When your back hurts you will try anything, short of surgery, to get relief!
As I mentioned last month, I have tried acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga, TENS, and of course many doctors’ go-to response of prescribing pills!
Last night I was thinking about how doctors always ask you, “On a scale of 1-10, what is your current pain level?” So, I developed this reference list for myself:
“Really good day” = 3-4 out of 10 (Rare)
“Good day” = 5-6 out of 10 (Normal)
“Bad day” = 7-8 out of 10 (Frequent)
“Really bad day” = 9-10 out of 10 (Rare but becoming more common)
Like you, I have lived with my “good day” pain for so long I just accept it as my “normal.” If I woke up one morning and did not feel any pain, I would think I was dead! How sad is that!
My latest search for back pain relief has taken me to electro-shock treatment!
NO…not that one!
Although that might fix other issues…but then, I digress.
I am talking about neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES).
About two months ago I was discussing my back pain with a friend, and David mentioned that the Veterans Administration Pain Clinic prescribed an NMES Belt for him. Unfortunately for him, it was not helping, so he offered it to me to try out. At that point, I was willing to try anything.
I took the belt home and immediately put it on. I had to play with the intensity a bit to find the right settings…“Dance postman, dance!” [Cheers fans will get this].
Automatically, I was amazed at how much it helped reduce the pain I was suffering at the time. It took me from a 7-8, down to a 5-6 out of ten, back to my “normal,” which made my day!
Do not get me wrong, this is not a cure. It provides temporary relief, but when you are in severe pain you will take whatever relief, you can get.
When I am having a “really bad day,” I am in so much pain that the belt alone does not provide sufficient relief. That is when I will lay down and resentfully resort to taking a prescribed strong medication.
Fortunately, this is rare…at least for now.
I have been using the belt daily now for about a month, both morning and evening, with fairly reliable results considering it is not specifically set up for me. I also use it during the day for some relief when I am having a “bad day,” which generally works.
Bottom line: This has been a Godsend and I cannot thank David enough for allowing me to use his NMES belt.
Since I started drafting this article, I had an appointment with the VA Pain Clinic, and they have ordered my own belt that will be set up specifically for me. I am looking forward to that.
Also, by the time you read this, I will have had spinal injections, but that is for a later article.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. These are my individual experiences, provided as a common frame of reference to assist you in dealing with this all-too-common problem. Please consult with your medical professional. I am not connected with, nor receive any compensation from any company’s products I discuss in my articles.
About the Device
The RS-4i Plus – a true high-frequency (5000Hz) device for in-home use helps relieve chronic pain in two ways. First, it delivers pain relieving Interferential (INF) therapy that penetrates deep into soft tissue to excite the body’s natural endorphin production for long-lasting pain relief. Then the rehabilitative effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) reduces muscle spasms, increases circulation, and prevents disuse atrophy.
Exclusive to the RS-4i Plus, patented Intersperse technology provides the muscle contraction of NMES intermixed with pain-relieving INF therapy. In this way, the patient gets intermittent contraction, then pain relief, then contraction throughout the duration of a session – enabling shorter, more comfortable, and more impactful treatments.
To learn more, visit: https://www.rsmedical.com/blog/compare-tens-units-by-signal-type
Written By: Richard Corson, Health & Welfare Editor