Which Tens Options Are The Best For Pain

Which tens options are the best for pain


Best TENS Unit for Neck Pain & Placement

When treating patients, I would always recommend a Tens Unit to supplement my massage therapy.

They were extremely effective in reducing pain and muscle tension.

So if you’re suffering from back or neck pain, you might want to pick up a tens machine.

Here are my favorite units available in 2019.

Best Tens Machine

iReliev Tens + EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator

This iReliev stimulator is both an excellent Tens machine and a great EMS muscle stimulator.

It offers the best of both worlds and that’s evident from its extensive list of programs and features. 7 of the 14 therapy modes are Tens pain relief modes, 1 is for arthritis, while the other 6 are different muscle strength and recovery modes. The unit also impresses with all its extra features such as the adjustable timer, the dual channel versatility, the lock function, and more.

What customers are saying?

Most people are very much satisfied with the quality and the wide array of features of this product.

What can TENS do for Pain?

Some point out that the extra features may not be worth the noticeably higher price. With that in mind, explore all the features separately and judge for yourself whether you need all/most of them.

What we like:

  • This is both a Tens machine and an EMS stimulator.
  • There are 14 different therapy modes – for pain relief, for muscle strength, as well as for arthritis.
  • A lot of intensity levels and extra features.

What we don’t like:

  • Significantly more expensive than similar products on the market.

Second Favorite Tens Unit

Nursal Tens Unit Electronic Pain Relief Massager

If you are looking for a small and very easily portable Tens unit, the Nursal is a great choice.

Which tens options are the best for pain

It can be used for pain relief in many different body points at any time of day and in any situation. The 6 self-adhesive pads and the 2 additional large pads can be placed anywhere without the need of additional cream.

What Is The Best TENS Unit for Back Pain? (Guide) – 2020 Reviews

They can even be used in two areas at the same time thanks to the simultaneous dual output design. There are different adjustable settings, as well as 10 different strength levels, and other great features.

What customers are saying?

Customers are very happy with the small design and the nice LED screen.

The settings and features seem comfortable and easy to navigate through. Some are unhappy about the lack of a continuous pulse setting.

Neck Pain Treatment

Others are comparing it unflatteringly with a professional Tens machine. Aside from that, most customers are happy with the Nursal for what it is.

What we like:

  • The Pocket design is excellent.
  • The rechargeable lithium battery has 10 hours of life when fully charged.
  • The dual output design is a great feature.

What we don’t like:

  • No continuous pulse setting

Other Recommended Tens Machines

Healthmate Forever Tens Unit

If you’re looking for something that’s more expensive but also accompanied by a larger variety of functions, check out the Healthmate Forever Tens.

This unit comes with 15 different function modes, as well as with 20 adjustable intensity settings. The device is easily portable and can be used anywhere.

It also has a simultaneous dual output feature.

Massage Therapy Concepts Muscle Stimulator

The extra-large LCD display on this Tens unit will easily help you navigate through its many features.

Which tens options are the best for pain

This is a Tens machine that doubles as an EMS stimulator and even has massage therapy features. It’s also easily portable and has a rechargeable lithium battery and a USB charging capability.

Auvon Dual Channel Tens Unit

This dual channel Tens unit is great for treating two areas at the same time or working for two people simultaneously.

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The two separate channels can be operated independently, making this into a great family device. The large quantity of included electrode pads are another good feature as each of the 24 Pcs is intended for 20-30 uses.

Omron Max Power Relief Tens Unit

For an extra-powerful Tens unit, take a look at this Omron device.

It packs a much stronger punch than most other Tens machines on the market and can be as effective as professional medical devices. It is also easily portable and has the added features of several massage modes, 9 operating functions, and 15 adjustable intensity levels.

How Does A Tens Machine Work?

What Features To Look For In A TENS Unit

Tens machines – or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation machines – are devices designed to send electrical impulses through your nerve strands. By doing so they stimulate various nerve groups and alleviate many nerve-related conditions. This is usually done to give you relief for many chronic pains.

Which tens options are the best for pain

The pain relief process of Tens machines works in two ways:

  • They stop the flow of the pain signals from reaching your brain, essentially preventing you from feeling the pain.
  • They stimulate the production of endorphins which, in turn, act as natural pain killers themselves.

Important Features

As you’ve noticed from the several products we listed above, different Tens machines come with different programs and features.

This doesn’t just make them “better” or “worse” from one another but also gives you the freedom to find the device that best matches your personal needs.

The Best Tens Machines For Relieving Back Pain

It’s pointless to buy a Tens device that has 30 different features if you’re only going to use 2 of them. It’s just as pointless to buy a Tens that doesn’t have the function you need.

So which are the main features to look for in a Tens machine:

  • Programs & modes. Different Tens units offer different pre-programmed massage modes.

    Best Tens Machine

    Choosing the ones you need now and might need in the future is key to picking the right Tens for you. Some Tens machines also offer the option of programming your own massage mode.

  • Some basic Tens machines will only have one channel of output – this means that they will only be useable for one body area at a time.

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    Alternatively, other Tens offer two (or more) simultaneous channel options at once. This gives you the ability to treat different body areas and muscle groups at the same time, using the same device but different operation modes. It also turns these Tens into good family options because it means that two people can use the machine at once.

  • Intensity levels.

    Most Tens include at least several different intensity levels to help you customize your experience.

    How to Use a TENS Unit for Pain Relief - Ask Doctor Jo

    Keep in mind, however, that some Tens include multiple “on paper” intensity levels that don’t really feel different. They are usually there just to increase the perceived quality of the product.

  • Accessories and extra features. A Tens unit can have a lot of accessories and extra treats to choose from. The two vital accessories it also has are the lead wires and the electrode pads:
    • Lead wires.

      These are the wires that connect the Tens device to the electrode pads.

      Alternative Pain Relief

      The length of the wire is important as it can limit its use, but the quality of the wire is of even larger importance.

    • Electrode pads. These adhesive pads are the active part of the Tens device as they are what delivers the electrical impulses into your nerve endings.

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      You want them to be of the highest quality, to come in different sizes, to last for at least 20 – 30 uses, and to be in a large enough quantity.

    • Battery, EMS functions, LCD screen, and other features. A good Tens device can include a lot of perks, but a good LCD screen and a long-lasting lithium battery are among the most convenient ones.

Tens Vs EMS Devices: What’s The Difference?

Which tens options are the best for pain

The difference between a Tens and an EMS simulator is that while the Tens device relieves pain, the EMS stimulators are designed to stimulate your muscles and prevent muscle atrophy. Both do this by delivering electrical impulses but while the Tens stimulates your nerve endings, the EMS causes your muscles to contract.

These contractions mimic actions and movements which helps prevent muscle atrophy.

Common Questions About Tens Machines

  • Why use a Tens machine? They offer easy, portable, cheap in the long run, and drug-free pain relief.
  • How often can you use a Tens machine? Tens machines can be used quite liberally – 30-120 minutes at a time, up to several times a day, if needed.

    Which tens options are the best for pain

    Consult your physician if you are worried about any effects the Tens can have on your body.

  • Do Tens units help tight muscles? Tens machines can loosen muscle knots as a side effect of their pain relief function. Quite simply, when the Tens relieves the muscle pain, the body naturally starts to loosen the muscle knot.
  • Is a Tens machine good for sciatica? Yes, Tens machines can relieve sciatica pain as well.


Tens machines are not typically treatment devices.

They are, however, a great, non-toxic, and side-effect-free pain relief solution to a lot of different problems.