibro symptoms in 2007-2008 but wasn't officially dx brill 2012; sjogrens dx last year; DDD 1992; OA various sites, various years. Several years agoI was prescribed a TENS unit for my lumbosacral & neck areas (not for fibro). It helped even with the sciatica to a small degree. I as sent to a pain clinic for ESI's at four levels on my spine and from 2013-2015 my sciatica was gone, but returned in October 2015. Last year I had to stop using the TENS unit because it was hurting, no matter where I placed the pads. Shortly after came the sjogrens dx. After being started on the Plaquenil for sjogrens my daily avg fibro pain (muscles & soft tissue) dropped from a 7-8 to a 3-4. It's been a blessing to me due to so many medication allergies. I'm on a low dose of gabapentin because of the way my body metabolizes meds. I kept telling my doc that something else was going on but it took 2 years and an oral rash biopsy to prove it; sjogrens was dx & hypothyroidism too.
As you can see just from this thread alone, we are all different and nothing works the same for everyone. That being said, be open minded to test your patients for other possible causes to their pain. And ask them to be open minded to try alternative treatments when something doesn't help. Good luck & thank you for being a compassionate doctor! 🙂💕🙏🌼
Thank you everyone, this is super helpful to hear the varying experiences. Flappys your experience is noteworthy as I have noticed a lot of overlap between Sjogren's and Fibro in my experience and in this community. Sjogren's can mimic fibro or you can have both. Sjogren's is often also a missed diagnosis that us clinicians need to keep to keep a high suspicion for or we'll miss it. Thank you for sharing.