TENS units come in a variety of sizes and configurations, but they all do basically the same thing.
What is a TENS Unit?
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. TENS units use electrical currents that follow nerve pathways to help decrease pain. Even though this treatment has become popular over the last few decades, electrical stimulation as a way to decrease pain has been around for centuries. Historically, medical practitioners used electrical fish and even static electricity to help decrease pain in their patients.
Which TENS Unit is Best?
There are many different types of TENS units available on the market today. You can get a standard unit that just has TENS functionality, or you can get units with a TENS/EMS combination. TENS units’ prices range form very inexpensive at about $30 to over $1,000. But surprisingly, most of the units do about the same thing. As long as you are purchasing your TENS unit from a reputable company, you should get a unit that does what it’s suppose to do (so make sure you check those reviews!).
If They All Do the Same Thing, Why Are Prices All Over the Board?
The price differences basically boil down to the “bells and whistles” each unit has. Think of TENS units like cell phones. All cell phones make phone calls, but the more you pay for the phone, usually the more and/or better features it will have. You may pay more for things like a better camera, a faster processor, more storage space, a bigger screen, a smaller phone, etc.
That’s pretty much how TENS units work. You pay more for additional features. These features can do things like help make the unit easier to use or make it easier to carry around with you.
Make sure you pick the features you think you will benefit from the most. You want the unit’s features to match your lifestyle. If you don’t like fancy things, go simple. But on the other hand, if you love technology and end up getting a basic unit to save a few bucks, you may wish you had more advanced features in the long run.
TENS unit features are seemingly endless. And manufacturers are coming up with new and exciting features all the time. From wired to wireless, touch screen to rotary dials, big to small, rechargeable to traditional batteries, and the list goes on. They even have TENS units that can be controlled with your phone, or that deliver the electric current to the beat of your favorite music!
There are so many options to choose from, so make sure your unit has all the features you want, but also make sure you aren’t paying for features you will never use.
I Like These TENS Units
With that said, since there are so many brands/units out there, it can be really tough to decide which one is right for you.
Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to use and review many different brands of TENS units. If you’d like to see some of those reviews and tutorials, here’s a TENS Unit playlist I created on YouTube.
If you’re looking for a TENS unit that’s on the lower budget end, but still does a good job, CUH and Easy @ Home are great choices. See my video featuring a CUH unit here, and my video featuring an Easy @ Home unit here.
If you are looking for a TENS unit with some more bells and whistles, HealthmateForever has many higher end choices including wireless units for extra portability and convenience. They also have some lower budgets units, too, so make sure to check them all out. I have several videos featuring HealthmateForever units. Here’s a link to them on YouTube.
NOTE: The product links above are affiliate links. If you purchase a product using those links, Doctor Jo will receive a commission.
The Best TENS Unit is the One You Will Actually Use!
It doesn’t really matter which TENS unit you pick, as long as it’s from a reputable brand, has good reviews, and you actually use it! After all, it won’t do any good at relieving pain if it’s always sitting on your counter.