Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on the body where slight pressure causes pain.1
It is believe that as many as 6 to 12 million people in the United states suffer from fibromyalgia. More than 90% of all patients affected with this chronic and painful condition are women. 2
There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia often find themselves dealing with this chronic widespread pain without much relief. If you suffer from fibromyalgia pain, you may be interested in learning how a TENS unit, also referred to as a TENS Machine may help you manage your chronic fibromyalgia pain.
Why a TENS Unit for Fibromyalgia?
T.E.N.S stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. TENS Units are are predominately used for pain relief and the treatment of pain and nerve related pain conditions. They are used in a variety of settings and can be very beneficial to patients who suffer from muscle and nerve pain. If you have fibromyalgia, you may want to consider investing in a TENS Machine.
It is vital to inform your doctor BEFORE beginning any therapy with a TENS unit or similar device. TENS Units are not suitable for everyone. They can be harmful in people with heart conditions or those who may be pregnant. It is important to speak with your doctor to see if using a TENS Machine could be beneficial to your fibromyalgia symptoms.
A TENS Unit is a small device (usually battery operated) that can provide painless stimulation to help ease sore muscles, nerves, and joints. Many fibromyalgia patients have found pain relief using a TENS unit.
Studies of TENS Units for Fibromyalgia Pain
A study was published on Pubmed on the “Efficacy of the use of two simultaneously TENS devices for fibromyalgia pain“.
In this article, it states that 39 people were used to evaluate the effectiveness of a TENS unit on fibromyalgia patients. The study lasted for one week and the devices were placed and applied for 20 minutes at 12 hour intervals for a consecutive 7 day timeframe.
The participants were divided into separate groups based on where the tens units were placed. There was also a placebo group. The study found that many patients found the tens unit useful for their fibromyalgia. Improvements were in regard to relief of fibromyalgia pain with the application of one TENS unit on the body.
It was then discovered that pain and fatigue both were further improved when the fibromyalgia patients had two active tens units applied at the lower back and in the cervical area. No side effects were reported from this study.
Study on “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation reduces pain, fatigue and hyperalgesia while restoring central inhibition in primary fibromyalgia“.
The current study used a double-blinded randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over design to test the effects of a single treatment of TENS with people with fibromyalgia.
Thus, the current study suggests TENS units have shown to have short term duration of relieving symptoms of fibromyalgia while the tens unit is active.
There was a significant decrease in pain and fatigue with movement for active TENS compared to placebo and no TENS.
TENS Units for Fibromaylgia Pain
According to the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most common conditions that TENS Unit therapy is used to treat is Fibromyalgia-related joint, bone, or muscle problems. (TENS) therapy involves the use of low-voltage electric currents to treat pain. A small device delivers the current at or near nerves. TENS therapy blocks or changes your perception of pain. This type of therapy can be beneficial in treating painful conditions like fibromyalgia.
We have created a list of 5 TENS Units for Fibromyalgia that we love for the price and their online reviews.
1. Dr Ho’s TENS Unit
- Pain Therapy TENS unit
- Circulation Promoter Foot Base
- 4 Regular Body Pads
- 2 Large Body Pads
- Travel Foot Pads
- Black Travel Bag
- Instructional DVD
- Quick-Start Guide
- Instructional Manual
- Pad Placement Chart
2. Veridian Tiny TENS Unit
- Tens electrical stimulator
- Remote control
- CR2032 battery (installed)
- Small pad
- Large pad
- Storage bag
3. Prospera Otc Tens Electronic Pulse Massager
- Total 8 pads included
- Two channels, 4 pads work at same time
- Eight auto stimulation programs
- Ten levels of intensity and speed option
- High frequency stimulation
- LCD shows massage style and intensity
4. Belifu TENS Unit
- 24 Modes
- Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief Therapy
- Electronic Pulse Massager
- Muscle Massager with 10 Pads,
- Dust-Proof Drawstring Storage Bag
- Fastening Cable Ties
5. iReliev TENS Unit + EMS
- 14 programs – 7 Pain Relief, 1 Arthritis, 6 Muscle Conditioning
- Back-lit display for easier visibility
- Rechargeable battery with 2-3 hours of charge
- 80mA medical-grade output strength
Disclaimer: Always speak with your doctor before trying a TENS unit. TENS unit machines may not be for everyone. Patients with: – Pacemakers, defibrillators or extreme cardiac irregularities – Metal implants or electronic auxiliary devices – Diabetes or abnormal high blood pressure – A tendency toward internal bleeding – Epilepsy – Pregnancy, please consult your doctor prior to use.
You can see more TENS Units for pain here.