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TENS machine for joint pain.

May 30, 2015 2:27 AM

Hi dear friends,i bought a TENS machine,because i read ,that it helps for pain.I have a few questions.How i need to place electodes on my knee or arm,for example?I can't find instruction)))And more important question,can i use them with oncology disease?I had leukemia a year or two ago.

May 30, 2015 6:08 AM

MichaelR, you want to place the pads about 1-2" away from the pain site. For instance if you hurt at the knee, put one pad above the elbow and one below, on the muscle, not bone. Or you could put them on each side of the knee. I use "no closer than three fingers distance" as a rule for placement. My PT said never put it directly on the site of pain, never put it on your scalp, and never put it on the jugular veins or heart. Unfortunately my doctor said I can't use mine on my am that spasms with tremors. He said if it is MS I could make it worse. But I can use it on my back still. I don't see a reason for not using it for the leukemia, but I'm not a doctor. Logically thinking, it works to block the nerve signals that scream "I hurt" to no longer recognize the pain. If I remember correctly there is someone here who is in PT, so maybe they can answer. Good luck, good relief & God bless! 🙏🌼

May 30, 2015 6:42 AM

Usually all modalities like electrical stimulation and ultrasound are contradicated over sites of active cancer. Theory being these modalities increase circulation to the area being treated which tends to spread cancer cells more quickly. I would follow up with your doctor for advice before using. If it is in remission some doctors feel it is ok to use, while others feel it is not worth the risk. Hope you feel better soon!

May 30, 2015 7:22 AM

Thanks for the education OTneedsPT! 🙋 I was not aware of that and I have family members with cancer & back issues, so I'll share this. 🙏🌼

May 30, 2015 1:59 PM

Checking with your oncologist is good advice. It sounds like your in remission but not having any details about your case...well best to consult someone that does. Beyond that if you decide it's a go for you there are several ways to use a TENS for pain and or rehab. Different units have different options so not knowing much about the one you have makes it hard to offer direct suggestions but you can find pad placement diagrams as well as recommendations from PTs on use for different areas by googling it. Of course you need to use judgment and check a few places gathering as much info as seems appropriate to give you enough information to feel comfortable that what your reading and doing makes sense. Use your judgment like everything on the Internet and don't just assume it's best for you because they say so. Trust your educated instinct. 😉 also I think in the application suggestions above they meant knee not elbow in the place that looks confusing. The idea being when using TENS to distract your brain from the pain placing the patches and stimulating the muscle above the injured area or between it and your brain is ideal. This method works by creating the pain or sensation loop before the injured area. So your sort of tricking your brain to focus on the pain or activity the TENS is creating rather than the actual pain. TENS are used other ways as well but without professional training evaluation and or direction This is probably the most common for pain. It happens to be great for nausea from medication as well but that's a different topic. Good luck!

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