Creative ways to reduce insertion set pain?

I've been using the Inset (straight in) for the past 6 years or so with only the occasional pain upon insertion (usually I hit a nerve or something). Well, now I have lost 15 lbs and have less padding. I've switched to the Inset 30 (angled) but it still hurts a bit. Any ideas on how to reduce the pain?

(I guess being free from insulin shots for the past 8 years has made me a big baby.)

I know of the frozen peas trick, but how exactly should that happen:

Select site

Apply frozen peas

Wipe adhesive/disinfectant-let dry

Apply inset


Good question. Last night was Sarah's 3rd insertion and the first one she complained about. She's very thin (4'9' and about 72lbs), so she doesn't have much in the way of fat, and because she's little, there aren't nearly the number of insertion sites the book claims (it shows about five across and two inches apart in the book - there's no way...).

Anyway, I'd love to hear from other pumpers how they deal with this. she's using the Animas Ping straight tube insertion.


Hi Michelle-

Sarah and I are using the same insertion set! It's called the Inset (available from Animas). If you didn't already know, they come in multiple colors. I highly suggest getting the colors, it makes things just a bit more interesting. For skinny minnies and kiddos the Inset 30 (angled) if often suggested instead. It requires less padding. Since this is her 3rd insertion, I'm betting you have a big ol' box of the Insets (or perhaps multiple boxes) so it might not be feasible to switch to the Inset 30 quite yet. Animas will however, send out out 2 free Inset 30s for you to try out.

You can also ask the person who sold you the pump (your Animas Pump Representative), or your CDE for some free Inset 30s.

I do know that there are numbing creams that some people apply before inserting the set: L.M.X. 4 or EMLA (but I don't know where to get them and I have never used them).

I will try the frozen peas trick tonight and report back.

Hi Lia!

Yep, we're onto the colors. She selected blue for her first set, to match her pump. We'll see how it goes over the next few weeks and look into the angled insertion if we need to. I may order the trial set just for kicks. :-)

Last night was the first one that seemed to hurt, and as it was the first one my husband did (I've been in training mode so they'll all know how to do it if I'm not around), I think he might have just pressed too hard. I also think it might have been up a little high (though we followed the diagram!). But if we stay low, below her belly button, there just isn't much room.

I'm anxious to hear how the peas work out for you. We've used those before for swelling due to injuries, so I imagine they'd work to numb a small area. Not sure if she'd let me hold them to her for very long though, brrrrr!

i take some ibuprofen for my  insertion set pain & i wipe it to sometimes.

What size canula/needle do you use. There is .9 and .6. You might want to switch to a shorter needle and that might reduce pain.

@michelle Using the ice pack worked perfectly! I didn't feel a thing. (It would have been nice to of had more than two hands to do everything, but it worked out.)

Essentially, I got everything ready, picked an insertion site, placed the ice pack over it for a minute (I counted to 60), then wiped the area with the IV-Prep, frantically waved my frozen fingers over the area to get it to dry a bit, then put the site in. No pain at all! :)

With the Inset there is this "sproinging" feeling you also have to deal with, it's not pain necessarily, it's just the feeling of the inserter doing it's job. (Just something to consider.)

@eric Ibuprofen seems like overkill. The pain only last a minute or two for me. Is yours lasting a lot longer?

@jesszee I've been using the Unomedical Inset 9mm and am also trying out the Unomedical Inset 30 13mm. That's a good point about the shorter needle. The Inset also comes in a 6mm, so if I don't like the Inset 30s I may switch to the Inset 6mm, thanks for the idea!