Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulator
Sciatica is pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often owing to degeneration of an intervertebral disk. During pregnancy, sciatica can arise if your growing baby and expanding uterus put pressure on your sciatic nerve; pressure on this nerve can cause inflammation, irritation, and pain. You’ll know it’s sciatica if you’re experiencing shooting pains that start in your lower back, and radiate down your legs. Sciatic-like symptoms are common with low back pain in pregnancy. In fact, between 50 and 80 percent of women have back pain during their pregnancies.
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) sends electrical pulses through the skin to start your body’s own pain killers. The electrical pulses can release endorphins and other substances to stop pain signals in the brain. TENS can reduce pain.
The TENS unit kit we provide contains a wallet size control unit, 2 lead wires, and 4 electrodes.
TENS units, along with 15 electrodes a month, are covered 100% by Texas Medicaid. We provide these TENS units to any patient experiencing chronic pain or sciatica. We also provide TENS units to pregnant moms experiencing these symptoms. However, for pregnant moms, we provide these units with caution. For now, TENS units are not a shippable item for pregnant moms. We require a pregnant mom to come to our location if they qualify for a TENS unit so we can carefully go over the precautions of using a TENS unit while pregnant. TENS units are safe for pregnancy as long as moms use them correctly. TENS units should not be applied anywhere near the uterus, below the knees, below the elbows, or near the face and neck.
If you are a pregnant mom being assisted by a doula or midwife, please ask them about TENS units as many midwives and doulas help assist moms through their natural labor with TENS units as an alternative to pain medication. More information on using TENS units during pregnancy and labor can be viewed through the videos below.