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Latest on TENS Unit Use for Nighttime Symptoms

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:56 am
by sleepdancer
Just a bit of an update since I haven't been around for a while due to relocating across country. Living on the west coast in the USA has given me 3 more hours before bedtime, and going to bed at a decent time was a struggle for me. Seemed to sleep better the later I went to bed, so this works for me. Even though I'm sleeping on a couch, I'm sleeping better than I have in many years. My use of the TENS Unit at night for my WED/RLS PLMD has become routine, and has now allowed me to be medication free for my legs for a year now, along with supplements for nutritional support. Was surprised today to find out someone on another forum has started using a TENS before sleep and is having encouraging results with longer more restful sleep. Sure hope it becomes more mainstream as a viable treatment option. Because I have experienced the torment of unsuccessful use of meds with augmentation, I am grateful if I can avoid or at least prolong going on to stronger meds. Hope this helps someone else.

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:03 pm
by Chipmunk
I'm missing something. How does living on the West Coast enable you to go to bed three hours later?

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:01 pm
by ViewsAskew
At 10 PM, say, your body thinks it's 1 AM, so your body clock thinks it's three hours later :-).

I love traveling to the West Coast - I can almost be normal :-). I normally go to bed around 3 AM - though can be a bit later - so when I'm on the West Coast, it's like going to bed at 1 AM for me. Makes a difference in being closer to "normal" per the rest of the world.

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:22 pm
by badnights
But it doesn't last, if you live there.

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:14 pm
by ViewsAskew
That may be true, but it would be helpful for awhile!

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:33 pm
by Rubyslipper
I have heard about the TENS unit before and if it works, then I would be interested in trying it. Someone told me that our local hospital has reconditioned ones for sale at a reduced cost. I think it might be worth a try anyway.

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:42 pm
by Polar Bear
I got a tens from Amazon at around £30.

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:34 am
by skn0412
I have a Tens unit. What do you put the settings on and where do you position the patches ??? How long do you leave it on before you go to bed ??

TENS Unit Use

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:39 am
by sleepdancer
Sorry I didn't see this sooner. My particular TENS Unit has icons for different positions, and I select the one for the lower back. It is set to pulse, although I don't know if that matters as far as effectiveness. I try to dial it up to 55, and keep it on about 20-30 minutes before bedtime. As far as electrode placement, I place them in a square on the very lower back (more accurately, buttocks), about 3 inches to either side of midline. I use one lead wire to connect to both electrodes on the right, and the other for both electrodes on the left. I have found that low batteries or electrodes that aren't sticky enough cause the treatment to sting and be less effective. I've heard there's a product that extends the use of an electrode. I get 3 uses out of them, usually dampen the sticky side of them before storing after the 2nd use and it gets me one more use. Ideally one would have a physical therapist who could instruct them in proper use of the TENS. I do what I do based on trial and error, and believe me, that trial period was absolutely miserable! I have rare occasions these days that I have to get back out of bed and use it again to really rest, but most nights it is quite effective. It saved my sanity on a recent train trip and settled my legs down enough to let me sit still.


Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:43 am
by sleepdancer
Forgot to add that I would love to hear of any experiences with using the TENS. Also, I am taking nutritional supplements that I feel help my symptoms.

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:17 pm
by Chipmunk
What are the nutritional supplements you are taking? I have been taking amino acids from SomaLife and they have helped immensely. I tried to duplicate their formula at the vitamin store, but the first night the WED was right back to where it had been prior to taking SomaLife.


Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:59 am
by sleepdancer
I'm afraid I'm not very discriminating about my supplements. Maybe I'd see even better results if I were more in tune with the different formulations etc. But I just take an OTC multivitamin + minerals, Vit D, & CoQ-10 in the morning and a Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc Combo & Melatonin at night. Also on Rx for Iron and Potassium.

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:53 pm
by moonlight
sleepdancer how come you only get three uses out of your you mean the pads....i use mine for months......i was told to keep them in the fridge , it seems to keep them sticky.

i dont get any relief from rls with the tens but i do for my trapped nerve, thats what the tens was issued at pain clinic for,

where do you actually place yours for the rls? i may try again

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:48 am
by badnights
My instructions said to clean the skin where the electrodes will go (to get the oils off), just before using. I took to using rubbing alcohol to clean with, way simpler, just wipe a big area. I don't use my TENS much but I got it ~2 years ago and haven't changed the electrodes yet. At least 2 dozen uses, maybe more.

I didn't know about the fridge trick. That's pretty interesting.

Tens Use

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:43 am
by sleepdancer
I am referring to the sticky pads that I get 3 uses out of. I hadn't heard the fridge trick to extent their usability. I have talked to one person who gets only two uses out of theirs. I have pushed it to 4 or 6 uses and found them to be less effective if the seal wasn't tight. I'm just amazed at the reports of long term use of the pads. Maybe I'm getting disposables and the others aren't.