One of the problems most chronic pain patients have is getting good, long lasting sleep so the patient can rest. Often the lack of sleep only exacerbates the pain problems and the two, lack of sleep and pain, feed off each other.
Here is a method to suppress the pain and restore the sleep. Our goal is to increase the sleep period from the time the patient lies down and extend the sleeping, over greater time period, until reaching a beneficial sleep that allows the patient to rest and recuperate.
Each night prior to going to bed the patient should take a few minutes to rest and put feet up. It’s better to do in the bed so to not have to get up to go to bed. Put the Infrex on, high interferential mode, and set for a 30 minute cycle of treatment. This should diminish the pain and also relax any tense muscles. Do the treatment for a week to see if the sleep pattern is not restored or periods of sleep extended. The actual interferential stimulation also relaxes the muscles which is another of the harmful effects of living in pain.
Couple of extra tips to go with this:
- If 30 minutes isn’t enough then the patient can literally do “continuous” interferential stimulation and go to sleep with the unit on. That is not a problem and will not cause any problems due to the net 0 DC effect of a good interferential unit.
- One might try a warm, moist heat pack over painful area with the Interferential electrodes underneath the pack in the painful area. The combination of carryover thermal pain relief is extended by the interferential treatment and the increased blood flow into the area allows for better conduction of the electricity throughout the painful region.
- One can place a Lavender Aromatherapy Patch on the chest to wear during night to help relax. If the patient’s insurance purchased unit then these patches may be a covered cost so no out of pocket cost to the patient.
- Try sipping a cup of chamomile tea ( one of main ingredients in “Sleepytime” tea) to calm down and get a restful night’s sleep.
One study done, found on WEBMD, shows the use of dorsal column stimulators- DCS- (implanted spinal devices) that help restore sleep. Best for patients is to go with interferential first since this is a non surgical, safe effective treatment modality without any of the potential harmful side effects of surgery. The actual origin of tens units ( transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulators ) were from testing for a DCS device and it was found the external device provided similar benefits without surgery, costs, and build up of scar tissue which created it’s own set of future problems.