The TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) is so marvelous that enough can’t be said about it. Chiropractors use them and recommend TENS to their patients to continue their therapy at home. You do not need to sit still; you can walk around, work, type, wash dishes, and many things you do without one on.
They come in many sizes, are small, portable, and very easy to use and attach to your body where your pain and sore muscles are hurting you. Most units are available over-the-counter needing no doctor’s prescription. Other types do require prescriptions and are not discussed here. The FDA has certified the TENS units to reduce pain in your shoulders, arms, back, legs, ankles, foot soles, hips, and buttocks.
The EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulator) units boost, stimulate, and energize your muscle fibers. They are helpful reducing muscle spasms, shrunken and weakened muscles known as muscle atrophy to once again have tone, strength, and endurance. They are known to stop blood clots after surgical procedures.
Some units combine both TENS and EMS so you can have the best of both worlds and they are listed here.
- How a TENS Unit Works
- Benefits Using a TENS Unit
- When to Not Use a TENS Unit
- How to Use a TENS Unit
- How to Find the Best TENS Unit for Your Needs
- TENS Unit Applications
- Types of Pain TENS Units Treat
- Best TENS Unit Brands
- Types of TENS Units
- Best TENS and EMS Combo Units Evaluated and Reviewed
- Best TENS Units Evaluated and Reviewed
- Pure Enrichment® PurePulse TENS Electronic Massager
- truMedic® TM-1000PRO Deluxe TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager
- HealthmateForever® PRO12AB TENS Muscle Stimulator
- Zewa SpaBuddy® Sport TENS Pain Therapy
- iReliev® Top-Best TENS Massager Unit
- HealthmateForever® NK8GL TENS and EMS Stimulator
- Therapeutix TENS Unit Electronic Massager RXL Ultra
- HealthmateForever® Pro8AB TENS and EMS Stimulator
- Best TENS Units Under $50 Evaluated and Reviewed
How a TENS Unit Works
The automatic reflex from your body contracts muscles in a short time. The TENS sends low electrical currents through your skin to the muscles and nerves and pain is alleviated quickly.
We will provide instructions for attaching the electrodes, how to clean and care for the unit, and much more information for your decision for what to purchase just for you.
Benefits Using a TENS Unit
The TENS units have been around since the 1960s when doctors were understanding the gate control theory of pain. The theory suggests stimulating nerves closes a “gate” process within the spinal cord. By doing this, we do not have the feeling of pain. By applying the TENS device to the skin the stimulation of nerves produces endorphins in the brain, our natural painkillers. With this reduction in pain naturally, you won’t have to take pain medication. When the electrical pads are applied to your back, for example, you will have a tingling sensation that is soothing traveling the nerves to the brain for stopping pain.
Discuss your pain issues with your doctor, chiropractor, or massage and physical therapist. When the TENS is used as directed, it is safe. Everyone is different so do talk with your healthcare professional, especially if you wear a pacemaker or are pregnant.
When to Not Use a TENS Unit
- Do not use it in one place for a long time. Read the manual that comes with the unit and do what it says.
- Never put the electrode pads on irritated or broken skin.
- Do not drive or operate heavy commercial or industrial machinery when wearing a TENS.
- Never ever get into the bathtub or be near water when wearing a TENS.
- Do not use heating pads or ice packs when using a TENS without a doctor’s instructions for how to do this.
- Do not sleep with a TENS unit on.
- Do not use if you are pregnant, have metal implants, defibrillators, pacemakers, or if you have circulation problems. Never use if you have epilepsy.
How to Use a TENS Unit
It is easy to use. Read the instructions that come with your unit. You simply attach the pre-gelled electrode pads to your area(s) having pain. See brands below for details.
How to Find the Best TENS Unit for Your Needs
When you’re trying to find the best TENS units, our reviews our sure to help. Amazon.com® sells a plethora of units and one of those will fit your needs.
TENS Unit Applications
The TENS devices can be used almost everywhere except the head, face, and chest close to your heart. Use it for plantar fasciitis, sore feet, shoulders, fibromyalgia, sciatica, back pain, and shoulder pain.
Types of Pain TENS Units Treat
|Cancer Pain||Peripheral Nerves|
|Carpal Tunnel Syndrome||Phantom Limb Pain|
|Feet—Soles, Arches||Rheumatoid Arthritis|
|Lower Back Pain||Shoulders|
|Lumbar Back Pain||Strains and Sprains|
|Menstrual Pain||Sports Injuries|
|Muscle Pain||Tension Headaches|
|Multiple Sclerosis||Trigeminal Neuralgia|
Best TENS Unit Brands
The best TENS unit brands are evaluated here and reviewed for your information and consideration when choosing the one that is right for you.
Types of TENS Units
- Standard Mode is typically 50 to 200Hz with the pulse with of 200μS (microsiemens) for quick pain relief. (For you electrical savvy folks, one siemens is equal to the reciprocal of one Ohm.)
- Burst Mode will provide you with results similar to acupuncture. The unit will emit short pulsating bursts that will provide you with pain relief for a longer time.
- Modulation Mode has a pulse width that is continually cycling almost the same as the burst method but it feels like a therapist’s massage.
The TENS stimulation uses biphasic (two phases) current using elements such as pulse rate and pulse width. TENS units stimulate sensory nerves to block pain signals, and stimulate endorphin production in the brain to help regulate sympathetic function. The units are powered by batteries or a cord to be plugged into an electrical outlet, or both. They can be digital or analog and you can choose which one you want. There are also wireless units available.
Best TENS and EMS Combo Units Evaluated and Reviewed
Pure Enrichment® PurePulse Pro TENS Unit
The Pure Enrichment® Pure PulsePro TENS is a medical grade pain management system to use in the privacy of your home where you are comfortable wearing anything you want. Chiropractors suggest TENS and so do physical and massage therapists. TENS have no side effects and if you use pain medication, you might be able to stop using it. It is FDA approved and you do not need a doctor’s prescription for purchasing over-the-counter or online at Amazon.com®. This unit is affordable and a best seller.
The PurePulse has 25 intensity levels to fit all the needs of people with different problems related to pain. It can be set to a soft level up to an intense level for how you like the sensation best. It’s advised to not let it “pull” at your muscles because the fibers can tear. You will know when that happens. The screen has an LED light source and you can choose from 8 preprogrammed therapy modes setting the timer from 5 to 60 minutes. The 8 different programs with various pulses and beats you can choose. The first time you use it, 10 to 20 minutes is best to see how you like it. The knob controls intensity (+/-) and the buttons let you choose the frequency. Start it on level zero and work up slowly from there.
This unit will work wonders on your neck pain, shoulders, arms, back, hamstrings, buttocks, knees, foot soles, ankles, and even more areas of pain. Do not use on your face, head or chest. Put in in your purse or pocket and have it with you at the office or any place you need relief from pain.
You will receive the PurePulse digital TENS, 1 set of 4 electrode pads, 2 connector lead wires, 3 each AAA batteries, a belt clip with TENS holder holster, and a storage pouch. You do not need to purchase gel for the pads. They are pre-gelled and very sticky. They can be used about 25 times before needing to be replaced. Always put them back on the plastic sheet they came on when not in use.
You will receive the Pure Enrichment® PurePulse Pro TENS Unit, a User’s Manual, a free pain management video series for how to use the PurePulse Pro with advice and detailed exercises. The company has collaborated with renowned physical therapist, Jeff Waldberg, to create this free informative series. You can get it here.
The unit comes with a 2-year Warranty and your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.
iReliev® TENS and EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief
The iReliev® model ET-7070 is both a TENS and EMS using the TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and EMS (Electric Muscle Stimulation) having both functions in one convenient device. A TENS unit stimulates nerve endings while the EMS unit stimulates muscles.
Using this unit gives you two therapies at the same time. You will not have to purchase two separate units to do what this unit can do all in one. These have been used by the medical professionals for decades with chiropractors using this in conjunction with body manipulation to eliminate pain and stiffness. It uses no medication, has no side effects, and the low voltage tingling stimulates nerves to block perceived pain at the brain level. The natural brain chemical known as endorphins will start functioning.
This TENS/EMS combination device is great for strength training resistance in physical exercise for athletes that provides muscle contractions ultimately building strength, useful with aerobics exercise, helps after operations, and is wonderful to use for people suffering from lower back pain, arthritis, sore tight shoulder muscles, for legs, knees, and the entire body, except the head, face, jaws, and chest.
The iReliev® has 14 preprogrammed therapy styles, 7 TENS pain relief programs, with 6 EMS programs for muscles. Arthritis is covered with 1 program for relief. The unit uses 80 milliamps (mA) of electricity for the intensity level how you like it. The timer can be set from 5 to 60 minutes with 2 channels. The unit is portable so take it with you to the office, the gym, or anywhere you need pain relief. The unit locks for safety and changing accidently when you do not want it to. The device is about the size of a cell phone or credit card at 3.50-inches x 2-inches and weighs about 10 ounces.
The iReliev® TENS/EMS unit comes with a holster belt clip, 3 each AAA batteries, 2 sets of lead wires, 2 sets of 2×2-inch square and 3.5- x 5-inch electrode pads, and a carrying bag. You will receive a User’s Manual and a 1-year Warranty from purchase date. Keep your receipts, box, and tags in case you need to file a claim.
Legal Disclaimer from iReliev®:
Do not use this system if you have a cardiac pacemaker, implanted defibrillators, or any other implanted metallic or electronic device. Do not use this system if you have undiagnosed chronic pain. Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and different information than what is shown on our website. We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using this product.
HealthmateForever® TENS and EMS Unit Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief
HealthmateForever® is FDA cleared Class II and you do not need a prescription to purchase this unit. You will receive twice the value for this 2-in-1 unit having both functions for TENS and EMS. This model number T12AB comes in a silver color and is the 2014 version that is a great seller having a pulse-massaging mode and can be held in your hand. It has a digital readout on the control panel and the unit is designed in the USA.
This superb device comes with the 6-piece reusable electrode pads that are pre-gelled, a wonderful convenience. They are 1 pair of small pads, 1 pair of large pads, and 1 pair of XL pads. You will receive 2 sets of 4-foot electrode wires that plug into the unit, 1 USB charger with USA UL listed cord that plugs into a 110/120-Volt outlet. With an adapter, you can use if for 220/240-Volts. The power is 3.7-Volts and the battery is 320 mAh.
It also comes with a holder for the pads. It is best to place the pads on the original plastic sheet they came on. The stylus lets you easily use the touch screen. You will love the acupuncture placement point chart. A free illustrated educational reference booklet is enclosed for even more knowledge.
From the touch screen you can select the independent A and B channels, and use 2 pads or all 4 at the same time at different body areas. The unit can be locked to save your settings. You can go directly to mode 12 for example, and you can pause the unit, as you like. It’s about the size of an iPhone.
Select your favorite mode in Channel A and/or Channel B. You can use either channel separately or at the same time. The control panel is backlit to see in the dark. It has a battery level indicator to let you know when to insert new batteries. The timer can be set for 80-minutes and you can use the unit as much as you need. The stainless steel case has the HealthmateForever® logo and you will know it is genuine.Use this unit for weight loss. It provides a massage therapist’s hand pressure, elbow pressure, thumb pressure, fist pressure, cupping, tapping, Tui Na, a Japanese rhythmic compression, Guasha a traditional Asian healing technique, and is excellent for body building.
Gift-wrapping is available and you will receive a gift box for storage. The HealthmateForever® TENS and EMS unit comes with 3 different pad sizes, electrode wires, USB charger, A/C adapter, and a User’s Manual. A Limited Lifetime Warranty card comes with your unit.
Best TENS Units Evaluated and Reviewed
Pure Enrichment® PurePulse TENS Electronic Massager
The Pure Enrichment® TENS massager will pamper your aching body with an electronic pulse used by chiropractors and physical therapists. The FDA cleared unit can be held in your hand or pocket and can be taken with you to the office, gym, or anywhere you need instant pain relief.
TENS units are highly recommended by physical therapists and chiropractors being used in their treatment therapy to remove muscle stiffness. In the privacy and comfort of your home, you can have multiple daily treatments wearing pajamas if you want. You do not have to sit in one place; you can move about while the unit stimulates your soreness away. You will not have the cost associated with medical professionals, the driving, gas, and being away from home.
The Pure Enrichment® TENS does without a doubt remove pain stimulating your brain’s endorphins—the body’s natural painkiller. So, give your body a break from pain whether it’s in your neck, tops of shoulders, back, lower back lumbar area, legs, arms, feet, soles of your feet and more. Do not use on your face, head, chest, or jaws.
Select from massage, beat, and knead that will help you alleviate sore, tight muscles, muscle spasms, aching sore feet, and any ongoing pain. The 2 channels can be run together or use only 1 channel. One channel uses 2 pads and using both channels lets you use all 4 pads for more body coverage. Each channel has its own power level so you can have 2 different intensity levels for your pain. Use this at the office, in your hotel room when traveling, in your truck, or anywhere you need pain relief. Put it in your pocket and use at any time anywhere.
The LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) panel lets you see exactly what you have chosen, the amount of time, the area you are treating, the pulse speed and more. You do not want to set the intensity so strong that it pulls at your muscles. Back that off so it is gentle. The 6 different stimulation modes lets you feel the pulsations at precisely the right sensation for different muscles that are bothering you.
The frequency is 60 Hz, the intensity range is 0-80-Volts, the pulse rate is 0-120 Hz, and the timer range is preset at 15 minutes that you can change. The dimensions are 2.2-inches wide x 7.8-inches tall x 0.9-inches deep and weighs about 11 ounces.
Gift-wrapping is available for a loved one or friend. You will receive the Pure Enrichment® TENS unit, 4 each 1-1/2-inch square pre-gelled electrode pads, 2 each 3-foot lead wires with 2 ends on each one, and 4 each AAA batteries. No belt clip comes with this unit. A User’s Manual and a 1-year Warranty card comes with your unit.
truMedic® TM-1000PRO Deluxe TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager
The truMedic® model TM-1000PRO Deluxe TENS unit evaluated here is a top-notch unit. It is contemporary, technically advanced, and is FDA cleared to purchase over-the-counter with no prescription. It will run for up to 2 hours for each therapy period. The lithium ion battery is rechargeable and you can use it for all your muscles except for your chest, face, and head.
The unit is small in size and weighs only 4.5 ounces. The left and right channels have 20 intensity levels and the screen is easy to see with digital readout. Set the intensity as you like it best from gentle to more strong. Relax at home, or use at the office or your place of work for muscle pain relief.
Position the gelled pads on your arms, joints, thighs, back, waist, soles of your feet, ankles, foot arches, shoulders, but not on your head, face, or chest.
TENS units are used for therapy by chiropractors and physical/massage therapists everywhere for managing pain and eliminating it. Feel the pulsating waves working on your muscles for pain relief.
Give this gift for pain relief to someone who suffers from bursitis or sciatica among other muscle pains and yourself as well and it is packaged in a lovely gift box. The buttons are labeled in English with the words ‘shoulder’, ‘joint’, and ‘back’ fully visible so there is no guesswork. The level of intensity is controlled by a push of the button for increasing from 1 mild to more intensity of 20. It will work for your aches up to 2 hours at a time. Set it for massage, beat, or knead using the ± (plus/minus) button for the speed. It comes with 5 automatic stimulation modes.
The manufacturer states: If you have one of the following conditions, please consult with your physician before purchasing or using this device. Any acute disease; tumor; infectious disease; pregnant; heart disease; high fever; abnormal blood pressure; lack of skin sensation or an abnormal skin condition; or any condition requiring the active supervision of a physician.
The truMedic® TM-1000PRO comes with 1 USB wire to attach to a computer port; 1 A/C adapter, 4 pre-gelled electrode pads, 2 electrode lead wires, a bonus set of 4 electrodes, and a free Yoga video series, a PDF worksheet and an MP3 audio file for listening to anywhere. Use the convenient carrying pouch with zipper. Just toss the unit into your purse or pocket and take with you. You will receive a User’s Manual with a 1-year Warranty on parts and labor. The dimensions are 6-inches tall x 1.8-inches wide x 0.5 inches thick and it weighs 4.5 ounces.
HealthmateForever® PRO12AB TENS Muscle Stimulator
The HealthmateForever® TENS is FDA cleared so no prescription is necessary from your doctor. It is available in a silver color and has 12 modes on 2 different channels. It can be held in your hand or put in your pocket to go with you anywhere.
This fantastic USA designed unit provides you with 12 modes and the screen is digital for being easy to read and understand. You can relieve carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis pain, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, lower and all back pain, fibromyalgia, inflammation, tendonitis, lower leg, calves, upper thighs, and more with this smart device. Use it after surgery and for acupuncture. It is wonderful on cervical and lumbar areas of your spine. It increases blood circulation and the immune system.
This is an advanced edition of the PRO10AB but with a larger LCD display wall outletthat is backlit. Additionally, it has more functions and features. There are 12 therapy modes with 2 new modes. They are the Tuina (push and pull), acupuncture, tapping, Guasha (scraping), cupping, Shiatsu (finger press), pressure, back pain, deep tissue massage, bodybuilding, weight loss, and combination. The display is in bar graphs not numbers.
This unit is the same as the T12AB. You will have separate A and B channels to use 2 pads or 4 pads at the same time. The lead wires are 57-inches long (4.75-feet). Select the intensity you like the feel of and adjust to your liking. It is programmable from 10 up to 80 minutes. Control your painful areas at the same time. Do away with going to chiropractors or therapists when you have your own TENS unit. You might be able to stop taking pain medication with side effects.
When the battery is running low, an indicator will let you know it needs to be recharged. The lithium battery will last about 15 hours. When your intensity feels less strong, it might be time to recharge. The unit will show you your massage time as well as the battery recharging time.
The manufacturer complies with many standards for safety: FDA guidance of TENS and Powered Muscle Stimulator, IEC60601-1, IEC60601-1-2, IEC60601-2-10, ISO10993-5, and ISO10993-10. This home use medical device operates in accordance with International Standard ISO 14971 – Medical Devices – Application of Risk Management to Medical Devices.
The dimensions are 1.75-inches long x 3.5-inches wide x 0.25-inches thick and it weighs only 1.8 ounces. The screen size is 1.5-inches wide x 2-inches tall. The pulse frequency is less than 100 Hz, the input is 5-Volts D/C, and the rated power is less than 0.25-Watts at 50 mA rated current.
Gift-wrapping is available for a loved one or friend. You will receive the HealthmateForever® TENS Unit Pro12AB unit, 2 pairs of snap-on combination self-adhesive electrode pads 2-1/2-inches square, 2 electrode lead wires, 1 USB cord for charging from your computer, 1 A/C adapter for international travel that is 110/240-Volts to be plugged into a standard wall outlet, a holder for wires and pads, 1 acupuncture point placement chart, a free illustrated educational reference booklet, and a User’s Manual. It does not have an ear clip or belt clip. The device has a Lifetime Warranty card included in the box.
Zewa SpaBuddy® Sport TENS Pain Therapy
The Zewa SpaBuddy® is great sports medicine for after being in the gym or workout center. This unit will give you pain relief, but do not put it on your head, chest, or face. When you are sore, have over used your muscles, feel achy and strained, this TENS unit with 2 or 4 electrode pads will give you immediate liberation from discomfort. After sitting at the keyboards all day, standing, driving a truck, tractor, or mowing the lawn, this is the way to go. You will think you’ve been to a therapist or chiropractor without spending your money or time doing that.
The SpaBuddy Sport® has 8 computer-controlled programs with different levels of intensity. Start off using the graph set to 1, then increase for the best feeling you like. The tapping feeling is great, and the tingling sensation you will get from the massage is very comforting. It will go to vibrate or quivering that feels great as well. If you feel a pricking sensation, you have the intensity set too high. You never want to feel that your muscles are being pulled. There are 30 intensity levels with no side effects.
The LCD digital display screen is shown in bar graph increments. It is not backlit but very easy to see. Set the timer up to 95 minutes or continuous. You can set the button lock to keep your settings and prevent changes when you slip this into your pocket or purse. The unit is FDA approved so you do not need a doctor’s prescription. Healthcare providers, chiropractors, and therapists use the same technology built into this unit and you can do it in the comfort of your home. The unit will automatically shut off after the time you set is up. Do not wear this to bed when you sleep for the night. It’s very nice for a short nap on the sofa or recliner.
A plastic protection cover is over the screen. Just peel that off downward to see the screen clearly. This unit is very affordable and does a super job of relieving pain. Use it with all 4 pre-gelled pads or 2 depending on the muscle coverage you want at one time. The wires are 45-inches long so there is no problem reaching any area. Be sure to put the gelled pads back on the plastic sheet it comes on. Do not throw that plastic away, then place back in the plastic bag. Take it with you in to the office or anywhere you are suffering from muscle pain. The pads never need to be gelled; the unit is super powerful and will amaze you with its ability to relieve muscle knots, spasms, arthritis pain, sore necks, shoulders, legs, and soles of your feet—anywhere you need pain relief.
The dimensions are 3.8-inches tall x 2.5-inches wide x 1-inches thick and weighs 4.8 ounces. It adjusts from 0-100 mA.
You will receive the Zewa SpaBuddy® Sport, 4 electrodes with self-adhesive pads, 2 electrode cables, 3 each AAA batteries, a User’s Manual and a 2-year Warranty. No belt clip is included.
iReliev® Top-Best TENS Massager Unit
The iReliev® 20 electrode pad bundle provides you relief from muscle and joint pain. The unit provides a quality electromassage feeling as if you’ve been to a massage therapist or chiropractor. It is portable being about the size of a credit card that you can easily slip into your pocket or purse. Use it in the comfort and solitude of your home where you can continue with what you’re doing and getting relief at the same time. The low mA pulses are soothing and effective. You will have no drugs and no side effects. With relief, you might be able to stop taking pain medication. Doctors and chiropractors recommend these units for their patient’s routine home therapy to minimize pain.
It works by sending pulses to the skin stimulating the nerves to stop the pain signals at the brain using the body’s natural endorphins. TENS are believed to raise the endorphin chemical levels everyone has in the brain.
With 2 channels, you can use 2 self-adhesive electro pads or use all 4 for even more coverage to your painful areas. A back wrap to use with this TENS is available and sold separately. It will give you more pain reducing flexibility.
The control screen uses LCD light to display 8 preprogrammed modes. The numbers are large and easy to read. Adjust the timer to run from 5 to 60 minutes. The battery indicator will let you see when the batteries are running out of energy and the amount of life left in them. The batteries are not the rechargeable type yet will last up to 150 hours contingent upon how long you use it and the settings you select.
The intensity level you control and you can lock the unit to save your settings. Take your unit with you to the office or any job and with the programmed settings you made, simply turn it on to run the way you set it. For pain relief at your knees, wrist, hips, buttocks, elbow, shoulders and back, ankles, foot soles, and calves, this one is made for you.
The iReliev® offers you 25 intensity levels at 80 mA. It is FDA approved and you do not need a doctor’s prescription because this is sold over the counter and on Amazon.com®.
The dimensions of the unit are 2.2-inches wide x 7.8-inches tall x 0.9-inches deep and it weighs 8 ounces. You need no messy gel because these pads are pre-gelled for your convenience.
Gift-wrapping is available for a family member or friend. You will receive the iReliev® TENS unit, electrode wires, 2 replacement leads, 16 electrode pads, 20 each 2-inch square pads, 3 each AAA batteries, a polyester tote bag with draw strings, a holster on the belt clip, a User’s Manual with a quick start guide, and a 2-year Warranty with a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied within 14 days after purchase.
HealthmateForever® NK8GL TENS and EMS Stimulator
The HealthmateForever® model NK8GL is a combination TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and EMS (Electric Muscle Stimulation) in one dynamic device for alleviating pain. The center square button lets you control the auto mode and pause—a great quick convenience.
This unit has 24 modes to include acupuncture, tapping, Tuina (push and pull), Guasha (scraping), cupping, and any combination. The last mode is Auto Mode and can rotate through all the modes. The bioelectric current will relieve pain and the pre-programmed massage modes will do that for your sore and aching muscles with spasms. This digital control panel lets you use the TENS and EMS combined or use separately. It is FDA cleared so you need no prescription. Use it anywhere except your chest, face, and head. Get rid of those muscle aches at your shoulders, upper back, low back, lumbar, arms, feet, buttocks, hips, and legs. The number 8 mode cycles through all the modes. This unit does not lock.
The times can be set by you from 10 to 60 minutes. The default time is 30 minutes and will shut off automatically when the time has ended. Being small and portable, it will fit in a pocket or a purse. The 14-point acupuncture chart is filled with wonderful information to help you set up the unit for your needs. The lithium battery is built into the unit and the LCD display panel is backlit for when you are in a dark room. The battery will operate about 10 hours on one charge. The unit is powerful and the screen shows you the intensity level, treatment time, massage modes with an indicator for the battery life and charging time. The unit uses microcomputer intelligent control technology for a better-controlled massage.
The USB port for charging on your computer or laptop is convenient to let you work at the keyboard and run the unit at the same time. You can also charge it with a USA 110/120-Volt wall outlet.
Chose one or both channels with 2 or 4 electrode pads. The 6 preprogrammed massage modes, and 20 levels of intensity will give you what you are looking for. The pads are pre-gelled so you will not need to purchase gels or lotions.
The dimensions are 3-inches wide x 1.5-inches long x 0.5-inches thick and it weighs only 1.3 ounces. The screen size is 1.25-inches wide x 1.5-inches tall. The pulse frequency is less than 100 Hz.
Gift-wrapping is available for someone you love. You will receive the HealthmateForever® NK8GL TENS EMS Unit, 8 self-adhesive conductive reusable pads, a free 2-pair of large pads totaling 4, plus 2 sets of 4-in-1 pads, 3 sets of electrode wires, 1 USB charger, 1 wall unit A/C charger, a User’s Manual, a detailed instruction manual, and an acupuncture replacement point manual, with a Lifetime Warranty card included in the box. It does not come with a belt clip or holster.
Therapeutix TENS Unit Electronic Massager RXL Ultra
The Therapeutix-USA TENS unit electronic massager is designed for a clinical setting in strength and quality. This unit has been upgraded due to customers’ feedback for extra functions. Therapeutix heard you and responded with this unit. It is backlit for easy viewing in dark environments and each electrode port has its own intensity control.
The screen is large and there are 24 modes. It is FDA approved meaning you do not need a prescription from your doctor. The A and B channels let you use both lead wires each having 2 pre-gelled pads. There are 4 pads included with the unit—2 small and 2 large. The battery is fully charged when you get your unit, so just hook it up, and use it. The User’s Manual states to let it charge for 10 hours—disregard that. When you do need to charge it, 30 to 60 minutes is all it will take. The battery indicator tells you how much life is left in the battery and 3 bars means it is operating at full power being fully charged. It uses a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery providing you with many hours of uninterrupted pain relief. The initial charge should last about 20 hours. Don’t let joint, muscle, and nerve pain control your life. This unit will surpass others for removing back, shoulders, neck, legs, calves, feet, arms, and more pain. Just do not put it on your head, chest, or face.
The unit does not have a continuous mode meaning it is a combination unit with both TENS and EMS. The functions and frequencies are designed to give you relaxing and soothing micro contractions at the muscles. When you use a continuous action, the medium intensity level will cause the muscles to contract and not relax causing a cramp; therefore, that mode was not calculated to be included in this unit. The wires are 59-inches (4.9 feet) and snap to the pads.
Being small, just slip it into your purse or pocket for pain relief anywhere you go. The unit locks by pressing the ‘T’ button where a lock icon will appear in the upper right corner so that you will not accidently change your settings.
It lets you select from Swedish, kneading, cupping, scrapping, reflexology and Tai Chi, a gentle way to relieve stress and anxiety. Tai Chi helps with balance and flexibility.
You will receive the Therapeutix RXL Ultra Unit with 2 each lead wires, two small massage pads, two medium massage pads, a pad and cord saver, a USB and A/C wall charger, an acupressure point guide, and a User’s Manual. This is the only massager backed by a Lifetime no-hassle and free replacement Guarantee—and the battery is covered under the Warranty but not the cables and electrodes.
HealthmateForever® Pro8AB TENS and EMS Stimulator
The HealthmateForever® Pro8AB TENS and EMS/PMS (Powered Muscle Stimulator) blends modern technology with ancient Chinese massage. This unit is Class II FDA cleared so you do not need a doctor’s prescription to purchase it and the color is silver/black. You will have both muscle and nerve functions in 1 unit. It is easy to use once you read the instructions with illustrations.
You will love the 8 modes for pain relief. It relieves the back of neck the cervical tightness and stress, sciatica pain, areas of pain in your knees, arms, lumbar back pain, mid-back pain, legs, ankles, and feet. Sports injuries and any injury will be reduced of pain with this device. This mini micro massager uses digital pulses that feel wonderful to your pain areas. It can be held in your hand, put in a pocket, or slip into a purse to take with you when pain relief is needed.
You will be able to select from many massage modes, intensity levels, and therapy times as you choose. The unit has a built-in rechargeable lithium battery that stays charged up to 10 hours. The 2 output channels A and B allow you to use both channels with all the pads, or only 1 channel with 2 electrode pads. Target your aching muscles, apply the pre-gelled pads, sit back, and relax. You need no other lotions or gels, and when your pads need to be replaced, HealthmateForever® has them in many colors and sizes.
The 8 preprogramed modes provide you with different waveforms for the best benefit of your muscles. The Tuina (push and pull), acupuncture, Guasha (scraping), tapping, cupping, bodybuilding and combination is for your choosing. The timer can be adjusted from 10 to 60 minutes. Both channels have 10 levels for intensity. Each of the channels are separate therefore, channel A and B has the same power of 100%. In other words, the strength of the unit is not cut in half. You can put the 4 pads at 2 different areas simultaneously.
The dimensions are 1.75-inches long x 3.5-inches wide x 0.25-inches deep. The screen size is 1.5-inches wide x 2-inches long and it weighs 1.9 ounces. The pulse frequency is 100 Hz.
The HealthmateForever® TENS and muscle stimulator unit comes with 4 pre-gelled pads, 2 sets of electrode wires, 1 USB charger, 1 USA 110/120-Volt adapter to plug into the wall outlet, 2 pads holders, an acupuncture placement point chart, a free educational reference booklet and a Limited Lifetime Warranty card in the box. It does not come with a carrying case; however, a small zippered makeup case at the dollar store would work well.
Best TENS Units Under $50 Evaluated and Reviewed
Balego® TENS 7000 Muscle Stimulator
The TENS has a continuous mode and the timer will run from 5 to 60 minutes. It is a soft silver color with 2 channels with a timer. Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), also known as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electromyostimulation, is the technique for muscle contraction. It uses IF (Interferential Stimulation) and Russian therapy that is similar to EMS to excite motor nerves and muscle fiber contractions.
The electrode wires are 3-feet long and the belt clip is 5-inches long x 4-inches wide. Use 1 channel or both channels for your pain areas. It is great for stiff neck, sore muscles, back, shoulders, waist, buttocks, legs, calves, feet, and ankles. Do not use it for TMJ jaw pain, on your face, chest, or head.
The dimensions are 10-inches tall x 8-inches wide x 2-inches thick and it weighs 1.2 pounds.
The Balego® TENS 7000 unit comes with a metal belt clip, safety amplitude cover, rubber side railings for handling. It comes with a 9-Volt battery with no A/C adapter, 2 sets of electrode wires, 4×10 packs 2-inch square electrode pads, and they are made in the USA being pre-gelled, with a robust carrying case. It comes with a 1-year limited Warranty.
HealthmateForever® HM6ML TENS Unit and Muscle Stimulator
The HealthmateForever® TENS and EMS muscle stimulator comes in black and is FDA Class II cleared needing no prescription to purchase. The EMS/PMS (Powered Muscle Stimulator) is black and uses Chinese methods with today’s high-end technology. Select from the massage modes you like best using the 20 intensity levels that feels soothing and relaxing. Tuck it in your pocket or purse to take with you to the office or any other job where you need muscle pain relief.
Choose from 6 pre-programmed modes having different waveforms for a different feel. The unit uses acupuncture, tapping, leg cupping, knead, Tunia (push and pull), and combination. You can adjust the timer to run from 10 to 60 minutes then it automatically turns off. Simply press the ‘T’ button to activate the timer. The 2 channels work alone or together for your requirements. You can attach the 5-foot 4-inch electro wire leads to 2 pads or all 4 at the same time. Use for all muscle pain, but do not put on your head (electrical current in the brain), on your chest (electrical current from the heart), on your face, or TMJ joint area. Do not use if you wear an implanted pacemaker (more electricity).
The built-in battery is lithium and is rechargeable. It will run up to 10 hours of continued use. The center pause button is convenient to let you pick up where you left off if you need to move from the unit. The LCD screen is easy to read and is animated and backlit to see in the dark. There is no continuous mode with this unit and no locking mode. It does not come with a holster belt clip.
The dual channels let you attach the pre-gelled electrode pads to different pain areas. No additional gels or lotions are required ever. The pads snap onto the wire ends. Extra or new pads are available on Amazon.com® from HealthmateForever®, in many sizes and colors if you prefer color.
The dimensions are 1.50-inches long x 3.25-inches wide x 0.25-inches deep. The screen size is 1-inch wide x 1.25-inches long and it weighs 1.1 ounces. The pulse frequency is 100 Hz and the power is 0.25-Watts at 50 mA. The input is 5-Volt D/C.
The HealthmateForever® TENS and muscle stimulator unit comes with 4 pre-gelled pads, 2 sets of electrode wires, 1 USB charger, 1 each USA 110/120-Volt adapter to plug into the wall outlet, 1 pads holders, an acupuncture placement point chart, a free educational reference booklet, a User’s Manual, a VIP card, and a Limited Lifetime Warranty card in the box. It does not come with a carrying case; however, a small zippered makeup case at the dollar store would work well.
SantaMedical™ TENS Electronic Pulse Massager LFM-110
The SantaMedical™ TENS model LFM-110 is compact to take with you, has 6 automatic muscle stimulation programs, is adjustable for speed and intensity and uses high frequency to relieve your pain.
Use the 4 electrode pads that are pre-gelled never needing to be gelled again. This unit runs on 4 each AAA batteries included, not an electrical cord to the wall.
The LCD screen is digital and easy to read showing the massage type you have chosen, intensity level, and time left for your session. It has 3 choices for the modes of beat, knead, and massage using the control for shoulder, waist, joints, hands, and feet, soles of the feet, and repeat. Use one or both channels for massaging the muscles that hurt you. Your stress, stiffness, tightness is well controlled with this advanced TENS massager.
The device is compact and lightweight to take with you anywhere. It is powerful to deliver a professional type massage right at the push of a button. With the dual channels, you can use the 1.5-inch square 2 pads or 4 pads on painful areas. The unit can be set in 15-minute increments and it shuts off automatically after that time is up. It does not have a continuous mode. Each lead wire is 4-feet 8-inches, and the contact pad wire is another 4-inches, for a total of 5-feet.
At work, you can use it for numbness, shoulders, stiff neck, low back pain, joints, feet, calves, legs and more. Never put a TENS on your face, chest, or head. When you have overdone your exercise and are having muscle spasms, this unit will benefit those pains and it will help carpal tunnel syndrome and help to avert atrophy of your muscles. For chronic pain, this is a fantastic unit and you may be able to stop using addictive pain medications. Relieve tension headaches, but do not put the electrode pads on the ceratoids at the sides of your neck. When you go walking, wear the TENS unit for muscle pain relief.
The TENS is FDA cleared and the SantaMedical™ factory is ISO-9001 certified, meaning It conforms to international medical standards of excellence in manufacturing. The TENS are devices that are recommended by massage and physical therapists, doctors, and chiropractors for your muscle pain management. The unit is about the size of a TV remote weighing 5.3 ounces. The battery life indicator flashes when the battery becomes low on energy. The pulse rate is adjustable between 0-120Hz. There are 10 settings to adjust the frequency and the range maxes out at 80-Volts. Therefore, the settings would be 1=8, 2=16, 3=24, 4=32, 5=40, 6=48, 7=56, 8=64, 9=72, 10=80-Volts.
You will receive SantaMedical™ TENS, 1 set of 4 electrode pads with wires, and 4 each AAA batteries to be 6-Volts direct current. A User’s Manual is included and a 100% money back Guarantee. If you’re not happy with the TENS, ship it back and your money will be refunded.
Pure Enrichment® PurePulse TENS Electronic Massager
The Pure Enrichment® PurePulse medical grade FDA approved TENS is portable to manage your pain when at home or on the go. The 6 high-frequency modes to stimulate your shoulders, neck, back and lower back, waist, legs, calves, feet, soles of your feet plus more will relieve those sore tired muscles. Use it on your hands, wrists, fingers, and lower and upper arms. Do not put on your face, head, or chest. It works well for fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Sports injuries heal better using a TENS unit. Chiropractors recommend home use of TENS units.
The unit is portable so put in your purse or pocket, even your scrubs pocket, and enjoy a relaxing massage at work.
The LCD display screen shows your session time, pain areas, pulse speed and more. The 2 channels offer you the needs you want for 2 different power levels for each channel of A and B. Alternatively, you can set them to be identical to your liking. It does not use electricity with a cord. It uses 4 each AAA batteries that come with it. There is no lock feature on this unit.
The 3 settings are massage, knead, and beat that will relieve stiffness, muscle spasms, soreness and aches due to chronic or intermittent pain. Use the preset programs or set your own. The 1.5-inch square electrode pads with 2 lead connection cords can be placed on your joints or muscle group pain areas. The cords are 60-inches (5-feet) long. The timer can be set at 15-minute increments and will shut off when finished. You can set it again for another therapy session if you wish.
The frequency is 60 Hz, and the intensity is 0-80-Volts with a pulse rate from 0-120 Hz. The unit measures 7.8-inches tall x 2.2-inches wide x 0.9-inches thick.
Gift-wrapping is available for a friend or loved one. You will receive the Pure Enrichment® PurePulse TENS unit, 4 AAA batteries, 2 lead connectors, and 4 electrode pads. There is no belt clip holster with this unit.
- Never ever put the electrodes on your head whether you have hair or are bald. Your brain is electrical energy and you could cause a seizure. The same goes for your heart—it is electrical and you do not want this electrical unit there. Never put on your eyes, temples, mouth, side or front of the neck. Do not use on scratched, abraised, broken skin or skin that has any damage. Never use on varicose veins.
- Do not place on your face or TMJ (temporomandibular joint). Always check with your dentist for his or her advice for this type of syndrome.
- Do not get into the bathtub or shower with the unit on—you will be electrocuted.
- This is not a toy—keep away from young children and do not put it on your furry pets.
- Never put alcohol on the pads. It will eat them. Use only warm water to clean the pads and purchase new ones when they wear out.
- Always store the pads on the plastic sheet they are attached to when they arrive. They are very sticky, so people, pull your long hair up out of the way.
- Never apply the pads to wet skin. If your skin is oily or dirty, use alcohol on the skin area and let it dry before attaching the pads.
- Do not go to bed at night and sleep with the TENS on. Remove the pads and start fresh in the morning.
- Never use a TENS when operating heavy equipment or machinery.
- Do not use a TENS if you are pregnant and always consult your GYN doctor.
- Never use a TENS if you have an implanted pacemaker, metal, have heart disease, epilepsy, some types of diabetes, or any type of non-specific pain. Always talk with your doctor first.
- Migraine headaches are a neurological disorder, not a muscular problem. Consult with your doctor to see if a TENS or EMS unit will help you.
- Do not use if you have no skin sensation such as neuropathy.
- Clean your pads as outlined in your instructions. Do not immerse them in water or you will ruin the wires.
A number of untrustworthy suppliers might tell you it is okay to put the pads on your chest, neck, and face. Do not believe this unscrupulous ploy for selling pads or units. Always check with your chiropractor or doctor before using a TENS or EMS if you have serious health conditions.
For your health, well-being, and safety, we have provided evaluations to help you select the best unit for your specific needs. Always read the instructions before you start using you TENS or EMS device. You will learn valuable information for how it operates. These units indeed need a place in our homes for muscle pain. They do work and they are inexpensive. Happy shopping and be well!