Having a holiday at the beginning of the week really throws off all kinds of things, workouts, eating, work schedules! But my delight at reviewing a product I’ve fallen in love with hasn’t been thrown off. And for this week, I’m going to review the TENS 7000 machine.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (You can find more information on their functioning etc HERE.) The web site says it’s for pain management and works by sending a very mild electrical shock (“stimulation”) to the affected area. It can be used for short periods (20 min) to help reduce pain to muscles and joints. And I am here to tell you that it’s FANTASTIC!
The machine comes with 4 little, sticky pads which are connected to the machine by wires long enough to sit comfortably while the unit sits on your desk or table. It is very easy to use, the wires plug into the top, just like headphones. The amount of stimulation can be increased or lowered based on personal preference. The one I bought has 4 different settings: regular, pulse, burst, or modulation and also comes with a timer, so you don’t have to think about timing it yourself!
If I have one complaint, it’s that the unit doesn’t come with a poster or booklet to help with electrode placement. There is information on their website and a quick Google search turned up a LOT of pictures of placements for various joints and muscles.
I’ve used the unit several times on my shoulder and twice on my knee and it really does help reduce the pain for several hours after the treatment ends. Their website says it can be safely used up to 4x per day for chronic pain. A search of several pain forums indicates there are people out there using is almost all day long, mostly for back pain. I poked around a lot of physical therapy sites and all say no more than 30 minutes at a time. The chiropractor who works with the athletes at my box says no more than 20 minutes at a time.
I will close with our usual mantra on these products: we aren’t doctors; we aren’t physical therapists and I have no medical training (my partner in “crime” does!). I do know that for me, it was a well spent $35 (look on Amazon) that has helped me mitigate minor joint and muscle pain.