The Use of TENS Machine for Fibromyalgia

Is TENS Effective In Treating Fibromyalgia?

At first look, it’s easy to understand why many believe that TENS machine is effective in treating fibromyalgia.

Pain results from the interaction between your nerves and brain. Your muscles send signals through your nerves as a response to an injury or damage. Your brain will then interpret the signals and that is when you feel pain. In fibromyalgia, pain signals are being sent to the brain erroneously, without any actual cause of pain. Thus, something that will disrupt the flow of signals, such as the TENS machine, can somehow help to provide relief.

Studies on the Use of TENS on Fibromyalgia

Most of the studies done on the use of TENS in treating fibromyalgia showed varying results. There are some conditions that might be able to benefit from the use of TENS, such as the peripheral neuropathy, a chronic pain condition caused by the damages of the nerves. This seems to be an important key in determining whether certain conditions can benefit from the TENS therapy. The conditions associated with nerve interactions can seem to benefit from the use of TENS as treatment.


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  1. says: Sharon in NH

    I actually have used a TENS unit for my fibromyalgia and CRPS. It does disrupt the nerve cycle, however in my case it often flared me up even more. As with any advice in the internet, it is best to talk with your care team to see if this would benefit you or not.

  2. says: Christine M Irwin

    I truly appreciate all of the suggestions that come along with these emails, reports, etc. However, one of the biggest things that I have difficulty with is the fact that everyone of them tells me I need to get up and move. I have no problem doing that. My problem comes when I go to sit down. And I’m sorry, but we all will reach that point that we need to sit down. But, please do not ask me to stand back up for at least 1/2 a day. I am in aquatic therapy (really warm wonderful water) and cherish the minutes I am there; however, I still have to go home. Lyrica is supposed to provide relief – for me – it causes weight gain. I struggle enough with my weight without taking something that adds more weight to me.

    So what’s next?

    1. says: Christine

      Oh my word you hit the nail on the head. If I sit down don’t ask me to move or stand back up for at least 1/2 a day. Also, STOP taking Lyrica. There other (better options) out there. CBD Oil if you get it from a good reputable source.

      Best wishes to you!

    2. says: Cheryl Toole

      I used to go to a fibro support group and a discussion about Lyrica came up one day. Almost everyone in the group had tried it and found that it provided no relief. I had the same experience. I have been on Hana pent in for several years now and I find it helps. I understand your problem with sitting diwn; have you considered the idea that you might have a back problem in addition to fibromyalgia?The problem that you are describing sounds similar to a test that they do called the chair test which evaluates the back. It might be worth looking into.

  3. says: Pam

    I am concerned about placement of the pads for TENS use. I was always taught never place the pads on the spine. You should be 2 inches away from the spine.

    1. says: Jennifer Bovain

      I was told not to put them on your spine as well & the directions that came with my unit said the same thing.

  4. says: Jennifer Bovain

    I use a TENS unit but I have an issue with the pads staying on my skin. I’ve been given little adhesive pads to wipe on the pads, ive been told to spray Flonase on my skin prior. None of this works for me. What can I do? I’m tired of getting shocked by these things!

    1. says: Lisa

      I have used my TENS unit for years and for various reasons. I keep my electrode pads in the freezer which will help extend their use and I also clean the area on my body where the electrodes are going to be placed, with alcohol wipes. That helps to remove any oils or moisture from your skin and the electrodes will sty on much better. When finished with them,, just put them in the refrigerator. Hopes this helps.

  5. says: Shannon

    I don’t use the TENS unit anymore, because it always shocked me. I discovered that, because i tend to get hot at odd times and start to sweat, that’s when I was getting shocked the most. So unless I’m in a really cold room or environment, and don’t need tho get up and move around (which causes me to get hot & sweat), I can’t use TENS. And no matter what the photo shows, DO NOT place the pads on the spine! A friend of mine did, and caused nerve damage to her spine as a result of improper placement of the pads!

  6. says: Valerie

    I have been dealing with Fibromyalgia for over 25 yrs. now. I’m of the opinion that with this condition each person has to find what works for them, with the help of a team of professionals. The Tens unit has been my friend for many years (not placed on skeletal structure!) I use NSAIDS, heat, ice, supplements, P.T. Cranial Sacral, massage, exercise, pain psychologist etc. I am gluten free & trying to get off sugar! Learning to put myself first & say no has been difficult & I take it one day at a time. Hope this helps.

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