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What is a TENS machine and does it relieve joint pain?

By June 10, 2010 - 1:00pm
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I have a medical condition that is treated with a medication that causes severe joint pain as a side effect. The pain isn't predictable or constant. It has affected my shoulders, knees and ankles. Fortunately it only seems to hit one area of the body at a time!

Other patients have recommended the use of a TENS machine for pain management, as well as acupuncture. I'd like to know more about these, whether they actually help and how they are used. Thank you for your help.

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

HealthBound - TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. TENS is a non-invasive, safe nerve stimulation method that is used to reduce both chronic and acute pain. There is some controversy as to whether or not it is effective in treating chronic pain, but many have found it very beneficial, especially for osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal pain. A TENS unit is usually connected to the skin using two or more electrodes, and the user can adjust the pulse width, frequency and intensity.

Acupuncture involves inserting and manipulating needles into various points on the body to relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes. There are mixed opinions on the benefits and value. You can find several articles about the use of both TENS and acupuncture on the EmpowHER site that will help you make your decision. Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Take care, Pat

June 14, 2010 - 6:23pm

I first went to an alternative clinic when I was going through chemotherapy on the suggestion of my oncologist. Since then the hospital where I got my treatments has built a whole intergrated medicine facility. Ask your oncologist for a recommendation for a naturpatic physician. That doc should be able to explain the ins and outs of the treatments for pain. Good luck!

June 11, 2010 - 9:11pm

Thanks for this information Haralee. I am glad to know that both the Tens and acupuncture work for you. Thank you!

I have cancer and the chemotherapy treatment causes the pain. I would like a better understanding of how the Tens machine and acupuncture impact the body and how this enables them to help relieve pain.

June 11, 2010 - 8:12pm

I love acupuncture and I think it does help. Just tell your person where you hurt and what ever else s bothering you like low energy or night sweats and a needle can be put in those helpful spots.
I have a Tens that my insurance paid for after I tore some knee tissue. It just stimulates the area and you manage the shocks. My chiropracter first used it on me and it is easy to use at home while watching TV or reading.
Alternative care is great, give it a try.

June 10, 2010 - 2:23pm
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