My husband and I test OMRON TENS for drug-free pain relief

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Running on Over 50 Feeling 40

This is an important post for those who suffer from arthritis-related pain.  May is Arthritis Awareness Month and during this time, my husband, (you know as Mr. B) has agreed to put the new OMRON Focus TENS Therapy For Knee to the test for pain relief, something he experiences daily.  That would be Mr. B in the photo above running in Israel just last year.  First, I will allow him to tell his story and next I will tell you why you should know about these amazing little machines called the Focus TENS Therapy for Knee for drug-free pain relief.


Bill Lutrell on Over 50 Feeling 40

”I was staring at the image of the x-ray on my right knee displayed across the screen as I waited for the orthopedic surgeon to arrive. A previous MRI revealed deterioration to the ACL, a torn meniscus and osteoarthritis. Basically, it’s a bone-on-bone injury that seemingly developed within a very short time. With his entrance into the room I stepped away from the screen hoping to hear something encouraging. He spent 30 seconds glancing at the image of my knee and then said, “Seriously. You run on this?” It was a rhetorical question deserving no response but, in my heart, I wanted to say, “Yes, because that’s what runners do.” I am a trail runner but not necessarily by choice.

At the age of 50, two years removed from the financial crisis of 2008 but still in its grip, I was unemployed. The second time in only three years. Emotionally, I felt like a boxer who had just been sucker-punched and now laid lifeless on the canvas, with no strength to arise.

Soon after, on a Sunday morning as we were walking out of church, someone I was merely acquainted with expressed his concern for me and my unemployment and then asked me this question, “Do you own a pair of running shoes?” I thought that strange and I answered “Yes” but, honestly, I wasn’t certain. He then quipped, “You should start running.” As he walked away, I thought to myself, I hate running.

The next morning, I started scanning back through job offerings, but my emotions and sense of despair was too great. As it turned out, nestled in the back crevices of my closet, I did own a pair of running shoes. I still had a dislike for running but I knew of a park where I could run on trails where I couldn’t be observed. Whatever pride was still in-tack wasn’t willing to risk exposure of 30 years of sitting behind a desk.

I can remember my first attempt at running as if it took place just this morning. I walked up to the trail head, looked up at this steep incline that I couldn’t accurately judge its end point and took off running. That morning it took me two-hours to finish two and half miles. But every day I went back, and overtime strength returned. Not just physical strength but mental strength and a return to hopefulness. Since that time, I have competed in running events in much of Central and South Texas, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Israel and an unsanctioned and totally unauthorized solo-run through Petra (Aqaba, Jordan).

In addition to the health benefits, running made me feel alive again. This last January I attempted to complete an Ultramarathon at Tejas Trail’s Bandera Endurance Trail Run. The Friday before the event I had a previously set routine doctor’s appointment with my arthritis doctor who I see every six months due to osteoarthritis. She asked so I explained that the knee was very painful, especially after long runs but horrifically painful when I stood after sitting at my desk for long periods of time. Then I foolishly admitted that that weekend I was participating in a running event. She then asked, “How far will you be running?” I responded, as if it was no big deal with, “50 kilometers.” Her response was shocking, with raised voice she exclaimed, “50 kilometers? You shouldn’t be running 5 kilometers. You are only hurting yourself.”

There is that moment where something beautiful comes into your life, something that restores joy, but then you realize it took on too much meaning. What was once good had now become bad. Running is now less frequent, and the miles are much less, and the pace painfully slow. The absence of running is like experiencing the death of a friend. Part of living is learning to adjust, always adapting to new realities and never giving up.

Testing OMRON TENS on Over 50 Feeling 40


 Chronic and acute pain affect as many as 70 million Americans, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  Arthritis affects over 54 million U.S. adults, and the prevalence of arthritis cases is understandably higher as we get older.

The latest OMRON innovation in the pain management category is the Focus TENS Therapy for Knee.  This is what Mr. B is using.  OMRON explains the process this way:

“TENS stands for transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, and it’s a drug-free pain therapy that has been administered by physical therapists for over 40 years to alleviate chronic, acute and arthritic pain. TENS technology works by sending stimulating pulses across the surface of the skin and along nerve strands. Scientific research suggests that TENS may help block pain signals from reaching the brain, trigger the body to release endorphins which act as natural painkillers, and improve blood circulation. While this therapy had only been available in healthcare professional’s offices previously, OMRON was the first to develop FDA-cleared TENS devices for use at-home.”

Working with OMRON TENS on Over 50 Feeling 40

Focus TENS Therapy for the Knee features 20 intensity levels for tailored drug-fee pain treatment.  The TENS therapy for the Knee is available in two sizes (M and L) and can be worn while performing daily activities. 


OMRON Max Power Relief on Over 50 Feeling 40

I am going to try the OMRON MAX POWER RELIEF TENS device on the shoulder I dislocated when I feel against the wall.  Mr. B and I Both will report back in two weeks.  He has begun and is encouraged, and he is at a deeper level of pain than I am.

If you are experiencing similar types of pain, especially associated with arthritis, then watch for this follow up and consider trying one of these two drug-free pain treatments from OMRON.  None of us should have to live with the pain or the consequences of pain medication.



By Pamela Lutrell

Disclaimer:  I was compensated for this post, but the words are my own (and Mr. B’s)


  1. Your husband is an excellent writer and a very determined fellow! The Urban Farmer used a TENS unit years ago for pain from a back surgery. It was very helpful at the time. I will pass this post along to my daughter in McKinney. She has had two knee surgeries due to a torn meniscus and the next step is knee replacement. Her osteopath asked if she was an athlete and she said “no, marching band”.

  2. Thanks Donna…so far, he believes it is helping him. OMRON makes very good products. I honestly never considered the wear and tear from marching band…I always worried about our band members in Texas due to the heat!

  3. I will be very interested in your report in a few weeks after you and Mr. B use your home TENS unit for a while. I have osteoarthritis in my right knee and hip from years of compensation after having polio as a child which affected my left side. I take medication during the day, but now additionally as I go to bed in order to be able to get some rest during the night. I may just order one now since I’ve had previous use of a unit while in therapy for a broken hip and leg. Hoping you and Mr. B get some relief quickly.

  4. We will report back in a couple of weeks. Sorry you have to suffer through this … maybe this would help.

  5. Pamela, I hope you’ll incorporate Mr. B’s writing in your blog occasionally as he is an EXCELLENT writer; much appreciation for this post as I m hoping you both find these Omron’s helpfulness.

  6. I have used an Omron TENS unit for six or seven years, truly it can help reduce your pain. I have given two to family members and they benefitted as much as I did.
    Good luck to you and Mr. B and praying for good results. I enjoyed “meeting” him this morning.

  7. Mr. B is an excellent writer. Thank you for including this information in your post.

  8. I sincerely hope this product helps each of you with your pain. My dear friend suffered a car accident at age fourteen and had as a result life-long chronic back pain. She began wearing a tens unit in her thirties to deal with the pain and reduce her use of medications, and it worked wonders. She was able to enjoy horseback riding and snorkeling, much to her great joy. (I believe you have to take off the unit while swimming, fyi.) Best of health to you and Mr. B as you give this a go!

  9. This just might go to his head, Marlene! I will look for new ways to incorporate him in the posts…thanks!

  10. I will look forward to your feedback on this device. My husband had operations on both knees last year for torn meniscus. He also suffers from arthritis in both knees. He has suffered much since the operations. After PT, no relief. The ortho doctor tried a cortisone shot but that did not work. Just this week the doctor injected a “gel” on the right knee to see if that will work. The pain has really made him feel very very old and he doesn’t like to walk! Again, will be very interested in your results!

  11. Please let us know for sure! Both of my sons could use this if it works, both have had the surgery for torn meniscus, the youngest twice. Both still have knee pain. I’m really interested to hear what you think!

  12. Thank you Pamela for an informative and enjoyable article. I agree with the previous comments about Mr. B’s writing. I have read papers, class notes, and even eulogies written by Mr. B and have always found them to be thoughtful and heartfelt. In addition, I have run along side but more frequently far behind Mr. B and he has been a tremendous inspiration. I wish you both good fortune with the TENS unit and look forward to your report.

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