By Alan Pierce

Providing Classroom Resources on New & Emerging Technologies 
Review-Omron Heat Pain Pro TENS (MSRP $89.99)
     When you feel pain your body is trying to tell you something and the pain should not be ignored. Body pain could be a sign of an underlying medical condition that could become life threatening. If the diagnosis from your physician indicates you need nothing more than the reduction of physical activities and over the counter pain medication to give your body a chance to heal, you might want to ask your doctor if an electrotherapy device could help relieve your pain. If your doctor says yes and also recommends a heating pad then the Omron Heat Pain Pro TENS device just might become what the doctor ordered.
     The Omron Heat Pain Pro TENS, see photos 1 and 2, combines heat and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to try and calm nerve and muscle pain by alternating heat for the muscle pain and TENS for the nerve pain into 30 minute treatment sessions. This Omron device lets you select what type of treatment will take place during each 30 minute session. The treatment is delivered by the two pads which you attach to the area of your body that you want to treat. See photo 2. During the session these pads can deliver the following three different therapies; heat alone, electrical stimulation alone, or alternating heat with electrical stimulation. See photo 3.
     If you select a treatment that includes heat you also get to select high or low and if your treatment includes TENS you get to select the Mode. The area of the body that you are going to treat determines which mode you should select and the manual gives you illustrations that show you where to place the pads for each mode. During the treatment when  transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is being applied you can control the intensity of the stimulation.
Unit Testing
     To diagnose the pain in her shoulder we made an appointment with an orthopedic specialist. An MRI was done and it showed that she had a very slight tear in the rotary cup of her left shoulder. Minor enough that the doctor felt that in time it could heal by itself. He used the analogy of a thick rope that is made up of many strands and your rope now has a few frayed strands. Physical therapy gave her some exercises but the exercises did nothing to reduce the pain when she raised or lowered her arm.
     A study with only one subject has no scientific validity. However, since using the Omro Heat Pain Pro TENS she experiences less pain when she raises and lowers her arm. Could her reduction in pain and increased motion have been a result of the placebo effect? The important point relative to this review is that the treatment did increase how far she could raise and lower her arm without experiencing pain after using a treatment that is now FDA approved for home use. The technology itself isnít new since it has already been used by physical therapists for at least 30 years. The manual gives you a full detailed description on how to use the unit on different parts of the body. You can download it online at:

Best Features
     The treatments did reduce the pain experienced when performing specific arm motions and the ability to select different types of treatments to meet specific needs of different parts of the body.

Worst Feature
     The Heat Pain Pro Gel pads come with a clear plastic that must be peeled from both sides. It was extremely difficult to peel the side that would come in contact your skin. See photo 5.

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Photo 1 & 2 - Omron Heat Pain Pro TENS Combines heat and TENS to calm nerves and reduce muscle pain. The pads are attached to specific areas to treat pain with heat and electrotherapy.
Photo 3 - Buttons and their Functions
Photo 4 - Personalizing your therapy
Photo 5 - Placing Gels onto the pads