Gransnet forums


TENS machine for arthritis?

(33 Posts)
storynanny Thu 06-Feb-14 21:07:40

Anyone ever tried one of these machines for moderate knee arthritis?

Iam64 Tue 18-Mar-14 08:58:33

It was the occupational therapist and rheumatology specialist who recommended the wrist splints. You're also recommended to strengthen the muscles and keep the tendons/ligaments etc moving by doing wrist exercises. I think I'll google knee braces. Athletes wear them don't they, if a knee has taken a knock, if it's good enough for footballers, I wonder why it isn't for us. Except footballers do get more arthritis than the general population so maybe that's because they continue to play with damaged joints.

storynanny Mon 17-Mar-14 19:24:27

I did ask my doc about a brace, he made a face and said better to get strengthening the muscles above the knee so I havent bothered.

Iam64 Mon 17-Mar-14 13:11:33

My sister has 'a knee' - have you tried a knee brace story nanny? My wrists can be very painful, and weak. During those times, I find working wrist splints a real boon. I wonder if a knee brace could be as effective?

storynanny Sun 16-Mar-14 10:42:36

No my knees are neither cold nor hot, just painful, they don't even look particularly swollen.
I am persevering with the voltarol gel and on advice from the nurse, am rubbing it either side of the knee cap. Managed a day in London last week with less pain than usual and had a couple of days this week without too much pain. But then yesterday back to a lot of pain. It seems quite random, not connected to exercise, food, footwear etc.

Iam64 Sun 16-Mar-14 09:37:53

thanks scooter

Scooter58 Sat 15-Mar-14 20:50:42

Iam64,check out the reviews for Flexall on Amazon,if you do buy it,try it on your knuckles,knees and any other joints which get swollen and stiff,truly does work wonders for me.

Iam64 Sat 15-Mar-14 18:16:30

Storynanny - sorry for not acknowledging your post in response to my grumbles, lucky me, just back from a week away.
Is your knee hot or cold to touch? My consultant, gp and physio all say if my joints are hot and inflamed (inflammatory arthritis) use ice to cool the joint. If the joint is cold, use warmth. When I have a flare up, my hands are usually the first to show it's happening. Hot, swollen knuckles, wrists etc - I have the emergency pack of frozen peas and though initially it is unpleasant, the swelling and heat do go down.
Scooter - thanks for the recommendation, I strained my back, coming down a slope without sticks while we were away last week and it's giving me some gyp so I'll look for Flexall tomorrow.

Scooter58 Sun 09-Mar-14 05:39:21

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis,tens machine didn't work for me,had acupuncture for bursitis 4 years and it was a success .I use Flexall topical coolant gel on joints when inflamed,it is rubbed into the joint and can be felt working within minutes,many a time I have hobbled to my bed in real pain and been walking again pain free in the morning.Have tried freeze sprays and gels but Flexall beats them all hands down.

storynanny Sat 08-Mar-14 23:29:10

So I have been using the voltarol gel for a couple of weeks and think I have noticed a very slight reduction in the continual pain.
Im going to continue with it for another couple of weeks, but have a probably silly question.
Would it be more effective to rub the gel in at the front or back of the knee? Should it be rubbed over the kneecap or under it? I cant find any advise online and have not got an appointment with the doctor for a couple of weeks. Anyone any idea? Thanks

storynanny Thu 06-Mar-14 17:48:34

Ooh no no no it wasnt a criticism at all honestly. I just meant that some people ( everyone is different) choose to spend their money different things to others, eg cigarettes, alcohol, designer handbags, eating out, as is their perogative, but somehow it seems wrong to spend an equivilent amount of money on a tiny tube of medication. If you seem what I mean.

Iam64 Thu 06-Mar-14 08:44:04

Not sure of the relevance of that critical comment story nanny. I'm just over from the Hungry Britain thread, so I'm probably over loaded with grumbles about smokers and drinkers grin

storynanny Tue 04-Mar-14 18:18:50

.....however I do know people who don't bat an eyelid at spending that amount on cigarettes and alcohol several times a week

storynanny Tue 04-Mar-14 18:17:40

And it would only last a couple of days on 2 knees twice a day!

Charleygirl Tue 04-Mar-14 18:16:05

I gulped when I saw the price for the amount.

storynanny Tue 04-Mar-14 18:09:06

I still havent decided to buy a tens machine or try acupunture as I am giving volterol gel a fair trial.
But today I read an interesting article about flexiseq, a drug free gel. Has anyone tried it? It is £16.80 for a tiny 50g tube and I am not sure if it would be available on prescription.

D0LLIE Sat 08-Feb-14 12:01:26

Yes ive tried accupunture and found it worked brilliantly however older brother had accupunture for a sports injury and it didn't help...I'm very lucky as my dil is a fully trained acupunturist so i get the odd free treatment when she and son visit ....pity they dont live closer lol..

LizG Sat 08-Feb-14 08:41:56

I have a weird sense of humour and kept imagining how I looked whilst waiting with needles hanging out of my low back with everything exposed. It was difficult to take anything seriously after that and 'needles to say' it didn't seem to work.

Storynanny It might be worth asking your doctor's surgery to see if they will let you borrow a Tens machine to try out.

Iam64 Sat 08-Feb-14 08:25:32

Yes, acupuncture worked well when done by a retired GP. Since he properly retired, I tried a couple of places, to no effect. I was referred to physio for bursitis (hip/inflammation) and the physio did 4 acupuncture treatments, along side giving me exercised. She said their research shows positive benefits with acupuncture for chronic hip pain. I am doing the exercises, but having had the pain 6 months, I do believe the acupuncture had been effective.

gillybob Fri 07-Feb-14 18:28:58

Exactly Mishap it is pain distracting you from other pain . You described it so much better than I could . Thank you.

storynanny Fri 07-Feb-14 18:28:12

What about acupuncture, anyone tried that?

Iam64 Fri 07-Feb-14 18:13:44

storynanny, I do sympathise, I've had periods when hands/feet/neck etc have really got in the way of doing even ordinary things. I've said on other threads, the disease modifiers I'm on are suppressing the inflammatory arthritis, which can only help in delaying the inevitable onset of further osteo. My hands and feet are worst affected, but for now, it's being kept under (some) control.

D0LLIE Fri 07-Feb-14 12:29:10

I have osteoarthritis and find that deep heat spray helps albeit smelly!

storynanny Fri 07-Feb-14 11:55:03

Thanks for your replies, don't think I will bother getting one, but might see if anyone I know has one I could tryout first.
My latest knee x rays show moderate degeneration and doc says I am years off replacements. None of the strong painkillers I have been prescribed for my jaw pain or those I took whilst I was having having (failed) kidney stone bashing have taken away the constant pain when walking.
I am now trying voltarol gel after ibrufen gel is another failed drug.
Any other suggestions welcome.
So now I am restricted in doing my 2 hobbies, can't go to jive dancing because of knees and can't go to choir because of my jaw. At least hobby no 3, knitting and sewing is still on at the moment as arthritis has only struck mildly in one knuckle so far!
My doctor says my arthritis, knees and top of spine is occupational, 35 years of grovelling on the floor with infants!

Mishap Fri 07-Feb-14 09:50:40

I do find it useful - the trick is to turn it up so that it just starts to hurt - anything less does not work. The distraction pain is what does it.

Iam64 Fri 07-Feb-14 09:42:42

I was lent one by the physio several years ago during a period of prolonged low back pain. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I found it did help. I occasionally use it for neck and shoulder pain - it does work. I have inflammatory arthritis, so lots of muscle/joint pain and stiffness - though currently, thanks to disease modifiers that work, my tense machine stays in the cupboard.