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Thread: OTC pain patches? OTC TENS units?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    OTC pain patches? OTC TENS units?

    I'm having something like a peroneal tendonitis in my lower leg, which is very painful. I also have fibromyalgia and severe osteoarthritis, which can make almost every muscle/joint/tendon/ligament I have hurt. I can't take NSAIDS. I do lots of stretching exercises which help some things, but not others.
    So....I've been considering one of those pain patches and a TENS-like thing. Anyone have success with these patches or units? Can you recommend any certain ones?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    The OTC TENS units are cheap and get good reviews on Amazon. I had one, but found it inconvenient to use due the location of the injury (hip), so I off-loaded it to a friend. I would think a lower leg would be easier to treat. I say go ahead and buy one, and report back. Meanwhile, I'm still testing cannabis concoctions and looking into DIY capsaicin cream. Ain't old age wonderful?

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    IDK if the OTC lidocaine patches are the same dose they used to give in prescriptions, so I would ask your doctor first, but they provide pain relief. We used them in hospice all the time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks Jane and freshstart. As far as my body goes, I feel like I'm playing "whack-a-mole" with it. I treat one thing and something else pops up! My physical therapy took care of my upper thigh pains, and now this lower leg thing has flared up.
    As Rosanne Rosannadanna used to say.......There's always somethin'!

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I have found most of the OTC simple TENS units lack the flexibility and power output that is helpful for some of my requirements.

    However, the "e-stim" wing of the BDSM/kink community has some vendors that produce some quite useful units, that allow you to program specific/arbitrary waveforms and offer a wider range of output power/frequencies. The especially good ones for this are a bit expensive - the Erostek ET232 or the Sensavox EM140 would be a good midrange choice. The Erostek ET312B is the gold standard of such things, but it is very overpriced. Be warned, their web sites may not be SFW, especially any pages related to attachments other than pads...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I have a TENS unit I got off Amazon for about $30. and use it when my lower back flares up. I'd swear that it helps relax the muscles and ease the pain, but it seems to only be temporary and may last an hour or two. I've used on hips and knees when they've had some pain after excersize and I'm undecided if it helps for that. I actually got started on it because the PT of a friend had recommended it for his back problems, so it seems to have some professional endorsement.

  7. #7
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    The only experience I have of a TENS is for pain relief during child-birth. It was amazing, helped to block out contractions so they really do work on blocking pain!

  8. #8
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. They're so inexpensive online, that it's probably worth a try. There are a couple that have thousands of good reviews. When the physical therapist used hers on me, I had no pain in that leg for much of the rest of the day. It was a nice respite.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I should note that I had TENS therapy years ago, and the intensity of muscle contraction was the same as with the OTC unit, as far as I can remember.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    My friend who's PT recommended the TENS unit told him that the inexpensive ones were just as effective as the expensive ones the medical profession uses. Just not as durable. I don't know how accurate that is. My simple Amazon unit has several settings with different frequencies and delivery patterns. The intensity setting goes from 1 to 10 and I've never gotten past 4 or 5 without significant discomfort, so it's plenty powerful.

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