* Prices may differ from that shown
I have hired an Obstar TENS machine for my recent labour from Natures gate. I was not really expecting it to be as effective as it was. The machine was very straight forward to use and when I called the company for advice before hiring, (as they have several different machines on offer and I was not sure which was the best for me) they were very helpfull and not at all pushy. I paid £25.95 and had the machine for 6 weeks. It arrived just before I was 37 weeks and I did not need to return it until 3 weeks past my due date which was more than enough time.
I used the machine from the very early stages of labour as per the advice and even though I had a very long hard labour found I was able to cope until near the end when I also used gas and air. I am sure this was due to the Tens machine providing excellent pain relief.
The machine has a mode button which has some pre set back pain settings. I had bad back pains for a week after my baby was born and used the machine instead of taking pills which I did not want to do as I am breasfeeding. it worked well on helping to deal with the back pain.
I am aware that TENS does not work for everyone but as I was recomended this machine from a friend perhaps it depends on which machine you use. My midwife said this one was one of the better higher powered machines.
I hired my TENS Machine from www.babytens.net and it was geat for my long labour. Would definately recommend.
When I was pregnant with my son I decided I wanted to try and have as natural delivery as I could manage. It was my first pregnancy and I was realistic enough to know that I would not be able to cope with no pain relief at all. I therefore hired the mama-tens TENS machine from Mothercare at £29.99 for four weeks. Luckily they offered a free 2 week extension as I ended up being 16 days over due and needing to be induced.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and works by delivering small electrical pulses to the body via electrodes placed on the skin, that is thought to help ease pain. The electrodes are placed in two positions on the back; two are placed just below the bra strap and two just above the knicker line.
The TENS itself has different levels of intensity, the aim being that you start at the lowest and increase it as your contraction pains increase. There is also a function where you press a button as soon as your contractions start and press it again when the pains subsides to return it to normal. The aim of this is to give more concentrated sensations at the height of your contractions.
I personally found the TENS useful in distracting me from the pains of my contractions rather than easing the pain any. I found it helpful to keep myself busy as an attempt to take my mind off the pain and found working through the settings helpful for this. However, I was in labour for 10 hours before needing an emergency c-section, and had I not needed the operation I would have needed further pain relief to continue with giving birth naturally.
As I was induced, I required a Syntocinon drip to progress my labour and I have read that this increases the intensity of the contraction pains and makes the process more painful. This was my first child and so I have nothing to compare it to so can neither agree nor disagree with this claim. However, should it be true, this could explain why I struggled to manage with this form of pain relief alone, and had it been a natural birth it may have been more effective
This review is about a TENS pain relief Unit though not the model as pictured. When the Dooyou team provide the correct link, I'll have it transferred over. A photo of the unit covered here can be found at www.lloydspharmacy.co.uk
I'd always associated TENS with drug free pain relief in pregnancy and then I saw an advert on TV with Lloyds Pharmacy offering a TENS machine for £14.99.
I was surprised to discover that it purports to give temporary pain relief for a host of other ailments such as back pain, sciatica, sports and muscle related injuries. Having suffered with shoulder pain following a car accident a few years ago, I thought I'd give it a try.
Of course, it goes without saying that with any pain, I'd always advise someone to get their condition checked by their doctor first.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (got that off the box!!) and it relieves pain by interrupting pain signals being sent to the brain and by encouraging the body to produce endorphins, which, to the uninitiated are your body's own natural pain-killers.
The main unit is small and rectangular in shape, about 12cm by 5.5cm by 1.9cm, looking like a TV remote in character but with less buttons. There are in fact only three, an 'on', an 'off' and a 'mode stop' button. It also has a rectangular LCD display showing a countdown timer, intensity of the programme, and what mode has been selected.
The unit is very unobstrusive and fits snugly onto a plastic belt clip supplied. Its power is derived from 2 'AAA' batteries that disappointingly are NOT supplied with the unit. To assemble you plug the one end of the white output cable into the top, the other end branches out into two onto which you plug the two self adhesive gel pads that have a connector cable running from them. These pads are placed on your body, and the instruction manual gives clear advice on where the pads should be placed for each specific area you are looking to treat. After a time the pads do tend to lose their adhesive qualities but a replacement set can be purchased for around £4.99.
The length of treatment is 15 minutes and is counted down by the timer before automatically switching off. There are eight intensity settings, with one being the mildest and eight the strongest. If you are brave and head for the higher ones, you may feel a tingling sensation that some may find uncomfortable. Also be prepared to see your muscles pulsing in and out which has been a source of amusement for my colleagues, even though it was under my shirt.
The 'on' button, apart from switching it on, also is responsible for the intensity, and once the unit is on, every time you press it, the intensity level jumps by one as shown on the LCD display.
The 'off' button, apart from the obvious is also used to reduce the intensity by one level each time it is pressed.
The final button, the 'mode stop' allows you to select and change between eight programmes, some containing pain relief, others massage, or a combination of the two. The effects given are slow tapping, fast tapping, slow vibrating, fast vibrating, slow kneading and fast kneading. They are hard to describe but they do have their own unique sensation, some more pleasant than others.
The manual supplied covers the 'do's and don'ts' in depth along with comprehensive guidance on how to use it for best effect for the type of problem it is being used to treat. Pictures show where to place the pads for areas such as the upper and lower back, stiff shoulders and neck, joints and for massaging legs and feet. There is also a trouble shooting section that I've not needed to refer to.
My own experience was that some relief was being felt, but not for longer than an hour at most. It suggests that it should not be used more than twice a day. I suppose it depends on what the problem is as to whether it will be effective though it has been medically proven to give pain relief. There do not appear to be any side-effects which is a big plus point when comparing with medication.
There are certain groups who should not use this product, being
People with pacemakers or who have heart rhythm problems,
Children under 16,
Those with inflammation, acute diseases or infectious skin wounds.
It does not rule out diabetics or cancer patients, but suggests they check with the doctor or consultant beforehand.
A final warning is on the box, in bold print, advises that it is not for use during pregnancy or labour. I expect the reason being that pain could signify that there is problem and should be checked out professionally which makes a lot of sense.
If you are thinking about trying such a device, it may be worth checking with your local doctor, to see if they have any available on loan to see if you can get any relief before spending your money.
About six years ago, I fell down a stairwell onto a concrete floor and damaged my spine permanently. I have had endless treatment, although I believe that over the years, back pain is one thing that never really goes away. I also believe that having suffered a serious injury to the back, the problems of age do exaggerate back problems, and over the past six years, this really has been proven to be true in my case.
I have had many sessions of physiotherapy, chiropractice, acupuncture, and even resorted to different dietry aids, and the problem is still there, although when I was first told about the Tens Machine, I took a look at a friend of mine's machine and I did not like the fact that the electrodes that were attached to the machine were all sticky and had to be replaced too frequently.
The Omron Tens Machine is a little different, since they have recognised the fact that the traditional machine did not please everyone, and one of the problems they tackled was to make the pads re-useable, having a small pad to place them on when not in use.
WHAT IS A TENS MACHINE
A Tens machine is a machine that stimulates nerve fibres through the skin. The machine is easy to use and two electrodes are placed, in my case at the bottom of the spine, and kind of massage the pain away. I have had the process explained to me by experts, who say that the effect is to cut off the signals that tell the brain that you are in pain.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE
The tens machine is like a large remote control unit with wires attached to it, that have electrodes at the end of them (two wires). It is not large enough to be invasive, although resting in one place during treatment is advised. I simply place the unit beside me whilst I use it and it is not difficult.
There are variable settings for different effects, and the best way to use the machine is to set it to a pressure that you find works for you, although there are guidelines in the handbook that comes with the machine. I found the guidelines a little rough, and also that if I felt very little, then the product did not really do its job, although turned up enough to feel the pulse of the machine, it worked very well indeed.
Here, I would advise users that the most sensational setting doesn't necessarily mean the most efficient. I tried different settings and different times, and found what was best for my body and would advise individuals to do the same.
It's a super tool for body tiredness, and stimulates blood flow and leaves you feeling pampered and pain free which is the purpose behind the whole concept of this machine.
The advantages of using this machine were that I found I had less need for medicinal help. I do not like taking too much medicine, and as opposed to medicines with known side effects, the tens machine has the advantage, in that it treats the area in question efficiently without any digestive problems such as are common with muscle relaxant medicines. I got into a vicious circle with drugs, where I had to take one to counter the side effects of another, and my body was tired of the overload.
This is an easy machine for anyone to use, even those with limited mobility. You open up the pouch, take the electrodes out and attach them each side of the painful area, and adjust the settings for the electrodes, and I like the fact that these can be varied, as in the old days of the tens machine, you could only have the same setting for each pad. Now you can adjust the settings to suit yourself.
Not only is the Tens machine good for pain, it is also very good for the tenseness which many people suffer from in this day and age. Another thing that I particularly liked about this model is that you can see on an LCD screen clearly the settings that you are using and adjust them with ease.
For neck pain this is a particularly good treatment and here I place the electrodes at each side of the back of the neck and the tension that has built up disappears.
I would never use the Tens machine in the region of the Heart. If you are suffering pain in this area, it could be anything from indigestion to hernia problems, and may even be heart problems, and here, I would suggest that the advice of a doctor is better than treatment by the machine.
The idea of the machine is to relieve pain caused by muscles and nerves and most people have the common sense to recognise which are fatigue, wear and tear, and which are not, and the tens machine has also been used in pregnancy successfully, because of its uninvasive relaxation qualities.
The machine comes with a years' guarantee against defective parts, rather than wear and tear, and the pads used are not considered to be part of the gusrantee, simply because storage is an important factor, and wear and tear usually the responsibility of the owner.
VALUE FOR MONEY ?
Without a doubt this machine more than pays for itself when you consider the medicines that you would otherwise have to buy. Battery consumption is minimal and replacing the pads a small expense considering the luxury that you are treating yourself to.
There are five main programs for Back, shoulders, arms/legs, joints and soles of the feet although I have never personally tried it on my feet as I believe it would tickle too much !!!
For a price of £57.00, this really is a super little gadget, and what I like the most is that it is so portable that you can use it wherever you are. Frequently if I know I am going to be driving for a while, I take the machine with me because I know that the driving position actually makes the muscles in my back hurt. Having permanent back damage there are many functions that other people take for granted that hurt a great deal, and any break from that pain is extremely welcome.
Worth looking into as well for disabled people, the National Health Service give an allowance against buying a tens machine if they feel that you quality. I did, I am so happy I was able to get the help that I needed. They do not pay in total for the machine, although you do get it at a reduced rate, and the firm selling the machine will let you know if you are eligible.
A pack of new pads for the machine cost as little as £10 although I found that the use of the machine is not every day. It is only when pain is unbearable and I found that the pads lasted me a year based on this useage, provided that I pack them away properly on their protective pads and store the machine in a place that is not too hot.
SO WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE.
I would describe the sensation like pins and needles, but in a pleasant way. You can feel a pulse and make it stronger or lesser according to your requirements, and I like one of the stronger pulses, though not the strongest, as it has proven on me to be the most effective, although this is not the case with everyone. You have to use the machine a couple of times to get to know what strength is best for you.
I really like the tingle that the machine gives, and the kind of massage effect of each treatment.
Treatment times vary according to need, although there are preset programs and I use the 20 minute one and find this easily adequate.
TO WHOM WOULD I RECOMMEND IT ?
This is not a gizmo, not a fun thing for massage. It is a serious machine that deals with body fatigue and pain. I bought my mother in law one as well, having been convinced of its effectiveness, and she uses it more frequently than me, and finds it equally as effective, and for those less active people who stiffen up and feel pain more than more active younger patients, this really does improve the quality of her life.
I would recommend it to any sufferer of chronic pain because it is a good tool to combat that feeling of hopelessness that couples hand in hand with constant aches.
To me, this product gets the thumbs up.
I used the Tens machine for the labour of my first child and i have to say i was unimpressed.
It works by simulating your nerves with electrical pulses using four sticky pads placed on certain parts of your back.
In the instructions it advices to put the pads on as soon as you feel that you are in labour, adjust the power at which you feel comforatable at.
Starting from a low volume you press a button each time you feel a contraction come on, this increases the force of the pulses.
At a low setting the electric pusles feel fine, like a tingling sensation or if you can imagine rain pattering on a window.
As your labout gets more painful you up the volume of the pads and continue to press the button on contractions.
To be quite honest when i turned the pack up i felt that the buzzing sensation was now becoming very annoying and having to click the button everytime i had a contraction was becoming a chore. To add to all of that i didnt actually feel as though i was getting any relief at all from my contractions.
I was in a lot of pain and decided to try a bath, unfortunatly i read on the instructions that if you take the pads off for any length of time they will not really be able to help after putting them back on.
I weighed this up and decided on the bath which as it turned out was much more relaxing and comforting that the constant drumming, buzzing feeling in my lower back.
I realise that everybody is different and have spoken to a number of woman that swear by theis little machines, some even still use them for menstral pain. I personally wouldnt recomend one, as i said before i found a warm bath more help.
Until a couple of weeks ago I did not know what Tens was. Now I am a different person thanks to Tens.
Nearly two years ago I had a major operation on my lungs - no not through smoking. The operation was a success but like with a lot of operations I was left with a pain similar between broken ribs and back ache.
Anyway after a year of this I finally got an appointment to see a specialist and to get something done.
After a few tests I learnt that they could not cure but they could control.
Here the Tens machine came into it all. Tens is short for transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator.
The first question you have to ask is what is pain? well it is the bodys warning system and is intended to prevent additional injury. Pain is actually important because without it, vital parts of your body might be damaged or injured without your knowledge. However long lasting pain is called chronic pain and once diagnosed serves no apparent purpose. Tens is developed to help relieve some types of chronic and acute pain.
Tens means the transmission of small electrical pulses can be sent through the skin to the underly nerves. he high frequency blocks the pain signal travelling to the brain. and low frequency causes the body to release its own pain easers.
The machine itself is the size of a mobile phone which clips on like one as well to your trousers or pockets.This has a battery. You have two self adhesive electrodes which you put either side of where most of the pain is. These pads must be kept in the fridge when not on you and you change them about every three months. The machine and the electrodes are then joined to each other by two output cordss. You then switch on the machine and turn the control knob very slowly until you feel shocks going into your body. You can have this as high or as low as you like, adjusting it to the pain level.
No one knows you have the machine on. Be careful though that you turn it off before touching the pads or the whole street will hear your yell.
Basically you know if you hit your elbow and hurt it, you rub it and the pain goes. That is basically what the Tens machine does.
It really works wonders and has changed my life. I can now do the shopping nearly skipping around the shop.
If anyone out there has this sort of pain it is well worth asking your doctor if he thinks the Tens machine would help.
(put first in wrong place sorry)
For all three of my pregnancies I hired a TENS machine from Natures Gate. I found the service I recieved to be excellent. The staff were friendly and helpful. The machine arrived on time. The instructions were clear and comprehensive. The machine seemed to be of good quality and was easy to use. The electrodes (the sticky pads you place on your back through which the electric current travels) were re-usable so I was able to practice with the machine before labour started for real. I think the TENS machine helped me to take control of my pain in labour. It allowed me to stay at home longer, and only go into hospital when absolutely necessary. In fact with one of my labours I just ended up staying at home! The prices were very competitive also. I think they started at around £19 for 6 weeks hire.
I was unfortunate enough to be involved in 3 car crashes in the last 5 years (none of them my fault), suffering whiplash on each occasion. The last 2 were a year apart, so I had not recovered from one before having another! After much physiotherapy, I was loaned a Tens Pain Relief unit by my physiotherapist, to see if it would be effective, before perhaps purchasing one myself. Prior to having the Tens machine, I was on painkillers and anti-inflammatories, but they unfortunately did not touch the pain, and after the amount of tablets I have had to take over the last few years for this, I was reluctant to keep pumping drugs into my system, as they were becoming less effective. The Tens unit works by attaching electrodes to the areas of pain, you can use 2 or 4, and it recommends you attach them either side of the site of pain, rather than right on it. It sends an electrical impulse into the muscle, which is very good if it is in spasm. The only thing you have to be careful of, especially when attaching on your shoulders & neck, is that if you put them on a pressure point on the muscle, you find that your arms or shoulders jump up and down with the pulse - which can be very funny for onlookers! There are various settings depending on which model you use, but all generally have a setting for immediate pain (a constant 'buzz'), which they say takes about 30 mins to relieve pain, but I found a relief started almost straight away, and a more long term setting (pulse). I checked with my doctor when I started using this, to make sure there were no side effects from long term use, and you cannot overdo it in a day, so it is a great benefit to be able to turn it on and off all day as you see fit. This particular model has 9 pre-set settings, ranging from a constant 'tingle', a pulse, and even an 'up and down' pulse. It also has 2 manual settings, so is very comprehensive. It is available in Boots, and you can also get replacement electrodes there.
You must read the booklet before use, as people with heart problems have to consult a doctor before use. It also warns that you must not attach on your chest (over your heart) or on your throat. I found the Tens unit to be wonderful - for the first time ever, I was not having to take any of the tablets to deal with the pain - just used the Tens unit during the day, and a heat pad in the evening. One of the problems I have had in the past is not being able to use anything apart from tablets whilst at work - I work in an office, and do not have access to a microwave or anything to be able to use hot/cold pad on my neck and shoulders. Therefore, the benefit of having this portable unit, which just clips to your waistband, or can sit in your jacket pocket was wonderful. Also, finding this review site has been very helpful to me, as it seems no-one has had a bad word to say about them. The only disadvantage I have had over the last few days is a rash over my neck and shoulders, whereever the electrodes were used, which only came up after I had been using it for 3 weeks, and came up in one day! I have not found any other reviews which mention this, but would be very interested to see if anyone else has had such an experience, or is it just me! My physiotherapist was also quite surprised that I would have such a reaction so long after starting to use it as I have not changed anything - length of time used etc. All in all, I think this unit is a blessing in disguise for anyone who needs help with their pain, but doesn't want to become reliant on using tablets to cope. I just thought I would add this footnote - regarding the rash I mention above, I have now consulted my doctor who said it was probably a mild inflammation which is quite common, which just got infected with bacteria. I was given some cream for it, and after discontinuing use of the Tens machine for a few days, it has almost gone now. It seems that it was from wearing the Tens el
ectrodes all day - I was wearing it to work and switching it on and off throughout the day. I have now purchased my own unit, as the one I had before was just on loan, and from reading the booklet, it looks like although I wasn't overdoing the use of the unit, by wearing the electrodes when I was not using it, I was not giving my skin a fair chance to 'breathe'. Therefore, make sure when you are not using it, you take the electrodes off, and also vary whereabouts you do use it, to give your skin a chance.
Tens machines are offered as a natural pain relief for a range of ills - I know of several people who use them for muscular pain. They are available for relief during labour, which is the capacity in which I encountered them. You can hire Tens machines from your hospital/midwife centre or from Boots. You can also buy them. If you are in hospital, you can use them for free. Tens machines work by inflicting a small electronic pulse on the area of your body in question -for labour they are applied to the back. Dop not imagine for one moment that with a big bump on the front and cotnractions you are going to be able to get the sticky tabs they use anywhere useful - you will need a birthing partner to help you sort it out. The theory is that the pulse stimulates the production of endorphins, a pain killer your body can produce, and thus eases suffering during labor. Some sugegstions. 1) get your tens machine early because they take a bit of getting used to - do not, as I did, wait until you are in about as much pain as you think you can cope with. Tens is apparently good for early labour, but later on probably won't be enough. It takes practise to get the right setting if you get it wrong, or the wires come out, you can get something akin to an electric shock in terms of how it feels - not nice at all. 2)get someone to help you put it on and to put it back on when it falls off. 3)Be aware that you can't use it in a bath. 4) Be aware that it is unspeakably tricky going to the loo with one of these on, because you have to hold all the wires and stuff out of the way. You might want to take someone to the loo with you to help you out. 5)Be aware that if you want to change what you are wearing, you will have to take the thing off and start again, which can be an issue. Was I impressed? No. I should have started sooner admittedly, but I found that the massage provided by my other half was
actually a lot more effective at producing bursts of endorphins during contractions. I found the device awkward to use, I got more 'shocks' than ever I did pain relief. I think you might as well try this in early labour - it might work and if nothing else it does give you something else to think about, in which capacity it is moderatly useful. Don't expect miracles and, I have to say, get the gas and air instead.
When your in pain what do you do? Reach for the pill bottle? Say “Pain, pain go away”? Or do you reach for the Tens machine? I’ve done all three in my time, and believe me the simple talking doesn’t work. Pills relieve some of the pain but not necessarily all. In May 1998 I was admitted to Addenbrooke’s hospital for an amputation of my leg! Now I was warned before the operation that I might experience some phantom pains. When I quizzed what phantom pains were I was told “You might get pains in your leg, even though your leg isn’t there”! Ridiculous! I thought how could you get pains in something that isn’t there? Following the operation I was pain free, my attitude was extremely positive, and of course for a day or so I was on morphine. My Consultant had assured me I was looking at three weeks at least in hospital! But hey, what do consultants know? I was out within the week! I was that positive and that pain free I constantly asked when I could go home, from the day after my operation. Finally at home, I began to relax and even though things at home were difficult (in as much as I needed to be careful with my new ‘stump’.) It was shortly after arriving home that the phantom pains began to kick in. I was getting pain in my foot, shooting pains down my leg, and itches on my sole. Going for a fitting for an artificial leg, the doctor there asked about any phantom pains, I explained I was getting them and some were rather bad. He prescribed some anti-epileptic drugs for me. Apparently it’s all to do with the nerves, which is ultimately what phantom pains are. The pills he prescribed helped a little, but nothing improved that much. So while I was attending physiotherapy one day I mentioned them to her. She instantly gave me the loan of a tens machine. Nodding politely I pretended I knew what it was and accepted her offer. After all if it he
lped a little then two little make a bigger little (with me?) don’t they? She explained how to use the device, and sent me home. I used the machine daily and within a day or so noticed a dramatic change in the frequency and strength of the phantom pains. Within a few days the pains had significantly reduced to such a point that I left off the anti-epileptic, and by the time I had to revisit the physiotherapist the pains were all but gone. But alas the Tens machine was the property of the physio department, and they wanted it back. This meant I had to invest in a TENS machine of my own, souring my local Boots store I found their own brand machine and instantly paid the money to carry on the work of the previous machine. The price now is around £69.99, although they are available for £29.99 from http://www.norlite.co.uk/shop/Physiotherapy_TENS.htm. Other places sell them and they vary from place to place so please check if you are interested in purchasing one. With my own home machine I was soon totally pain free, so I decided to leave the machine off. And I remained pain free. It has since been used for backache, sciatica, and general pains. And worked efficiently on all of them. So what does TENS stand for? Transcutaneous electro-nerve stimulation is what Tens is abbreviated for. So what does it do? The pulses massage your nerves and create extra endorphins (the bodies natural pain killers): As the stimulation of your nerves by the TENS is very fast, it therefore is able to block slower moving messages of pain from the brain. So how do you operate one? They will vary slightly from machine to machine but this one has four electrodes, which you fix, to an area around the painful spot. You then simply switch the machine on with one of the two buttons, and select one of the many (9 I think) different pulses and strengths. Once you find the right one, just carry on as normal OR sit/lay and rest w
hile it works. The machine comes with a clip, which can attach to a waistline or belt. Can anyone use it? Warnings are issued for: · Pain that is undiagnosed · People with heart disease and or using a pacemaker · Pregnant women less than 12 weeks · Not for use on pregnant women ever on their tummies Summary: I have been more than satisfied with my Tens machine, it has stopped me taking many a pill I have felt uncomfortable taking. In addition it has stopped the painkillers I used to take. They are not cheap to buy and usually run on one or two batteries, although the batteries do last quite a while (mine have lasted about two years so far which is a miracle for any battery I suspect). Check out for prices, as this is not the cheapest by far and I spied some cheaper ones on the net (as mentioned). I do have a qualm about the electrodes though, they do tend to ‘come lose’ with body moisture (sweat). Recommended Rating: Design 8/10 Ease of use 5/10 (until you get the hang of it when it ups to 8/10) Pain relief 8/10 Overall 8/10 Thanks for reading - Dave
I heard of the Tens machine when i was looking into natural pain relief whilst pregnant with my daughter. (A Tens machine gives out little pulses of electrical energy.) Being as my family call me a bit of a 'Hippie Chick' (err how naff) I was looking for something that would not harm my baby, as I had heard bad things about epidurals etc. People just loved to tell me all their horror stories? It's not like I was not already worried silly about how the hell I was meant to get this baby out, every one thinks like that with their first don't they?? So I booked one from Boots, the staff were helpful, and showed me how to use it and answered any questions I had. My partner, an electrician, thought it was funny that I wanted to zap myself to stop my pain. Let me tell you more about the Tens machine. A Tens is supposed to work by putting electrical pulses through the skin, the electrical impulses are supposed to travel faster than the pain of the contractions and are meant to resemble a massage?! This in turn causes friction which makes your body produce its own feel good chemicals called endorphins. Mine was a small box; a bit smaller than the size of a large box of matches with a clip on it so you can carry it about. It had wires coming from out of one end which have sticky pads attached to them, these stick onto specific points on your back, and may I add you will need help with this. There were various dials on the Tens machine, these give you control over the frequency and strength of the pulses, there is also a boost button for those really painful moments! I was told to use my Tens when I felt my first contractions, as it takes a while for your endorphins to kick in. So any way back to my story, with everything in mind, I go into labour. Its 2.30AM I wake up and my contractions are 5 minutes apart! I lay there for a whole hour thinking this cannot be right, they didn't stop. I
woke my partner and he laughed and said 'you can't be timing them right'. After deciding I was right he helped me place the sticky pads on my back, I started the tens off at a weak pulse; it was kind of a stingy tingly feeling. I found it annoying. As my contractions got painful very quickly I had the unit on high from very early on, now i would of said that from the way I was throwing up that either I had food poisoning or the pain was still getting through. I really wished the pain would of stopped at this point! The staff at the hospital were really understanding, but what I forgot to tell them and they forgot to ask was if I was using a Tens machine. Now what I did not know and the staff in boots did not explain, was that the Tens machine's electrical impulses interfere with all the electrical equipment they use. My midwife kept telling me I should not be in so much pain, that was until she realized the Tens was affecting the read out and my contractions were a lot stronger that she realized. At this point the unit was removed and I was given Pethadine..aaahhhhh. So on the whole I would say that for me the Tens machine was not much use, I just found it annoying and was disheartened by the amount of problems I encountered with it. Advantages Its portable, small, it does not stop you being mobile,(until you get to hospital and they monitor you etc) there are no lasting side effects so you can use it for as long as you like, and it is not thought to have any side effects on your baby. Disadvantages Can be expensive to hire, when removed for monitoring of the baby it no longer works! Cannot be used for a water birth and I found you can not get a back rub which really is nice, and it is annoying to put on. What I had to remember is that even though I did not find the Tens that useful, I had wanted it to be and I found labour a lot more painful, and rewarding than I could eve
r of believed!
I felt it may be of use to move this opinion up so that those that did not read it first time round can do so now. Following surgery to replace my implanted system, because the batteries had died, I was reminded of just how much benefit can be gained by the correct use of this equipment. My new implanted system failed to activate and so I am now waiting for another operation to replace it again. I have, in the meantime, had to rely on the TENS unit to help ease some of the pain. My feelings about the unit have not changed but I have been reminded that the TENS can help. ========================================== I have a chronic back injury, it is both degenerative and very painful. I first tried the TENS unit some 12yrs ago and found it did ease the pain some. My biggest fear, with this form of self help therapy, is that it is very easy to buy and may, in some cases, hide a serious injury that should get medical help. I go to the pain management clinic at St Thomas' in London several times a year, as well as stays during treatment, and have met hundreds of people with pain, and the same number that have used a TENS machine. Many found that the pleasant, tingly effect of the TENS helped allow them to live a much better quality of life, and that has to be great. Unfortunately there are some that were recommended, by friends, to try this before they saw a doctor.. and now suffer life long problems because they didn't get treatment early enough. The TENS unit is designed to work in 2 ways, both that respond to the electronic impulses the machine gives out. Firstly this can relax a muscle that has gone into spasm, and boy thats painful enough on its own. Of course the muscle has gone into spasm for a reason, that being to protect a part of your body that is either under stress or damaged. This is why I say a doctor should be seen. Secondly, the electronic pulses can, and often do, affec
t the pain messages being sent to the brain, from the nerve endings around the area in trauma, it weakens them. Again this is a great thing and makes life a lot easier to cope with but, as with the first effect, it can cover up a major problem. Pain is your bodies way of telling you something is wrong. Many doctors will suggest, even loan, a TENS unit to their patients, there is nothing wrong with the method, but, I say again, let your doctor decide for you. As for its use during delivery of a baby?? I have to admit I have no experience here.. thank goodness!! but, a tip for you mums to be, save a few quid and ask the hospital if they have a unit you can borrow?? Many, indeed most, hospitals have a clinic for pain sufferers and they hold these units for temporary loan.... The cost of a TENS unit varies a lot, anything from £5 up to £100 plus the cost of batteries. I now have an implanted device, it is known as a spinal cord stimulator, a very much advanced, more expensive form of the TENS. (Like £16.000 +) It works pretty much the same way but is completely implanted inside my body, a control box in my stomach, leads that run round to my spine, and a rod of electrodes inside the spine, next to the spinal cord. It reduces my pain, in the lower half of my body, by about 60%, a fantastic thing as anyone with pain will know. As I say my injury is serious but the new technology is not really much different, just more advanced, and the battery lasts for around 5 years. If your pain is from muscle strain, for example, TENS may well give you the same level of relief. My final point is, to repeat yet again, please do seek medical advice if you suffer pain, certainly if that pain is such that you are considering a TENS.... remember your doctor may indeed agree and say that this is the right way forward... but always check first.
Nothing is so delightful as to be able to walk down the street, feeling the pleasurable ‘tingle’ from my battery operated buddy and not a soul in the world knows apart from me! I can well imagine what kind of ‘battery operated buddy’ a lot of you are thinking about, well stop it now! My new battery operated buddy is a TENS for those of you that don’t know what that is, it stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nervous Stimulation. This means that an electrical pulse is sent to a certain part of the body to block, reduce or eliminate pain sensation, by encouraging the bodies production of natural pain killing drugs – endorphins and encephalins. The action of TENS also increases blood flow to the affected area promoting healing. My first experience of using TENS was whilst I was in labour, I wanted to be brave and not have drugs (stupid fool) and opted for this ‘natural’ method of pain relief. The midwife showed me how to use it, and applied the pads. Now this was NOT going to work I thought. On came the contraction – I pressed my button and believe it or not, it didn’t feel half as intense as the previous one – WOW! This was an excellent pain reliever the only sensation I felt was a slight tingling on the surface of my skin, the kind of sensation when someone lightly draws silk or a feather across your skin. TENS has been around for a long time; in fact it has been discovered that the ancient Egyptians used a similar kind of treatment. Some carvings from around 2500BC show an electric fish being used to treat pain. TENS come in a variety of shapes and sizes, most of them are unintrusive and nobody is aware that you are using one. You can spend a little or a lot on TENS, a minitens will set you back £57.58. The Boots own version will cost you around £29.99. However much or little you choose to spend, you will get your money back by saving on your pre
scription charges. I have been using my TENS now for over a year and am amazed and thankful as are both my doctor and my bank balance, that my many prescription painkillers are no longer required on a day to day basis. The Beautiko ‘digital watch’ is a recent acquisition, it cost me the princely sum of £4.99 yes less than a fiver and has been every bit as good as my old Boots one, which was £25 more and 25% bigger! The Beautiko TENS is 2.5 inches in length and 1.5 inches in height and can be worn easily on the wrist looking similar to a watch (hence the name). The casing is a little tacky, being a powder blue colour and there are 4 small rubberised buttons on the face. The buttons are easy to operate, even with the most arthritic fingers. You have a ‘power’ button – turns it on and off, a ‘+’ and ‘-‘ button to increase or decrease the intensity of the impulse, and finally a ‘mode’ button – which allows you to scroll through the 9 different modes the TENS has. The digital Watch has four massage programmes and five TENS pain relief programmes to choose from. Along with the actual ‘watch’ part you get 4 small gel TENS pads, 4 large TENS gel pads these are excellent in size and can cover a large area if required. There is also a gel pad holder, to store your pads once you have used them. There is also the cable to attach the pads to the TENS machine itself and wrist and body straps to hold the TENS is place during use. To use the Beautiko digital watch, peel from the protective backing apply the sticky gel pads either side of the painful area ( NOT the face or head) and either attach the button fastening cable to them, or attach the machine directly onto the pads, using the press stud style fixing. Select the programme using the ‘mode’ button and let the programme commence. You can adjust the intensity to suit your particular need.
Each programme lasts for 10 minutes, after which you can restart the programme again. To let you know your time is up, an alarm will sound. I generally use mine for 30 – 40 minutes per day and the relief is enough to last for the remainder of the day. Using the TENS I have found I rarely require any pain killers at all and my intake of DF118 has reduced sharply! The nine programmes that the digital watch TENS boasts are ~ 1 TENS shoulder pain relief programme ~ 2 TENS back pain relief programme ~ 3 TENS joints/leg pain relief programme ~ 4 TENS sole pain relief programme ~ 5 TENS arm/hand pain relief programme ~ 6 TENS automatic massage programme ~ 7 Pushing massage programme ~ 8 tapping massage programme ~ 9 kneading massage programmes I have used all the above programmes over the time I have had the digital watch and found all of them to be most effective in relieving aches and pains. As previously stated the digital watch is so unobtrusive and easy to use. I carry it around in my bag now – just in case I should need it during the day. So what conditions can TENS be used for, the ones that spring instantly to mind are Rheumatoid and Osteo-arthritis Back pain Menstrual pain Labour pains Shingles Headache and migraine Pain associated with cancer Sciatica Aching joints Post op pain Sports injuries Muscular pain Repetitive strain injuries Any pains however that you are not sure of the cause of, do not use TENS, if in doubt consult with your doctor. The body's reaction to something wrong with it is the pain sensation, get it checked out first! Contra indications of using TENS Not to be used if you have a pacemaker/heartcondition Not to be used if you suffer from di
abetes or epilepsy Do not use on recent scars, cuts or inflamed or sunburnt skin Do not use on varicose veins Do NOT place the gel pads on the face or head Can be used during labour, ask your doctor about using during pregnancy. The Beautiko digital watch and assessories can be obtained from Hummingbird Products, 5 Egham Business Village, Crabtree Road, Egham, Surrey. TW20 8RB.
I think one thing that worries dad's is finding themselves useless in the delivery room, it certainly bothered my partner. He was concerned that he would become distressed that he could not do anything to help me while I was in pain, and as it was a new experience he would not know what to do and end up getting in the way. During the parenting classes at the hospital we were informed about the T.E.N.S. machine and that it was available for hire from the hospital, free if you were on benefits. As we were on family credit at the time we managed to hire the machine free of charge from the hospital. We were able to pick it up a couple of weeks before the due date and get to grips with it before the birth. Otherwise I think it was about £5 to hire it from the hospital at the time, but it may be different now. Alternatively you could buy one for about £50. It involves placing pads on your back (2 on your lower back, 2 just under your shoulder) and controlling the electrical pulses which they produce that help your body produce it's own natural pain relieving chemicals. Personally I did not find it very useful for pain relief, but i have a friend who found it to be very beneficial, so it is obviously different for everyone how you respond to it. The point of this opinion is that the machine has a dial which you can use to increase the strength of the pulses, particularly when a contraction begins. I gave this to my partner who controlled it for me. This gave him something to do which as far as he was concerned was helping me and made him an important part of the labour. It helped him to relax and gave him something to occupy himself with. I think this is a very usefull little thing particularly for first time fathers who are feeling nervous about the whole labour birth process. I would recommend it to anyone who has a partner who feels this way and of course it could help you with your pain relief too! :)
Easy to use, pain relief at the ôTouchö of a button.