Frequently Asked Questions

What is pain?

The body uses short-term pain as a warning system; if touching something hurts, stings or burns, the brain sends a message: Stop touching it. If overdoing exercise causes pain in the muscles or bones, our brain says: stop that exercise or that intensity.

Acute pain occurs following injury or illness. Chronic pain persists, sometimes long after the injury has healed. In some cases, the injury never heals. Chronic pain can be mild, moderate or excruciating. The duration of the pain can be episodic or continuous. The result of the pain can range from inconvenient to incapacitating.

What does TENS stand for ?

TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. Transcutaneous
(trans-ku-ta´ne-us) pertaining to a procedure that is performed through the skin.

The TENS unit transmits electrical pulses of different frequencies through the skin.

What does a TENS unit do?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a non-narcotic and non-addictive alternative to pain medication. The TENS electrotherapy makes possible, with continuous depolarization, the blocking of pain transmission in nerve paths. The pain-reducing effect of this form of therapy is accomplished by placing electrodes, through which an alternating current is conducted, on the area of pain.

The current continues through the body and reaches the pain-transmitting nerve paths. Nerve fibers are blocked and the transmission of pain information to the brain is therefore interrupted. By changing the frequency of the alternating current a fast-acting and/or long-lasting pain reduction can be achieved.

Low frequency electrical pulses delivered by TENS may also stimulate the release of our own natural pain control molecules – the beta endorphins. Indications suggest that TENS, used either way, is a conservative but effective way to help control pain in many patients

What is a NMS or NMES?

This is a Neuromuscular Electrical Nerve Stimulator, which can cause a single muscle or a group of muscles to contract. Healthcare professionals can identify the appropriate places on the skin to place electrodes and deliver current to specific target muscles. Contraction caused by electrical stimulation can help strengthen atrophied muscle tissue.

What is the difference between a TENS unit and a Muscle Stimulator?

A TENS unit is used for symptomatic relief and management of chronic intractable pain and/or as an adjunctive treatment in the management of post-surgical and post-traumatic acute pain. A Muscle Stimulator is used to re-educate muscles that have atrophied from disuse as a result of illness or injury.

Is the use of a TENS unit safe?

TENS unit therapy is a non-invasive and safe way to manage pain when used properly. There are, however, instances where individuals should not use TENS units.

Are there some people who should not use a TENS unit?

TENS should not be used until the cause of the pain is known. TENS devices can affect the operation of implanted electronic devices. Please contact your health practitioner before initiating treatment with a TENS device.

Why do I need a prescription for a TENS unit, Muscle Stimulator or Traction unit?

These items are considered Class II medical devices. Federal law restricts these devices to sale by, or on order of, a licensed Physician.

Why do I need replacement electrodes?

The TENS and/or Muscle Stimulator require the conductive medium of the electrode to transfer smoothly and effectively the electrical stimulation. Our disposable electrodes are intended for single patient use, only. The adherence and the effectiveness of the electrodes will diminish after use, due to body oils, dead skins cells and the loss of “stickiness” as the electrode is put on and taken off the skin. For best results, it is recommended that you replace the electrodes as soon as the conductive gel begins to wear down or you experience discomfort in use.

What types of insurance does Golden State Medical, Inc. work with?

We are contracted with many PPO insurances. In addition, we work with Workers’ Compensation carriers, and MediCal. We work with Medicare for Muscle Stimulators and Cervical Traction units.

Will my insurance pay for this equipment?

Each insurance plan is unique. Our Authorization Specialists will contact your insurance to determine if the equipment is covered under your plan, as well as information about deductibles and copays. From there, your Authorization Specialist will contact you to review coverage information and any anticipated patient financial responsibility.

If I have two insurance plans will this cover the cost in its entirety?

We will contact both plans to determine what coverage will be. Coverage of DME, deductibles, copays, etc. will all be factored into what we anticipate the insurance coverage will be. Your insurance carriers will have already determined which insurance is primary and the coordination of benefits

What are your service hours?

Our offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. P.S.T. We are closed on major holidays. We do have 24-hour emergency phone coverage.