TENS machine and Pacemaker


I'm thinking of getting a TENS machine to help manage chronic lower back pain .  I would place the pads in the lower back.

I know the TENS sends small, minor pulses via battery to the affected area.

Am just wondering if safe for those with pacemakers or if contraindicated. I've had my pacemaker  for 7 years now. 
thanks for input



Tens unit

by Linnie - 2021-04-10 23:42:08

I got a book with my Medtronic PM and it says anything that has a current like aTENS unit should not be used. I'm bummed because I use to use mine all the time.


by AgentX86 - 2021-04-11 00:00:21

We're not even supposed to use the scales that pass a *small* current between the feet to measure percent body fat.  TENS units deliver a huge current compared to this.  It's very highly discouraged.


by j00ney - 2021-04-11 00:22:59

Thanks for the prompt response and advice which I'll follow. Will look for alternative therapy for back pain.




by j00ney - 2021-04-11 00:23:00

Thanks for the prompt response and advice which I'll follow. Will look for alternative therapy for back pain.




by Linnie - 2021-04-11 13:27:12

I find that if you know what area is bothering you-EX:  psoas muscle, you can Google for stretches that will help. On my down days, I find that sitting too much shortens the illiopsoas which pulls on the lower back. Stretches for that, some Icy Hot and an Epsom Salt bath can help. Good Luck.


by Oldwolf - 2021-04-12 23:24:11

Try accupuncture, but be aware of electric leads attached to needles. My Boston Science PM/DF manual lists warnings for  EMI fm all types of devices… & electric connected accupuncture needles that use AC  current are listed as Don't Use, but DC (battery current) is ok.

So check the manual for your ICD & watch for what is a risk for temp interference, or possible damage to device/or it's programming, or to you! & when AC current has diff status than DC & look for diff distance warnings. I'm brand new, but an old-hand techie, so I 'inhaled' the manual!!


Good to see this forum!


by sjrs1019 - 2021-05-27 10:03:51

I asked my Abbot tech this question.  She said to bring it in at my next visit.  She can test it to see if it will interfere.  Otherwise, she said if it is not used on the neck, shoulders or any area near the PM, then it is OK.  Of course, those places are exactly where I use mine!

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