Does your lower back hurt when you stand or walk for a long period?
If this is relieved by sitting down or bending, there’s a great chance that you suffer from spinal stenosis. This is a medical condition that involves narrowing of the spinal spaces. I had a TENS massage therapy at my physiotherapist’s clinic last weekend for my back pain and I was surprised that a previous colleague from the university I used to work for was also there. She mentioned that she was recently diagnosed to have spinal stenosis, and she still frequently visits the physiotherapist to help her with the TENS unit pads placement.
Spinal stenosis commonly occurs among older people as this may be due to the natural process of aging. However, this may also be caused by a congenital defect. Orthopedic specialists said that if this isn’t diagnosed earlier and not given prompt management, this will lead to chronic pain, weakness and even paralysis due to nerve compression.
Diagnostic tools and procedures like MRI help diagnose the condition and determine the exact location of the stenosis. Initially, four TENS unit pads may have to be placed on the flanks. On both sides, place one pad above the affected vertebrae and another below it. The placement of TENS unit pads may still be adjusted. These may be moved closer or farther from the spine, depending on whether or not pain relief is achieved.
This is a relatively safe treatment. However, the placement of electrodes on the throat and on open wounds is highly contraindicated. People with pacemakers are also not allowed to use this treatment as the signals coming from the TENS machine may interfere with the ones from the pacemaker. As for the brand to use, I highly encourage you to use DONECO® TENS unit pads because of its good quality.
It is always best to consult the doctor before using TENS unit and pads for spinal stenosis.