TENS pain treatment

Henry - Gogeomol@aol.com

Original posting, 2004-11-07:

My wife took a fall over the family cat, on her tailbone, about 14 years ago. She had moderate pain for the first 10 years and has had severe pain for the last 4 years. We've tried everything that all the other coccyx pain sufferers have tried. Our DO tried internal manipulation that for a very short time was minimally helpful. She suggested a Pain Management center other than the one we've tried before. The Pain Doctor has been very understanding and is quite familiar with coccyx pain. He first suggested Caudal Steroid injection--with no positive results. We were hopeful that there was a 'nerve blockage' therapy. He said the side effects of loss of bowel and bladder control made this an unacceptable course of action.

We are now strongly considering Neurostimulation. While he won't provide any odds of the benefit of this procedure there is a chance, that in addition to helping with the pain, it will help with my wife's ongoing serious bowel dysfunction.

Our question for this very valuable website is--has anyone tried neurostimulation and what was the results?

Thank you.

Reply from Jon Miles:

See the neurostimulation page, and personal experiences of spinal stimulation.

Incidentally, I am very surprised that a pain doctor would say that a nerve block would cause loss of bowel and bladder control. This is not a side effect that I have ever heard of, and not one reported by any of the people who have tried this method. The main disadvantages of nerve blocks seem to be that they are not always effective, and even a 'permanent' nerve block stops working after about a year. See Personal experiences of nerve blocks.

Update, 2005-09-04:

My wife has suffered from severe coccyx pain for 15 years. We have tried just about everything---with only minor temporary relief. It's a situation where you are in such pain for so long, that when you try something new you want it to work so badly you feel (hope) that this is going to provide relief. The placebo effect works for a few days and then the severe pain returns.

At the suggestion of a doctor from the Massachusetts General Pain clinic we have been trying a TENS unit. My wife has been using the unit for about 6 weeks and has had diminished pain to the point where taking pain pills daily has been reduced by 90%. Let me also say she gets good results sitting on large cold packs whenever possible.

We are planning to go to a doctor in Montana to examine the possibility of installing a neuro stimulator.

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