Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

TMJ TENS Treatment

I have been reading online about using a TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit (or other similar form of treatment) to treat TMJ symptoms. I am wondering if anyone here has tried this and if they found it to be effective for their TMJ symptoms.

I have ordered a unit myself online and am waiting for it to arrive, my father is a medical doctor so he is going to help me learn how to use it properly.. if you have any resources that talk about the use of TENS specifically for TMJ I would appreciate if you post here.. using google to search for this isn't turning up many useful results

Also.. the unit I ordered is the LG-7000 Digital TENS Unit, can anyone tell me if this will work right for TMJ?
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First Helper W0LF
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replied February 28th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
LG - 7000 is great but it has a lot more bells and whistles than you need for a muscular disorder. Any regular alternating pulse will do fine. But I think it's a good to invest in a solid tool any time you buy one in case you find other uses for it or simply want to resell it.

I will say that the Tens unit isn't a massager. It is a medical tool and can be as dangerous as a scalpel. I've been doing non-medical electro-muscular stimulation for 3 years and I don't apply Tens trodes across the upper torso or any part of the head. Any time electricity is applied across the heart, primary nervous system or brain the risk of life-threatenning accidents escalate starkly. Take careful notes when learning how to use the Tens for TMJ, do not deviate from instructions or settings without consulting your father or a physical therapist. Also read up on eltrotheraputic solutions for TMJ. More information improves the effectiveness and safety of any treatment.

You absolutely should never use a Tens alone for any reason. You should be supervised by a dependable adult and if possible someone who has the tools and skills to revive you if your heart stops or if you siezure. If you are in a position where you have no possible way to be overseen while using the Tens. First of all, reconsidder the safety of it's use, and then if you decide to proceed always use the unit with a foot pedal switch and always standing so that if you fall the power will at least be cut and you have a chance to revive enough to call for help.

Be safe, good luck!
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replied February 28th, 2010
Thanks for the response, I have already started reading up on the dangers and am aware of what you mentioned about the dangers. I see some guides suggest placing it on the TMJ join (in front of the ear).. is this necessary to relieve TMJ or can placing it in other areas do this well enough? I have asked my dad to also look into it further so I will wait to hear back as he has to do some research into it since he is an ER doctor.

I'm having a really hard time finding resources that talk about pad placement relating to TMJ, other than one which says to place is on your TMJ joint.. if you have any links I would greatly appreciate it
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replied February 28th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
Tens isn't pinpoint stimulation, it flexes muscle groups. The placement by an inch or two along the jaw won't casue it to excercise different muscles. You could find that exact placement of small trodes puts less stress on tendons by causing a more natural pulse of muscule movement. However, as I said I don't do any work in that region of the body for safety reasons, I'm not a resource for positioning in your case.

I know all too well that it's a pain to find information outside of safety. The problem is that it's dangerous and doctors don't like taking liability for advice given that could endanger people so just about anyone who talks about how to use a TENS is around my level of compotence and qualification. While I've never seen website that discusses how to use TENS units for TMJ I've run across a lot that talk about home therapy and sports medicine with TENS. If you look around you can find a lot of generalized information about eletrotherapy and muscle function.
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replied September 26th, 2011
Experienced User
I just got in an Intensity Select Combo tens unit. I got this unit because it has "microcurrent tens" which is safe for the face/head. Be careful of using higher power tens on your face/head/neck! The microtens seems to help when the patches are on and during the session.
But the effect does not seem to have much if any hold-over effect afterwards. It seems like my upper and lower teeth fit together better as things relax with a tens session. Sheds some light on how nerve enervation seems to actually cause the jaw to go out of alignment.

Sometimes the TMJ pain spreads to other parts but particular the occiput. I am trying to research what would be the best mode and settings to try there.
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replied February 26th, 2013
General info I found
TMJ:
Pulse Width: 220
Pulse Rate: 10HZ
Output: adjust to the most comfortable level
Primary Placement: 1on tmj 1 on occipital
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