“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “
I’ve written before about how much I loathe long car rides, and how much sitting too long can often flare chronic pain — specifically, leg pain for me. If you aren’t familiar with my “car yoga”-while-on-a-long-car-ride-because-of-chronic-pain story, you can go here to read it. I’ve also written about how sitting too long can cause your butt to go flat, “EDS on a Cellular level,” and why moving around is critical to “moving your DNA.” However, the underlying theme in these all of the posts that I just mentioned is the chronic pain that is often associated with hypermobility syndromes, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). And most of us with EDS deal with several types of chronic pain each day. Pain with EDS isn’t biased, that’s for sure.
One type of chronic pain that seems to go hand in hand with EDS and other types of hypermobility syndromes is musculoskeletal pain. Musculoskeletal pain is often described as pain “most often caused by an injury to the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves. This can be caused by jerking movements, car accidents, falls, fractures, sprains, dislocations, and direct blows to the muscle. Musculoskeletal pain can also be caused by overuse.” (source – http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/musculoskeletal-pain)
If you have “loose joints” (AKA – joint hypermobility), that’s a good indicator that you may be one of the lucky ones who is more prone to musculoskeletal inflammation, injury and pain. Welcome to the club! Additionally, musculoskeletal pain associated with hypermobility syndromes is often caused by spasms from our muscles having to work twice as hard to keep our joints stable, and do the work our connective tissues cannot. Musculoskeletal pain, specifically from muscles spasms in neck and head, may also be attributed to comorbid conditions such as Craniocervial Instability, and other cervical abnormalities associated with neck hypermobility (or, what I refer to as the “bobble head”). Muscles spasms all over the head, neck and TMJ, can cause musculoskeletal pain in the form of chronic headaches, such as migraines (often associated with inflammation and constriction of blood vessels from muscles constricting around the blood vessels in the head), cluster headaches, and jaw (TMJ) pain — just to name a few.
So, how can we manage chronic pain, especially musculoskeletal pain, associated with EDS?
First, one therapy or protocol does not work for all of us. Second, an integrative approach is proving to be the best “recipe” for most of us. Yet, it is still up to each one of us to figure out what combination of therapies and strategies work best for our specific case of EDS (and related conditions). Manual therapy, often performed by a physical therapist, has shown promising results for many. Personally, manual therapy has been an amazing way to help manage musculoskeletal pain in my jaw, neck and head. (You can read the article I wrote on Manual Therapy and TMJ pain by going here.)
Other integrative strategies consist of various combinations of medications, supplements, dietary protocols to help inflammation, dry needling, therapeutic exercise, and other “life hacks,” such as a using a Tens Unit, or massaging pillow. The good news is that there are several integrative therapies available and most offer us the flexibility (no pun intended) to help ourselves and at home. Additionally, the EDS Wellness’ Integrative Healing Brochure discusses various integrative approaches to living well with EDS, including the use of a Tens Unit, such as the TechCare Massager.
Previously, Tens Units were not commercially available or easily accessible to the public. Patients needed a script for a tens unit from a healthcare provider, and the ability to use this therapy was dependant on insurance coverage — which not everyone had. Now, Tens Units are widely available and are incredibly affordable. They also work surprisingly well. Below are my key take-aways after using the TechCare Mini Massager Tens Unit for a few months:
- Small and incredibly easy to pack and travel with
- Works very well – it’s strong!
- Various speed and “massaging” settings
- Affordable – the TechCare Mini Tens Unit that I’ve been using costs $24.99 on Amazon.com
- Incredibly effective way to help manage chronic musculoskeletal pain
- Self-empowering – if you can help yourself, without having to depend on seeing provider or taking medications, it’s freeing!
- It was my savior many times, such as during our long car ride to Florida after Christmas and when I got a migraine while finishing this post!
Below I’ve included additional Tens Unit therapy and TechCare Massager product information:
BENEFITS OF TENS THERAPY
“It is estimated that 116 million American adults experience – mostly preventable – chronic pain. This is costing us up to $635 billion annually, according to a report released by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2011).
There is an epidemic use and abuse of prescription pain medicines, proving that drugs are ultimately ineffective against chronic pain. Clearly, alternatives are needed.
TENS and EMS massagers are one answer! Completely safe when used according to guidelines, TENS and EMS units provide a drug-free, side-effect-free method of treatment against pain. No more prescriptions, no more costly office visits.
Within just 30 minutes, most people begin to feel the pain relief and relaxation provided by TENS electrodes. With the added benefit of being able to use the massager device in the privacy of your own home – or anywhere you like! – you now have complete control over your health and wellness.”
Read more by going to http://www.techcaremassager.com/benefits-of-tens-therapy/
VARIOUS USES OF TENS
“Some of the most common doctor recommended uses for TENS are:
carpal tunnel syndrome
labor pain (not before nine months)
and many other types of pain
Non-pain uses are for:
overall body relaxation
Please consult your physician/practitioner before using a TENS unit if:
You have a heart condition or a cardiac pacemaker
You are pregnant
You have any form of malignancy
You have epilepsy”
Read more about the various uses of a tens unit by going to http://www.techcaremassager.com/various-uses-of-tens/
What is TENS?
“TENS is a method of treatment whereby a gentle electrical current passes through TENS pads, or electrodes, and through your skin to stimulate specific muscles and nerve pathways. This electrical stimulation then blocks pain signals from traveling to your brain, and just like a strong painkiller, effectively diminishes your pain perception. Additionally, TENS stimulates your brain to release endorphins, or ‘feel good’ chemicals that are the body’s natural painkillers. In this way, whether your pain is chronic or acute, the TENS Massager is a sure and safe way to help you overcome the limitations of living in pain.
Our portable TENS units are DC 3.7V battery powered multi-function devices, and also offer EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulator) qualities in every device.”
What is EMS?
“EMS, or Electrical Muscle Stimulation, is used to reduce and prevent muscle atrophy, which is the weakening of muscles usually caused by surgery, trauma or long-term inactivity. A proven method against muscle atrophy, EMS stimulates atrophic or atrophy-prone muscles, causing an increase of blood flow to the area, and thus improving the overall muscle tone, strength and endurance of these muscles. This also provides pain management as weakened and sore muscles are brought to health. As with TENS therapy, the electrical stimulation through the electrodes blocks pain signals from registering, and instead stimulates your brain to release the feel good chemicals, endorphins.
As with all our TechCare Massager units, both TENS and EMS qualities work in unison to nurse and nurture your muscles, providing a safe and sure way to live pain free.”
“At TechCare we offer high quality portable electrical devices and accessories designed to be effective and safe therapy for aches and pains associated with sore and aching muscles, stress and tension, minor muscle atrophy, strenuous exercise or normal household, sport and work activities. High in quality and safe to use for hours at a time, our massager units can be used whenever and wherever you want! This gives you complete freedom, privacy and control over your own health. No more drugs or horrible side effects! No more costly therapist appointments! With TechCareMassagers, you can have a safe, drug-free and side effect free method of pain relief, all in the privacy of your own home. Simply apply the pads to the desired area of your body as suggested in the information manual we provide, and you’re ready for a relaxing and stimulating experience!
Our massagers offer state-of-the-art TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) and EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulator) qualities in a lightweight, portable, rechargeable, multi-function device. Our TENS units feature a large LED screen, ON/OFF switch, Mode Selection key, Intensity Modification keys, Timing key, Pause key, Output Socket, and USB port for battery charging. The TENS device arrives in a functional storage box and comes with additional accessories including electrode pads, electrode cables, a battery charger, and a USB cable.
At TechCareMassager, we guarantee a quality experience to relax or stimulate the muscles of your choice. And to prove it, we offer a 5-year limited warranty on all our products.
Improve your quality of life and try us today!”
Company Contact and Sales Information:
TechCare website – http://www.techcaremassager.com
Find TechCare on Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/2kdCzmq
TechCare Massager on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/techcaremassager/?fref=ts