My beloved TENS machine that I've had for nearly 5 years finally gave up the ghost a few weeks back and whilst I haven't felt that I've needed to replace it, this week my pain has made me eat those words. Yes, my sciatic nerve decided to have a total meltdown and cause me to have both shooting pains down into my pelvis and legs as well as uncontrollable spasms. However, this isn't a post for me to gripe and moan, this is a review!
So enter, Ovira's Noha TENS unit (which was created after the founder - who also suffers from endometriosis - realised how pulse therapy can be used for pain management).
First impressions, this unit is sturdy and beautifully presented. My previous TENS unit had come stuffed in a jiffy bag and wrapped with bubble wrap (not to lovingly either!) but the Ovira is packaged wonderfully and you can tell that a lot of thought and care has gone into making it look professional as well as easy to use and understand. It literally has an on/off button, a + and - button to tailor the intensity of the electromagnetic pulses and a light which lets you know when it's on or if it needs charging. It's discreet and easy to use but definitely packs a punch.
I really liked that the company have also thought every single detail out with their Noha device. The kit comes with a storage pouch and an acrylic disc to place the electrode pads on when not in use; this to me is genius. I've always ended up sticking previous pads onto something random so I like that they've thought this through so you don't get through them too quickly and waste the stickiness.
The unit itself is easy to use and I liked that it comes with two electromagnetic pads as opposed to one (which is what traditional TENS units aimed at period pain have). This means that you can be really precise with your placement of them and be precise in targeting your pain. The pads themselves are a generous size too and really, really sticky, like, once applied, they took a fair tug to get them off. I actually was really impressed at not only this but on how long they were able to stay stuck for too. During a particularly bad flare up, I kept the Nora attached to me all day and despite it being ridiculously hot that day and my skin being sweaty (gross, I know) these bad boys stayed stuck.
Technical details aside, the most important thing is that yes, this did help my pain. Ovira suggest either placing the pads either side of my belly button or either side of your spine on your lower back dependant on where your pain is and to get maximum relief. Throughout trialling this I found it effective in both positions; on my stomach for uterine cramps and on my back for my sciatic pain. In both situations, the Noha eased my pain significantly and I didn't feel like absolute shit after a day of travelling which I would've if I hadn't have used this throughout my journey.
The other great thing about the Nora is that it actually stays on until the battery dies or you switch it off; past TENS machines have worked on a cycle basis and automatically switch off and it's a pain in the backside to keep clicking it on every twenty minutes so the fact that the Noha doesn't do this is an excellent feature. In addition to this, you can tailor the intensity of the electromagnetic pulses very easily via the + and - switches and even if you have this on the highest setting, you still get a good few hours of relief from it. And if you wanna get really into the technical side of it, the Noha is FDA approved, TGA registered and CE marked which isn't a claim a lot of other TENS manufactures can make.
Oh and Ovira also offer a free 100 day trial so you can take the time to work out if it's suitable for your body and its pain management needs. So whilst the Nora has a high price point of £109, you do genuinely have the opportunity to try this for a considerable length of time to ensure it works for you and I like that a lot.
Whilst I don't rely on a TENS unit as much as I used to, this will definitely be coming with me on holiday as well as to work due to the fact it's so discrete and it packs a real punch which is exactly what my body needs from time to time!