When searching for a drug-free way to treat and manage physical pain, the options can feel overwhelming. Creams, lotions, exercises, vitamins, and more can help tackle pain to varying degrees, but one item we have found success with is the TENS unit. Short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, TENS units are battery-operated devices that send electrical pulses through pads.
TENS units work by sending electrical pulses through electropads, which flood the nervous system and decrease its ability to send pain signals to the brain and spinal cord, helping to temporary ease physical ailments in muscles and joints.
While many people can benefit from using a TENS unit to address muscle pain, it’s important to note that there are some groups who should avoid the machines, including women who are pregnant, people with a cardiac pacemaker or an existing cardiac condition, people with epilepsy, and anyone with implanted metal devices or screws.
Check out three of our favorite TENS units below and get ready to feel some relief.
1. Easy@Home Professional Grade Rechargeable TENS Unit
The Easy@Home Professional Grade Rechargeable TENS Unit includes 20 power levels and eight different massage modes to choose from, making it an ideal option for anyone who needs light to maximum pain relief.
Pros: The machine can be charged through a USB or DC, with one charge lasting up to 120 minutes. Four electropads are included and can be applied to the arms, back, legs, joints, and more. The unit is lightweight and portable and comes with a leather carrying bag and a large, easy to read LCD screen.
Cons: Ppads must be replaced after multiple uses.
2. Nursal Rechargeable TENS Units Muscle Stimulator
The Nursal Rechargeable TENS Units Muscle Stimulator includes eight unique electropads that are designed to contour to specific parts of the body.
Pros: The Nursal has the most options for massage types, with 12 modes including acupuncture, cupping, taping, magnetic field therapy, and more. The unit includes an A and B channel that allows for two massage modes at once. Unlike the other two options that have four electropads, the Nursal comes with eight electropads that are specifically designed for different parts of the body. The Nursal has an adjustable 10-60 minute timer, and one charge can last up to 10 hours.
Cons: The Nursal cannot be used while it’s charging.
3. Easy@Home TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator
Lightweight and portable, the Easy@Home TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator features a large LCD screen that clearly displays the mode of the four electro pads, including Massage, Beat or Knead settings.
Pros: The unit has an adjustable pulse stimulation speed and can be used on the back, as well as arms, legs and joints.
Cons: Unlike the Easy@Home Professional Grade Rechargeable TENS Unit and the Nursal, the Easy@Home TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator runs on 4 AAA batteries and can’t be recharged. It also has half the intensity level of the Professional Grade Easy@Home model and six massage modes instead of eight. The Easy@Home TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator also weighs slightly more at 137 grams versus 127 grams.