I have started going to a chiropractor for some lower back pain, the woman chiro used a Tens on my back, up and down, I had on a rather thick sweater and asked if I should take it off and she said no that the tens is quite powerful and will go right through the sweater.  I will be going back for a few more treatments of non surgical decompresson and wondered if that Tens could do something to my pacemacker.  So I called the pacer clinc where I go to a couple of times a year and asked if it was OK to use that Tens with my pacemaker.  The woman said that they would have to check the Tens to determine if it would be OK to use with my pacer.  Well that isn't possible so I just told my chiropractor to not use the Tens.  Has anyone ever had a Tens used on their back by a chiropractor?  Does it interfere with their pacer?



by AgentX86 - 2022-05-27 23:51:03

Ask your EP but TENS units are not considered safe on the torso.  Legs and arms are generally safe but a TENS unit, or anything else that passes current through the body is on the no-no list.  Even the scales that measure BMI aren't recommended.


by Tracey_E - 2022-05-28 17:22:06

I've used them with no issue, but we're not supposed to. As Agent said, extremeties are ok but not the torso. 

Back to the question

by Gotrhythm - 2022-05-29 13:46:58

On looking at your question again, I notice you asked if the TENS could "do something" to your pacemaker.

If you mean damage your pacemaker, no. The TENS willl cause it no harm at all.

But the pacemaker could misread the electrical signal coming from the TENS as one coming from your heart, which could throw off the pacemaker's timing. How big a problem that would be depends of your condition.

You also asked had anyone ever had a TENS used on their back by a chiropractor. Yes, I have. At a chiropractor's direction, a TENS unit was used several times over period of a couple of weeks on my back. Frankly, I didn't think to question it at the time. I suffered no heart or pacemaker interference, or ill effects, then or later.

The TENS unit therapy was discontinued only because the massage chair seemed more cost-effective in reducing my pain.

The "official" wisdom is that people with pacemakers should not use a TENS ever, on any body part. 

If I needed to I would use a TENS without qualm on arms and legs. On my lower back? Maybe. Close to my heart or pacemaker? no. I really think, based on my experience, it wouldn't be a problem, but why take chances?

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