Would you be interested in treating an IC flare-up at home with a TENS Unit? We have been offering this non-invasive service in our office for many years to help women decrease the pain and spasms associated with this chronic bladder issue. We have found it tremendously helpful and were happy to offer it. Unfortunately, we have been running into a problem with insurance– they don’t want to seem to cover this service, or if they do, they don’t cover enough visits to truly be helpful. So we have been working on a new solution; we have our patients purchase a TENS unit for home use.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It can be used just about anywhere on the body, but when placed on the correct ankle/foot location, the TENS unit sends a gentle electronic stimulating pulse through the skin and up the tibial nerve toward the lower back and bladder; the goal is to relax the nerves associated with pelvic floor function, calming the bladder, and reducing the pain and spasms. By having this device at home, ladies won’t need to make an appointment when they experience a flare-up of symptoms, nor will they worry if their flare-up happens over the weekend when our office is closed. Patients will save time and money.
We have found that ladies with slimmer ankles do best with this treatment as the tibial nerve is closer to the skin and is more likely to respond to the electrical pulse. Ladies with larger ankles may not respond as well since there is more tissue between the pad and the nerve (we’ll talk about another type of TENS Unit next time). If you are interested in buying a TENS Unit, contact us for our recommendation as there are many to choose from.