async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Why I'm Adding the OMRON TENS to My RA Toolbox

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Why I'm Adding the OMRON TENS to My RA Toolbox

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was provided with compensation, an OMRON TENS Therapy Max Power Relief Unit, and an OMRON Focus TENS Therapy for Knee Unit in exchange for my evaluation and honest opinion. 

May is Arthritis Awareness Month. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I do my best to maintain an active lifestyle. Due to RA, I often have aches and pains but I try not to let it stand in the way of doing what I love. I've tried all kinds of non-medicinal remedies for pain relief, all with varying results. I like to say that I have a 'toolbox' of things that I can access when I need to and I'm always looking to add to it!

A few weeks ago, I received the OMRON TENS Therapy Max Power Relief Unit and the OMRON Focus TENS Therapy for Knee Unit to try out and review. I shared information on the devices here and tried to learn as much as I could about TENS. Since then, I've been using both of the devices daily.



As a person with rheumatoid arthritis, I wake up with pain and stiffnesss on a daily basis. Usually once I get up and moving, things loosen up and I feel pretty good. I've been running more miles lately, and my right SI (sacroiliac) joint has been cranky, as has my right knee. I'm also having some wrist pain, which is affecting my ability to perform certain tasks. Before I received my OMRON TENS units, I tried a variety of things including CBD, stretching, topical rubs, and yoga to try to relieve my symptoms. After using the devices for the past couple of weeks, I can say with all honesty that the OMRON TENS units have been some of the most helpful modalities have I tried.

TENS therapy is not curative, but it has been proven effective in relieving certain types of pain. TENS is thought to block pain signals from reaching the brain through stimulation of surrounding nerves and receptors. After using TENS, I felt almost no pain in both areas. I was able to perform my normal activities, including running and weight lifting, without pain and without altering my body mechanics to adapt to the pain. The pain relief I felt from using TENS was temporary, lasting several hours or longer, but when the pain returned, it felt much less in intensity. On the days where my knee or back felt especially cranky, I used the TENS several times throughout the day, which was very helpful. I didn't experience any adverse effects from either unit.

Top: OMRON TENS Therapy Max Power
Bottom: OMRON Focus TENS for knee
I found both units very easy to use right out of the box. Both units come with quick start guides and the instructions are easy to follow. I had both units set up and working within 5 minutes. They are very different, though, and so I'll share a little bit about each one:

The OMRON TENS Therapy Max Power Relief Unit can be used on any part of the body. Not only did I try it on my low back, but I also tried it on my wrist. There are 2 sticky electrode pads, which you apply to either side of the affected area. The battery-operated control unit has multiple body parts you can choose from and you can also choose the type of stimulation you'd like. Once you've done that, you can increase the intensity to the level that you want. It goes up to 15, which was more than I needed! It can feel a little weird at first. The low back setting provides a variety of impulses and it can be quite intense. If the impulses felt too strong, I was able to quickly decrease the settings and the unit responded immediately. After 15 minutes, the unit shuts off automatically. The pads easily and painlessly peel off the skin and there is a platform to stick them on until the next time. OMRON states that the pads are good for 150 uses. The device is reasonably priced and available from the manufacturer as well as other sellers. If you purchase from OMRON, there is a one-year limited warranty.

I should have turned it up to 11!
The OMRON Focus TENS Therapy for Knee is for the knee only. I really liked that this unit is wireless. It comes with a charging platform and the unit charged quickly for my first use. I haven't had to charge it since. The sticky pad is attached to a wide band, which clips onto the TENS unit. From there, you sit with your knee at a 90 degree angle and wrap the band just below your knee. Turn the unit on and press the + button until you reach the intensity you want. The Focus TENS therapy device has 20 intensity levels--I know I didn't max out on this one either, but after using it multiple times, I was able to dial up the intensity pretty high! I loved that I was able to walk around with the unit attached. But what I really loved was that when my 30 minute TENS session was over, my knee felt great. The OMRON Focus TENS Therapy for Knee is more expensive than the Max Power Relief Unit, but having tried both units on my knee, I felt that the Focus was more effective for my knee pain. The manufacturer states that the sticky pads are only good for 30 uses, but replacement pads on the OMRON website. Like the Max Power Relief unit, the Focus for Knee device is available at a variety of sellers and from OMRON, which offers a one-year limited warranty.

Applying the Focus Knee unit is so easy!
Overall, I found both the OMRON TENS Therapy Max Power Relief unit and the OMRON Focus TENS Therapy for Knee to be very useful in relieving my pains so that I could carry on with my daily activities. In fact, as I write this, I'm using the Max Power unit on my low back. I would highly recommend both units as part of a pain management regimen and I believe that anyone, even people who don't have arthritis could benefit from it. I'm grateful to OMRON for providing me the opportunity to test these devices. They will definitely be part of my pain relief regimen!

I am loving my @OMRONhealthUS TENS units! Find out why /via @oldrunningmom #painrelief #healthcareselfcare #arthritis #arthritisawarenessmonth #running #runchat

What's in your RA (or other) pain management toolbox? Have you ever considered TENS as part of your pain management regimen? Even if you don't have arthritis, TENS could be helpful for pain. 

I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics and with the Runners' Roundup: DebbieDeborahJenRachelSandra, and Lisa.

 


31 comments :

  1. I had a small TENS unit I used religiously while having foot pain a few years back. It definitely helped! Thankfully it's not anywhere near as painful anymore & my unit has been gathering dust. Omron makes great stuff! The knee unit sounds intriguing.

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  2. USD 70 for the OMRONS TENS Unit! These ARE reasonably priced, I was expecting the price to be much higher. I can imagine that they come in handy for any kind of pain, even if you're not suffering of RA.
    I will have a look into this.
    Thank you, Wendy, for the review!

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  3. I need to look into this for my back. I've never had back issues, but the past few months, it's been kind of on-going. I blame the comfy love seat (usually shared, awkwardly, with Max) and all the Netflix time.

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  4. I love that you never let RA stand in your way of achieving the goals you want to. And I'm so glad this has provided some relief and can form part of your toolbox.

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  5. What Catrina said...my first move was to look at the price. If I was dealing with any kind of chronic pain I would get this in a heartbeat.

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  6. I love my TENS unit. It really, really helped me when I was training for the Chicago Marathon last year. I just started using it again on my lower back and calf muscle to help with some pain I have there.

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that you found the TENS unit so helpful!

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  7. I have a similar unit which I really like. I just need to remember to use it! No reason not to right? Glad you are finding it so helpful

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    1. I think I remember that review! Yes, don't forget about it.

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  8. This sounds great! I've had ongoing issues with my SI joint. Strength training has helped alot but it still flares up once in awhile. This would be good to have for when it bothers me!

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    1. I have used the TENS unit on my SI joint quite a bit since I got it. I can't believe how much it helps.

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  9. Thoughts on effectiveness for moderate hip osteoarthritis and back degenerative disc disease pain relief?

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    1. It should help with the pain related to those conditions as well! My dad uses his quite frequently.

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  10. I have something similar that I got from my chiropractor. I haven't used it in a long time but at least I know I have it. Great review and I love how you are always finding ways to help you with RA.

    Thank you for linking up with us!

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    1. The TENS is a great addition to your toolbox. Always good to have it there. I used mine today on my low back after my run. It really helped.

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  11. I have a few friends who use tens units religiously and they are PT’s so they know it’s good stuff. If I had regular pain, I’d buy that in a heartbeat!

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  12. I had never heard of this device before. Sounds like it is very useful!

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  13. My friend has a TENS machine. She loves it! I'm glad you're finding some relief!

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  14. I love this. I think it's great that there's one specifically for knees, too. I have a different TENS unit, and it's been great for my ankle when I think to use it. I do hate charging it, though. I'm glad you have something else to work against your RA. It's not going to beat you!

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  15. Thanks for the honest review. I need to get this. If you had to pick one, which would you choose?

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    1. I love the knee unit but the Power Max unit is much more versatile!

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  16. Thanks for the review, Wendy! I've received TENS therapy from both my physical therapist and chiropractor and it works. I've been meaning to buy a personal unit since my brother picked one up for my mom last summer, but just never got around to getting one. Thanks for the reminder. I'll take a look at this one since you like it. It looks much easier to use than the one my mom has. I think my back would appreciate it!

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