10 Best TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) Unit

Surprisingly, using electrical stimulation for pain treatment is not a new concept. In ancient Rome, 63 A.D., people used to stand on an electrical fish at the seashore for pain relief. TENS unit mimics this idea and it is an electrical device used to stimulate nerves using electrical impulse which reduces the pain signal passing through nerves. It also stimulates endorphin production which acts as the natural pain killer. So, this device will not be able to eradicate pain completely other than easing the condition and relieving the excruciating pain for some time. Since numerous TENS units from different manufacturers can be found in the market, it may be a tricky business to find the right TENS device sometimes.

Top 10 TENS Unit At Glance

Product NamePicturePrice
1. TENS 7000 2nd Edition TENS 7000 2nd Edition Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
2. TechCare Massager Plus 24 TechCare Massager Plus 24 Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
3. iReliev Pain Relief System Dual Channel Tens Massager iReliev Pain Relief System Dual Channel Tens Massager Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
4. NURSAL EMS TENS Unit NURSAL EMS TENS Unit Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
5. ChoiceMMed OTC Tens Unit Electronic Pulse Massager ChoiceMMed OTC Tens Unit Electronic Pulse Massager Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
6. HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
7. Babycare TENS Obi TENS Value Pack Babycare TENS Obi TENS Value Pack Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
8. Zewa Over The Counter TENS Unit SpaBuddy Sport Elite Zewa Over The Counter TENS Unit SpaBuddy Sport Elite Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
09. AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon
10. OMRON Max Power Relief Tens Unit OMRON Max Power Relief Tens Unit Check-Review-Price-on-Amzon

How Does a TENS Device Work?

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. This is a type of electrotherapy and all electro therapies have some common features such as application of electric current to the affected areas. The waveshape and frequency of the current may vary depending on the nature of the therapy and this current is applied to the affected area through electrodes and usually, the device includes a battery to supply electric power.

The electrodes of the TENS device are attached directly to the skin of the aching area over specific nerves. When the machine is switched on, electrical impulses are delivered to those nerves in order to provide symptomatic pain relief. These electrodes are divided into multiple channels and a handheld controller controls the frequency and pattern of the electric stimulation which aims to excite the sensory nerve. If the frequency of the stimuli is high like 90 to 130 Hz, specific nerve fibers impede the transmission of the noxious stimulus to the brain. So, the severity of the pain experience is reduced.

If a low frequency ranging from 2 to 5 Hz stimuli is applied, different nerve fibers are excited which releases an endogenous opiate in the spinal cord. As a result, the noxious sensory path is deactivated to some extent. Hence, the patient will feel less pain.

A burst of both high and low-frequency stimuli is highly effective for relieving pain. In the burst mode, high frequency (100 Hz) stimuli are applied at the rate of low frequency (2 to 5 Hz) stimuli. Therefore, both pain-blocking mechanisms are activated simultaneously. When the TENS device is activated the patient may feel a tingling sensation.

The electric current that flows across the affected region of the body is limited by the ohmic resistance of epidermis or skin. TENS devices are battery operated and deliver low power electricity. Hence, there is hardly any risk of burn or electrocution.

Uses of TENS Unit

The TENS unit has shown promising results when it was applied for a variety of pain management cases. Although some earlier studies dismiss the effect of TENS unit over labor pain, recent studies have shown that this therapy was well appreciated by the pregnant participants and was reported for positive results.

The TENS unit is extensively used in dentistry. Ultra-low frequency TENS is used to diagnose and treat jaw joint dysfunction. This therapy also showed tentative positive results in the case of diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis pain management.

TENS units may be helpful in symptoms such as period pain, lower back pain, joint pain, and postoperative pain. More rigorous clinical studies and randomized clinical treatments are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of TENS for more concrete evidence.

Benefits of Using TENS Unit

The most attractive feature of TENS units is simplicity and convenience. The latest TENS units incorporate microcontrollers and these devices are programable. For a therapy session, all the settings are stored in the memory. The user just has to select the preferred therapy session from the menu and place the electrodes in the appropriate areas. TENS units are normally battery operated and hence quite safe to apply. These units are portable and easy to carry around.

The side effects of the TENS unit are almost nonexistent. Many electrotherapies and heat therapies aren’t free from adverse side effects and require professional monitoring. TENS units don’t have such side effects but one should consult professional experts for best results.

TENS therapy helps the patient to cut pain medication and thus avoid the undesirable outcome of those medications. The prolonged use of painkillers may be addictive. The TENS unit has no such effect and they compensate for painkillers.

10 Best TENS Unit Reviews

Whether you are wondering to try TENS therapy for the first time or upgrade the existing one, you should review some of the market-leading products and then choose the best one for you.

1. TENS 7000 2nd Edition

TENS 7000 is one of the best economic over the counter muscle stimulators available in the market. This clinical-grade digital muscle stimulator and muscle recovery device is preferred by physiotherapists and physicians. Established in 2008, TENS 7000 is the pioneer in digital TENS devices. From the beginning, this device was admired by physiotherapists. It provides an efficient pain-relieving solution and you can use this OTC TENS unit without any prescription.

TENS 7000 2nd Edition

TENS 7000 2nd Edition is protected by hard carry case which includes protective foam lining and separate compartments for the device, the leads, and the battery. It’s great for someone who travels a lot and needs the TENS unit to carry around. Apart from the protective case, there are several accessories such as four multi-use TENS unit pads, two pairs of lead wires, one 9 volt battery, and a quick start guide instruction manual.

The electrode pads of TENS 7000 are reusable for multiple therapy sessions and retain adhesive quality after multiple usages. As for a replacement, the recommended electrode pads are from Official TENS 7000 Pads, Official TENS 7000 Refill Kit, StimChoice Pads, or inTENSity At Home Pads.

TENS 7000 2nd Edition features five powerful TENS therapy modes of operation to tackle back pain, neck pain, joint pain, or as a muscle relaxer. These modes are Normal, Burst, Modulation, Strength Duration 1, and Strength Duration 2. Two dialing control knobs control the intensity of the stimulation for the dual channels. Each channel has two electrodes and they send a soothing electric impulse to the aching area to calm the nerve. The stimulation of each channel can be controlled separately.

  • Clinical strength TENS device
  • Dual channels and each channel can be controlled individually.
  • Reusable electrode pad
  • Portable
  • Protective hard case
  • If it’s not started with the lowest setting, the patient may receive an electric shock.

2. TechCare Massager Plus 24

This is a multipurpose device that provides the functionality of both Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) and Powered Muscle Stimulator (PMS). TechCare Massager is very well built and has a high-end appearance. The back-lit LCD screen of the device is 3.5 inches large and the user interface is easy to utilize for elderly people. The lithium battery retains charge up to 20 hours and it is charged by a USB charger with LED charge indicator.

TechCare Massager Plus 24

TechCare Massager Plus 24 enables the user to select one from six different types of preprogrammed massage modes named kneading, Swedish, cupping, scrapping, reflexology, and tai-chi. Each of these modes has 4 different options including stimulation of Tapping, Acupuncture, Deep Tissue, Foot, Cupping, and Combo. TechCare Massager has a built-in timer ranging from 10 to 60 minutes and it’s rather simple to set. It has dual-channel output marked by A-B output and they have independent controls. The intensity of the stimulation can be fine-tuned from 20 intensity bars using the + or – button.

This device is designed to provide temporary relief from the pain related to injured and aching muscles of the neck, shoulder, back, legs, etc. due to strain from exercise or household chores. TechCare Massager is rather effective in pain management in a drug-free natural way. It also reduces inflammation.

TechCare Massager Plus 24 includes 10 electrode pads: 3 pairs of medium size, 1 pair of large, and 1 pair of small electrodes. One plastic holder and one belt clip are also available with purchase.

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Posh look
  • Dual channels
  • Easy interface and control scheme
  • Large display, convenient for senior citizens
  • Large number of electrode is available with the purchase
  • Pricey
  • Charger may not be compatible for foreign sockets

3. iReliev Pain Relief System Dual Channel Tens Massager

The compact outlook of iReliev TENS Massager may be deceiving but this unit is FDA-approved prescription-grade over the counter product for pain management. It measures 2.1 x 5.5 x 7.1 inches. iReliev Massager can be utilized in pain relief associated with sore and aching muscles in the upper and lower extremities like ankles, calves, knees, thigh, hip, hand, wrist, arm, elbow, and shoulder. It’s a better substitute for painkillers and this device invigorates the secretion of endorphins, the natural pain suppressor of the body.  It also blocks the pain stimulants of nerves.

iReliev Pain Relief System Dual Channel Tens Massager

iReliev Pain Relief system has 4 electrodes divided into two separate channels controlled independently. These electrodes will cover multiple body parts to provide 8 pre-programmed TENS therapy modes with a program specific for arthritis pain relief. These therapy sessions can be customized to deal with acute and chronic pain differently. The strength of the stimulants is adjustable using the on/+ button or off/- button up to 25 intensity levels. The output electrical impulse current is rated 80 mA highest to facilitate clinical-grade therapy.

The digital LCD display indicates the operating status which includes Channel 1 intensity, Channel 2 Intensity, Program Mode, Lock Feature, Battery Voltage Indicator, and Timer. There is also a battery voltage low indicator which is activated when voltage is low. The Lock function of the device locks to prevent injury. iReliev Massager is powered by 3 nos of AAA batteries and they last up to 150 hours on average. When purchased, the unit includes accessories such as a belt clip, 4 electrode pads, connecting wires, and batteries.

  • Prescription grade muscle stimulator TENS unit
  • Energy-efficient device
  • Dual channels
  • Pre-programmed therapy sessions can be customized for different conditions
  • Stimulant’s intensity level is adjustable up to 25 level
  • Case is loose for the device.


NURSAL TENS unit is beneficial and rather effective in the cases of neck pain, back pain, shoulder tension, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, shin splints, neuropathy, and many more injuries and disabilities. This unit’s non-invasive pain relief device uses electronic pulses to stimulate muscles through pre-programmed multi massage modes. NURSAL TENS unit is CE- and ROHS-certified TENS therapy device and the user will be able to get rid of pain without consuming potentially harmful or addictive prescription medicine and side effects.


NURSAL EMS-TENS muscle stimulator provides 16 different pre-programmed massage therapy. These modes are kneading (lateral palm, flat palm, crosscut fist, and vertical fist kneading), cupping (rubbing reduction, cupping, fibrillation massage), acupuncture (acupuncture, moxibustion, acupuncture kneading), tapping (lifting pinching manipulation, vibration manipulation), and auto combination massage mode (mode 1 and mode 2). The patient will receive these therapies via 8 strong and thick self-adhesive reusable electrode pads which incorporate a comprehensive adhesive layer to stick more firmly onto the skin when used. These pads have different sizes to fit properly in different areas of the body.

The dual channels of NURSAL TENS unit can operate 6 pads to be applied to two different targeted areas at the same time. The intensity of the stimulant output is adjusted by + or – buttons and there are 20 different levels of intensity. The timer function is also available. The built-in rechargeable Lithium battery supports the device for 20 hours of continuous operation. With this unit, the customer will receive a user manual, 10 different sized electrode pads, one pad holder, one dustproof pouch, 3 TENS lead wire, charging wire, and USB charger.

  • Wide range of therapy mode
  • Dual functionality, both EMS and TENS therapy
  • Rechargeable battery with long charging life
  • Adjustable intensity level.
  • Reusable electrode pads
  • Certified TENS unit
  • Instruction manual is difficult to follow.
  • Redundant preset modes.

5. ChoiceMMed OTC Tens Unit Electronic Pulse Massager

ChoiceMMed Electronic pulse stimulator body massager is rather effective in treating discomfort from the strain caused by exercise or household works. This massager can be used on the shoulders, waist, neck, back, arms, legs, and soles of feet. ChoiceMMed body massager generates and delivers small pulses of electrical current to relax muscle.

ChoiceMMed OTC Tens Unit Electronic Pulse Massager

The body massager provides electrical impulses through dual channels and each channel has two electrodes connected to it. The strength of the stimulants can be regulated up to 10 levels. Because of dual channels, the electrode can be placed on different parts of the body simultaneously. Also, electrodes can be placed in the quadripolar arrangement and used in a cross pattern over a large flat area. The frequency of the impulses can be controlled, too.

There are 8 different modes of massage therapies named massage, knead, acupuncture, cupping, beat, slim, scraping, and immune. ChoiceMMed Electronic Pulse Massager utilizes two AAA batteries as the power source. The display of the device is TFT LCD type and the user interface is pretty easy. The device has large buttons to access and control the settings. The user manual is quite easy to follow, too.

  • Fashionable outer shell.
  • Easy control schemes.
  • Large buttons
  • Dual channels of electrodes
  • Reusable electrode pads.
  • No built in battery
  • Some customers complained about getting sudden electric shocks.

6. HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit

YK15AB is one of the most powerful TENS units from HealthmateForever. The different waveforms of electric pulses are generated by the device which prevents inflammation through bio-electricity technology. HealthmateForever TENS unit utilizes modern innovation by combining ancient TCM therapy methods and western TENS and EMS technology. The manufacturer claims that the effectiveness of the therapeutic device is evident after one week of use. A 30-minute therapy session 2-3 times a day is suggested for acute pain relief.

HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit

This FDA approved electrotherapy device combines TENS unit and muscle stimulator and delivers ingredients pulse utilizing a revolutionary pulse delivery system. The YK15AB TENS unit can be used in Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Sciatica, Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, shin splints, Neuropathy and other inflammation disorders. 15 pre-programmed massage modes are available in this device. These modes include 9 custom-designed modes like the neck, shoulder, back, elbow, hip, ankle,  knee, foot/hand, & wrist and 6 therapeutic modes like Knead, Acupuncture, Tapping, Cupping, Scraping, and Random. It has a default 80 minutes timer and dual channels.

The intensity of the electric pulse from both channels can be independently adjusted upto 20 levels. The speed of the pluses can be adjusted, too. The LCD display of the unit is animated and rather easy to navigate. As the power source, it utilizes 3 AAA batteries. The unit has a built-in belt clip to carry conveniently.

  • Cutting edge innovative technology.
  • Different massage modes
  • Built-in timer
  • Animated display is easy to understand
  • Affordable
  • Although the unit has warranty, the customer has to pay for the postal service.

7. Babycare TENS Obi TENS Value Pack

ObiTENS is designed for comforting labor pain and this is one of the best maternity TENS units available in the market. But this device can be also used as a standard TENS unit and its effectiveness in numerous conditions such as frozen shoulder and shoulder pain, lower back pain, migraine, and period pain. For labor pain relief, it is recommended to use the TENS unit as early as possible after the onset of labor. It takes time to raise the endorphins level of the body which is the natural pain killer. This device is safe to combine with other analgesics.

Babycare TENS Obi TENS Value Pack

ObiTENS unit delivers the stimulants via one channel and two operation modes are at disposal named Burst mode and Boost mode. In Burst mode, a square-shaped electric impulse of 32 Hz frequency and 200-microsecond pulse width is applied in 2 bursts per second and 8 pulses per burst. Where in Boost mode, 80 Hz pulse of 100-microsecond pulse width is applied continuously. The 200 mA electrical stimulant can be varied from 0 to 100 volt in 10 levels and it is delivered through CE touch-proof output jack to the electrodes.

The LCD display of ObiTENS has 13 segments in total and one segment acts as a low battery indicator. The control system of the device is easy to operate. Among accessories, there is an easy-release neck cord for carrying the device during labor. The device also has an auto power-off function which activates when the device is idle for 5 minutes.

  • Specially designed for labor pain
  • Neck cord to carry the TENS unit during labor
  • Easy operation
  • High-frequency TENS device
  • Output jacks are insulated to prevent shock
  • Extravagant TENS unit

8. Zewa Over The Counter TENS Unit SpaBuddy Sport Elite

SpaBuddy Sport Elite is one of the popular and market-leading TENS units from Zewa. SpaBuddy Sport Elite can be used as a TENS device to treat pain and as an EMS device to stimulate muscles. You can enjoy the clinical-grade device easily and safely without a prescription. With this unit, 8 pre-programmed TENS programs and 6 pre-programmed EMS programs are available for different types of pain symptoms and conditions.

Zewa Over The Counter TENS Unit SpaBuddy Sport Elite

Zewa TENS unit has two independent channels offering the flexibility to utilize 2 or 4 electrodes on separate body parts simultaneously. The channels are controlled independently up to 30 intensity levels and the user can adjust the strength of stimulation easily and quickly by “UP”(↑) / “DOWN”(↓) button. The timer function allows the user to set time from 5 to 95 minutes and the device will turn off automatically when the timer reaches 0. The device can be used continuously, too and in that case, manual shutdown is required to turn it off.

The sliding switch activates the button lock function designed to prevent accidental changing of the setting during therapy sessions. When no button is pressed for 60 seconds, the TENS unit is automatically switched off to preserve battery charge and low battery indicator signals when the batteries need replacement. Also, when the device is switched off, the intensity level is reset to 0 automatically. The large LCD display is easy to understand. The Zewa TENS unit is powered by 3 AAA batteries. 4 electrode pads and two lead wires are available with the brand new product.

  • User-friendly interface
  • Adjustable timer with a wide time range
  • Button lock function
  • Battery saving features
  • Adhesive electrode pads are difficult to handle sometimes.

09. AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit

AUVON TENS unit packs quite a punch despite its petite appearance.  This device is capable of activating specific natural pain gate mechanisms, stimulating sensory nerves and muscles, and helping you to relax. The office worker, middle-aged and elderly person, overworked housewife, and many other groups of people suffering from chronic and acute pain can get relief from agony and pain using the device.

AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit

The top-notch electrode pads of the AUVON TENS unit are industry-leading products. These pads are composed of multiple layers and reusable up to 45 sessions. At the top of the pad, strong nonwoven cloth covers the pad. Underneath that, there are conductive wire terminal layers, conductive carbon film layer, and premium gel layer. The gel layer helps to detach the pad from the skin easily after therapy. You will get 2-inch pads for compact areas like the neck and 2 x 4-inch pads for large and flat areas like the back. The electrode pads are connected to the TENS unit via two channels. You can control these channels individually and set different modes for different channels.

AUVON TENS unit comes with 20 pre-set modes offering you hammering, kneading, shiatsu, and other choices to relieve the pain associated with aching and injured muscles in the shoulder, low back, knee due to muscle fatigue and strain. The animated LCD display is rather convenient to operate and the intensity level is adjustable up to 20 steps. AUVON TENS unit is battery operated which includes a rechargeable battery to support 10 hours of therapy and a USB charger.

  • Excellent performance as pain management device
  • 20 preset therapy modes
  • Animated LCD display is quite user friendly
  • Long lasting rechargeable battery
  • Apex quality electrode pads with gel layer
  • For some people the stimulant is not strong enough.

10. OMRON Max Power Relief Tens Unit

The TENS unit from OMRON is quite powerful and versatile allowing you to reach difficult regions of the body to combat persistent pain. The device has dimensions of a smartphone and its battery operated. A belt clip is included for conveniently carrying the TENS unit. With 9 built-in therapy programs such as 3 massage-like modes (tap, knead and rub) and 6 pain modes (arm, lower back, leg, foot, joint, and shoulder), OMRON TENS is highly customizable. To select the perfect mode, there are elaborate instructions in the user manual. For better comfort, the intensity of the stimulant can be adjusted to level 0 to level 15.

OMRON Max Power Relief Tens Unit

The TENS unit from OMRON has 2 AAA batteries which will last two months. The electrical pulse generated by the unit is rated a maximum of 70 volt and has a pulse width of 150 microsecond. The frequency of the pulse varies from 1 to 238 Hz. The OMRON TENS unit employs simple control features and large icons to operate the device easily. The standard-sized electrode pads are washable and can be used multiple times.

  • Powerful and versatile TENS unit
  • Little energy consumption and hence batteries will last for an extended period
  • Pre-programmed TENS therapies
  • Reusable and washable electrode pads
  • Replacement pads only from the vendor are usable
  • Electrode plug is poorly designed

How to Use a TENS Unit

Each TENS unit includes an instruction manual from the manufacturer and this manual has to be followed meticulously. However, here are some common features of the TENS unit operation.

  • Placing the pads: the TENS unit must be turned off before attaching the adhesive electrode pads to the skin. The ideal position for the pads would be either side of the painful area and a gap of 2.5 cm between them. These leads can be arranged in unilateral, bilateral, unipolar, and quadripolar fashion. The last one requires dual-channel four-electrode TENS devices. The pads should never be placed over the front or sides of the neck, the temples, the mouth or eyes, the chest, and upper back at the same time, irritated, infected or broken skin, varicose veins, numb areas.
  • Switching on and adjusting the amplitude: after placing the electrodes correctly, a slight tingling sensation will be felt when the TENS unit is turned on. The strength and amplitude of the stimulant is adjustable. In the beginning, the lowest point is recommended and the intensity should be increased gradually. The proper setting is adjusted according to the patient’s comfort level. When the session is finished, the device has to be turned off and electrodes are taken off from the skin.
  • Time length of the TENS therapy session: actually, there is no limit for how long the TENS therapy session should be, it can go on as long as the patient feels like. But, it is advised not to use the therapy while driving or operating machinery.

Factors to Consider Before Buying TENS Unit


Different TENS units utilize different batteries to power up the devices. Some units have disposable built-in AAA or AA batteries rather than rechargeable built-in batteries. The customer has to decide which one is preferable as disposable batteries may not be available all the time.


An adjustable timer is a handy feature for a TENS unit. You will get the timer of different ranges for different products such as iReliev TENS Muscle Stimulator comes with a timer adjustable between 5 and 60 minutes, and the Kedsum Muscle Stimulator has a timer with times from 10 to 60 minutes. Consult the manufacturer’s literature for such information before purchase.


A TENS unit with multiple channels will be able to treat multiple pain affected areas simultaneously. For further conveniences, the channels are controlled independently. It’s quite a useful feature.

TENS unit pads

Don’t forget to check for the TENS unit pads whether they are reusable or not. Otherwise, you will spend more money on those pads later. You will find a cheap device with pads that will last for a few sessions. A significant amount will be needed annually when replacing those pads afterward and it may cost more than the device itself.

Intensity Levels and frequency

It is recommended that at the beginning of the TENS therapy, the lowest intensity level of the electrical stimulant should be selected. So, a TENS unit with fine controlling features of intensity level is easy and comfortable to operate. With a wide range of intensity levels, you will be able to adjust the stimulant strength smoothly.

The frequency of the electrical impulses from the TENS unit is a key factor for the outcome of the therapy. In clinical studies, it was found that high-frequency stimulation yields comparatively better results.


The bright screen with a backlit option is very handy. Large icons are especially helpful for elderly people.


The TENS unit available in the market includes various accessories other than standard ones and they can be very practical and functional. For example, a belt clip will allow you to carry the device conveniently when you are on the move.


A wireless TENS device connects the electrodes using wireless technologies and you will be free from the tangling wires

EMS options

If a TENS device has an EMS option, it will strengthen your muscle to heal faster and prevent future problems along with blocking the pain signal to manage your pain.

Ease of use

An easy and accessible user interface is very important for the user who is not very tech-savvy. Besides, small buttons are difficult to handle and no one wants to struggle hours with electronic devices when the user is in pain.


Slim and lightweight TENS units are more convenient because of portability. You will be able to carry the device easily to the office or when running an errand.


The manufacturer of better quality products offers warranties for extended periods. You will find some TENS units with a lifetime warranty and a money-back guarantee in the market.


If you want better results from your TENS stimulator, you have to prioritize quality over price. In fact, you will end up losing money if you buy a cheap TENS device which requires replacement electrode pads frequently.


You will get valuable insight about various TENS units available in the market and be able to choose the right device if you go through authentic customer reviews

Possible Side Effects of TENS Unit

One of the best features of TENS therapy is that it is quite safe and has minimal side effects. However, in some cases, it is advised to discard the therapy.

When to avoid TENS

  • A patient who has trouble understanding the physiotherapist’s instruction and can’t co-operate. For example, toddlers and mentally retarded persons.
  • Patient with a pacemaker should not be treated unsupervised
  • The patient who is allergic to the electrodes, gel or tape
  • The electrodes can’t be placed over dermatological lesions e.g. dermatitis, eczema, etc.
  • Patient with epilepsy
  • This therapy is not recommended at the early stage of pregnancy.

Frequently Ask Questions on TENS Unit

Does TENS Unit work?

Due to a lack of scientific studies and clinical trials, it’s hard to confirm the effectiveness of the TENS unit. Despite that, it’s been over 30 years since the physiotherapists are using the TENS unit for pain management and in most cases, patients are satisfied with the result.

Are TENS units safe?

Apart from some clinical conditions and diseases, the TENS unit is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment method quite safe for pain management. TENS unit should be avoided in case of heart disease, skin diseases, early stages of pregnancy, epilepsy, and some other conditions.

Can you buy a TENS unit over-the-counter (OTC)?

There are a good deal of over-the-counter TENS devices for sale online and in stores (Amazon, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens).

Can you use a TENS unit while pregnant?

At the early stage of pregnancy, TENS therapy is not advisable. But it’s quite effective in reducing labor pain. TENS units should be used under supervision during pregnancy.

What does a TENS unit feel like?

You should feel a tingling sensation when the TENS unit is switched on.

What does a TENS unit do?

The TENS unit sends a specific electrical pulse to the nerve which blocks pain signals to the brain. It also stimulates endorphins production which acts as a painkiller.

How often should you use a TENS unit?

It depends on your condition and you have to adjust the frequency of TENS therapy according to your comfort level. You can use the TENS unit in 20-30 minutes sessions several times in a single day for suppressing the pain.

Does a TENS unit help with inflammation?

There is scientific evidence that the TENS unit decreases inflammation as well as pain sensation.

Do TENS units relax muscles?

Actually, EMS units are designed to relax the muscle by stimulating motor nerves which end up twitching and contracting muscle fibers. In some TENS units, the patient may feel the same effect at high settings. But TENS units are designed to stimulate sensory nerves only.

How to make TENS unit pads sticky again?

Some electrode pads regain the adhesive quality when they are hydrated. Even some pads can be washed using water. But this trick won’t work for all pads. Consult the user manual.

Which TENS unit should I buy?

When you are purchasing a TENS unit, look for built-in modes of TENS therapy, versatility and multi-functionality, portability, easy control, and whether approved by the FDA.

Where can I buy a TENS unit?

An over-the-counter TENS unit can be brought from the pharmacies and online. The prescription-grade TENS unit can be brought when it is prescribed by medical practitioners.

How long does pain relief last?

The effect of TENS therapy lasts for different periods for different people. On average, the pain relief lasts for four hours after a therapy session.

Final Recap

As the TENS treatment is rather safe and hardly has any side effects, you can combine the therapy with your standard treatment. The effectiveness of the TENS device is somehow questionable due to the lack of concrete evidence and clinical trials for TENS effectiveness. However, health professionals have reported positively about the impacts and outcomes of TENS device usage in many cases. The potency of TENS therapy depends on the condition of the patient and the individual person as well. Although it’s always advised to consult with doctors, this therapy is pretty safe and someone can try it without any prescription.