Last night I tried the FLEX-Gar Back wrap for my Flex-IT Tens unit. I hadn’t given it a go yet since I wanted to confirm that it was covered by my insurance. I’m still not 100% certain about it, but my doctor listed it as medically necessary and honestly, using it for the first time it’s really pretty amazing.
It’s no secret that my back has been terribly bad the last week or two. Tension and stress, lots of sitting and driving, and going off my muscle relaxants while we dealt with my digestive issues was not a fun combo. I have very little flexibility and standing up is extremely difficult. The pain is constant, and first thing in the morning and at the end of the day are the worst.
The FLEX-Gar back piece lets me wear the electrodes more comfortably than the sticky pad version. I threaded the wires through four of the pre-punched holes in the wrap and then hooked up the Tens unit. Since the electrodes are backed with Velcro I was able to position them and move them around easily. I don’t mind the sticky pads, but they’re hard to position on your own, especially if you’re not very flexible. I was also getting a minor skin irritation from the adhesive gel, despite cleaning my skin beforehand and treating it with the special lotion afterwards.
I wasn’t sure how best to wet the pads- the one drawback to this version. I unhooked the electrodes from the Tens unit, then dampened them using a wet washcloth, which worked quite well (they must be damp to improve conductivity). I then reattached everything, put on the back wrap, and activated the Tens unit. With the Tens unit clipped to my waistband, I can sit and work at my desk or walk around (with the sticky pads I usually laid on my stomach, since my clothing or other fabric would stick to it).
Overall, the back wrap works very well. The only disadvantage is that it does not cover the lower back as well- for very low back pain I will probably use the sticky pads. The stitching that edges the fabric is also a bit itchy against the skin. It’s a huge improvement over forced immobility for ten or fifteen minutes, however, and I can leave the electrodes in place for easy application next time.