Product Type: Lloyds health products
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TENS machine does not get a ten.
Lloydspharmacy Dual Channel TENS Machine
Member Name: kama0529
Lloydspharmacy Dual Channel TENS Machine
Disadvantages: Only 3 modes. 15 minute cycle. Didn't reduce pain as much as I thought. Pads don't last very long.
As some as you may know, last year I had a prolapsed lumbar disc and I spent six months in agony, having pain in my lower back and all the way down my left leg and into my foot. I was taking a lot of analgesics, including morphine, tramadol, and voltarol - the side effects of which made me feel nauseous and therefore from time to time I liked to try to have a break from the pills.
I saw the Lloyds Pharmacy Dual Channel TENS Machine, unsurprisingly in Lloyds Chemist. It was on offer and it cost me £12.99 which seemed reasonable. I had never used a TENS machine before and so I have nothing to compare it to as I was a TENS virgin!
Before I used it, I looked up the science behind the theory of the TENS machine. Basically, the device delivers a electronic impulse through gel pads attached to the body. Delivering the electronic impulses disturbs the pain signals that are sent to the brain, thereby giving the effect of stopping the pain signals reaching the pain - and therefore the patient does not experience as much pain. Or something like that!!
The device is about 12cms x 8cms and its small enough to fit in an average size pocket. It comes with two leads with plug into the TENS machine which then branch into two further leads which you attach to the gel pads. The pack had 8 gel pads in it, which were about 5cms x 5cms.
I could adjust the TENS machine in two ways. I could adjust the mode of the impulses that were delivered which mainly differed by changing the pattern or frequency of the electrical impulses. There were 3 different modes. I could also alter the intensity that the electrical impulses were delivered. I could adjust the intensity and mode of each lead that plugged into the TENS machine individually.
The device does come complete with instructions, although I was a little disappointed at the detail that the instruction booklet gave. I know that a lot of people buy TENS machines for back pain and so I thought the booklet would give you some suggestions on where to apply the pads - and so it was a little bit of guess work for me.
I attached the gel pads to the area that hurt the most (above and below the source) and then I turned the intensity up to the highest I could cope with (which was about 6). I randomly altered the type of mode because I couldn't determine if any mode worked better than any of the others. What was really annoying was that each cycle only lasted 15 minutes and so after this the TENS machine would turn off - which meant I then had to fiddle around resetting it - which is not relaxing!
When the pads were applied, I would say that the machine moderately reduced the pain. If the pain without the TENS machine was 10/10 I would say the pain while the TENS machine was in use was 7/10. I was a little disappointed with how effective it was - but like I said, it did have some effect as long as the machine was running. However, as soon as the device was turned off, there was no lasting effect and the pain returned to 10/10 after about 10 minutes. This seemed to happen regardless of how long the TENS machine was applied for.
The gel pads did loose their stickiness after about 10 uses, although I did find that I could get some of this stickiness back by rehydrating the gel pads by dripping water on them. The replacement pads cost £4.99 for 8 new pads (again they were on offer) and I probably did replace them every 2 weeks because after this they were unsticky, very grubby and starting to loose their structure.
All in all, I would probably not recommend this particular model because, for me at least, it didn't seem to reduce the pain as much as I thought it would. I have heard that there are better models on the market and if I need another TENS machine in the future, I think I will opt for one of the more expensive models.
Summary: Not recommended.
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