I was here before a couple times before (the first membership was for a lengthy period), but sue to my status as a Newbie, I'm unable to PM or rep.
That said, I looked up an NIH study that stated, fairly unequivocally, that in a long-term study of TENS users, they decreased their intake of pain meds (I rarely use them now, unless I can hardly move), AND also decreased the need for, or frequency of occupational therapy and physical therapy.
My guess is that if there's a real physical benefit to these things, other than scrambling pain signals, then it might be the nerve's ceasing spasms allowing the muscles to stop their part in the spasms, which is the result of the nerve spasms, but which tends to spiral on and on, reciprocally.
Another source referenced decreasing spasticity for persons suffering symptoms from MS.
The limited experience I had with the 'test drive' at the Fair had me believing that I felt somewhat better. Likely due to the issues stated in the paragraph above re. nerve and muscle spasms working hand-in-hand..
I'm looking forward to being able to slap on a couple patches when nerves are going bonkers, and quieting them down a bit.
And yeah, the one I ordered today had a rating of 4.9 out of 5 (fairly stout rating), and, not counting extra patches and gel, it cost $45 with free shipping. At the Fair they wanted $250, but very quickly came down to $150, though I still abstained to see what I could find out about them.
Glad I waited.
Originally Posted by Dawn Patrol
I have a small (but powerful) unit that I bought at a home show years ago. Paid stupid money for it, I think they are under $50 now if you know where to look online.
Also used a large commercial unit numerous times at a chiropractors office during a course of treatment for lower back pain a couple years ago.
I asked the chiropractor and my physician about their use and they both said that all they do is confuse the nerves and temporarily numb the pain. They do not heal you, but they are useful along with other treatments i.e. chiropractic adjustments, deep tissue massage, etc.
The best use of the commercial units I have experienced was on my lower back after physical therapy and under a cold pack.
So I have found mine useful for pain relief, especially for muscle pains and much less effective for joint/back pains. IME with no other course of treatment, nothing has gotten better from TENS use alone.
Hope this helps you, others may have differing experiences.