13 Best TENS Units For Pain Relief In 2022

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Living with chronic musculoskeletal pain is never easy as it can affect almost every aspect of one’s life, not to mention the expensive treatment methods. Thankfully, the best TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation units can help relieve pain to a certain extent. TENS units are programmed with multiple intensity settings and massage pads to help alleviate pain by relaxing your nerves. Before we explore some of the most effective and efficient TENS units available out there, let’s understand how these devices function.

How Do TENS Units Work?

TENS is a physical therapy that uses mild electric impulses to relieve pain and relax muscles. A TENS unit works as a non-invasive machine that sends mild electrical currents to the nerves through a network of electrodes attached to the skin. These electric impulses stimulate the nerve endings around the affected area while releasing a healthy dose of endorphins to block your body from sending pain signals to the brain.

Some benefits of TENS therapy include improving blood circulation, relieving stress, strengthening the muscles, and alleviating injury-related pain. It is especially suited to those with musculoskeletal conditions such as sciatica, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and tendonitis (1) (2) (3).

13 Best TENS Units

1. Best For Instant Pain Relief:Tens 7000 Digital TENS Unit

This dual-channel device by Tens 7000 might be the most efficient TENS unit you can bring home as it offers instant pain relief. It comes with many cool features, such as four working pads and five custom stimulation modes, and allows you to adjust the intensity level from zero to 100 mA based on your needs and set the pulse rate. Besides, you can carry the unit anywhere you go since it is battery-powered and compact. Check out this video to understand how this product works.

Pros

  • Great for relieving back pain, neck pain, and more
  • Includes multiple accessories
  • Easy to operate
  • Suitable for everyday use

Cons

  • Battery might not last long

2. Best Pocket-Sized:Belifu TENS EMS Unit

If you’re looking for the best TENS unit for back pain and muscle relaxation, this one is a worthy candidate. It comes with 24 massage modes with 20 intensity levels and dual channels, not to mention a super-convenient timer. The slim and compact design makes it a breeze to carry around anywhere, while the powerful battery gives you a good twenty hours of usage time. Watch this detailed video to learn more about the unit.

Pros

  • Comes with a dust-proof bag
  • Has a charging reminder
  • Provides instant relief
  • Easy to personalize

Cons

  • Might not be as user-friendly as you would want it to be

3. Best Feature-Rich:Medvice Rechargeable TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator

Medvice brings you this feature-rich TENS unit, one of the sleekest devices you can find. It makes the perfect comfort buddy for those dealing with chronic pain. The unit features a backlit LCD screen, 20 intensity levels, two outputs, 16 pre-programmed modes, and extra-soft pads to ensure your experience is as relaxing as possible. Further, it also has a long battery life, so you can use it anywhere and anytime for up to ten hours without recharging.

Pros

  • Durable electric pads
  • Accommodates every sensitivity level
  • Easy to use and understand
  • Adjustable timer with auto-shutoff

Cons

  • May not be durable enough

4. Best Customizable:Omron Max Power Relief TENS Unit

Relieve muscle pain with Omron’s versatile and extremely powerful TENS unit. It offers 15 levels of intensity, six different pain modes, three massage modes, and an easy-to-read screen for accessibility, making it ideal for those struggling with recurring shoulder, knee, or lower back pain. The highly customizable device works on pain associated with different conditions and is versatile enough to be used at home or while traveling.

Pros

  • Soft, comfortable pads
  • Easy operation
  • Compact design
  • Highly adhesive

Cons

  • Belt clip might not be durable

5. Best 2-In-1:Auvon Dual Channel TENS EMS Unit

Combining two therapies in one power-packed unit, this device provides you with effective pain relief. With independent dual channels, 20 intensity levels, and 24 modes that have been pre-programmed, the unit offers you so many ways to personalize the physical therapy. Not only can you undertake treatment for two different areas of the body simultaneously, but you can also keep using the device for ten hours straight upon charging.

Pros

  • Medical-grade electrodes
  • Highly adhesive and conductive
  • Includes 12 pads
  • Safe and durable

Cons

  • May not be very intuitive

6.Best Lightweight:Easy@Home Compact Wireless TENS Unit

Check out this super-portable and lightweight unit that can be snapped to pads directly, without the need for lead wires. It comes with six modes and 20 intensity levels to help you cover different areas such as the shoulders, arms, legs, and neck. The electrode pads are large and reusable, not to mention highly convenient to stick and flexible. You can be anywhere in the world, and this pocket-sized unit will come in handy to make you feel relaxed and healthy.

Pros

  • Customizable
  • Quick to recharge
  • Simple to use
  • Stimulates muscles

Cons

  • Battery might not last long

7. Best Multifunctional:Nursal TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator

Boasting 24 multifunctional modes for muscle pain relief, this TENS unit by Nursal is compact, lightweight, and extremely easy to personalize around your needs. Take the device with you anytime, anywhere, and you will love the user-friendly interface, simple-to-navigate design, and the top-notch memory function that saves you the trouble of changing the settings each time you use it. The rechargeable battery makes it convenient for outdoor massages, while the reusable electrode pads have a strong adhesive and offer stimulation almost seamlessly.

Pros

  • Eight electrode pads
  • Offers 20 intensity levels
  • Automatic shutoff
  • Customizable settings
  • Travel-friendly design

Cons

  • Instructions may not be easy to follow for some

8. Best With Backlit Display:iSTIM EV-805 TENS EMS 4-Channel Unit

Here’s a TENS device with a backlit display for your absolute convenience, even during nighttime. It helps relieve pain through its five TENS modes, three EMS modes, 24 preset programs, and four channels. The rechargeable unit has a metal belt clip for easy portability and a non-slip bar to keep it safe and sound. Each of the quality electrode pads is designed with a carbon fiber wire and super-soft fabric to make sure you are comfortable throughout the massage.

Pros

  • Adjustable pulse rate and pulse width
  • Customizable intensity
  • Easy to operate at night as well
  • Charges quickly

Cons

  • Battery life might not be impressive

9. Best Durable:Neocarbon TENS Muscle Stimulator

Manage your pain as efficiently as possible with this dual-channel device by Neocarbon that allows you to massage different areas at the same time and at different intensities. The unit is designed to relieve menstrual cramps, post-workout stress, and aging-related pain and comes with 24 modes, 16 electrode pads, and an easy-to-read screen. Each pad can be used up to 50 times, and the battery lasts up to ten hours after each charge.

Pros

  • Independent channel intensity
  • Comes with a premium case
  • Highly durable and portable
  • Charges in three hours

Cons

  • Adhesive on the pads might not hold for long

10. Best Portable:Mastogo Wireless TENS Unit

Mastogo’s wireless TENS unit comes with essential features such as reusable electrode pads, a highly conductive carbon film, and quality gel-based construction, making it perfect for use on most parts of the body. It comes with a PU case and convenient pad holder that make it extra portable, while the built-in rechargeable battery keeps you relaxed for hours. The device has six unique modes, 20 intensity settings, and an interface that’s easy to understand.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Premium quality construction
  • Lightweight and pocket-sized
  • Ideal for relieving all kinds of muscle pain

Cons

  • Phone app might not be user-friendly

11. Best Wireless:Osito TENS Unit Massage Machine

Osito’s TENS unit is highly recommended for those looking for a combination of old-school massages and high-tech physical therapy. With 11 modes and 25 intensity levels, it stimulates your muscles and provides quick pain relief. The lightweight and wireless unit is also highly portable and easy to clean and maintain, so you can enjoy its effects anytime, anywhere.

Pros

  • Reusable non-latex electrode pads
  • Charges quickly
  • Long-lasting and rechargeable battery
  • Safe and easy to control

Cons

  • May take time to get used to it

12. Best For Chronic Pain:Roscoe Medical TENS Unit

If you’ve been dealing with chronic pain, why not get the most effective treatment unit with four different channels to relieve pain from multiple points at once? The device comes with 12 adhesive pads that are reusable. It also has a high-quality carry case that makes it ultra-portable, so you can continue your therapy even on the go.

Pros

  • Seven modes
  • Adjustable timer
  • Powerful output
  • Sturdy metal clip

Cons

  • Keypads may not be very intuitive

13. Best Convenient:Omega Wireless TENS Unit

Get relief from body pain using this wireless TENS unit from Omega. What makes it accessible is the fact that you don’t need a phone application to make it work. The wireless device can be used on any part of the body as it comes with four reusable gel pads, six massaging modes, and 20 levels of intensity to keep you as pain-free and relaxed as possible.

Pros

  • Ideal for back pain relief
  • Long battery life
  • Latex-free electrode pads of different sizes
  • Lightweight and portable design

Cons

  • Adhesive might not be strong enough

How To Choose The Right TENS Unit?

Consider these important factors before investing in a TENS unit.

  1. Function: It’s crucial to ask yourself why you need this device. You might be struggling with specific pain-related issues such as arthritis, sciatica, or menstrual cramps, or you might just be looking for a convenient means of releasing stress at the end of a long day. If you want to focus the stimulation on several areas of the body, opt for a unit that features two or more channels.
  1. Wired or wireless: Determine whether you want a wired or wireless device. The advantage of going wireless is that you can take the unit anywhere and continue with the treatment seamlessly. This means you will also have to think about the size of the unit and ensure it is portable and discreet.
  1. Features: While most TENS devices come with multiple intensity levels, long battery life, and numerous electric pads, you should look out for specific features to manage the pain. Some units have touchscreen displays as well as body trackers to monitor the level of pain, so you can personalize the settings and create an ideal flow of electrical impulses.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Vibha Navarathna is a seasoned writer and researcher who enjoys writing product reviews for a variety of segments. The TENS units highlighted in this article have been carefully chosen by her after doing hours of extensive research into their performance and considering customer feedback on various e-commerce sites. Vibha has added a brief description of each product and highlighted its pros and cons to let you make an informed choice. Further. She has also added a handy buying guide and answered some commonly asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often can I use a TENS unit?

The best part about a TENS unit is that you can use the device frequently. It’s safe to give yourself a massage as often as four times a day.

2. How long can I use a TENS unit at a time?

You can use a TENS unit for at least 30-60 minutes at a time, or even longer if necessary.

3. Can I use a TENS unit on my spine and neck?

Yes, using a TENS unit is an effective way of managing neck pain and spinal issues.

4. Where or when is it not okay to use a TENS unit?

Avoid using a TENS unit on the abdomen, lower back, and pelvic areas. Also keep away from your face, hands, knees, and ankles. You should not use the device if you have an open wound or inflammation around the stressed area. Also, speak to your doctor before using a TENS unit if you have cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, or are pregnant (3).

5. Where on my body can I use TENS?

TENS is primarily used to manage pain in the back, neck, and spine. However, you can also use it for any type of musculoskeletal pain.

6. What’s the difference between TENS and EMS?

While EMS, or electrical muscle stimulation, is used to strengthen the muscles, typically as a form of rehabilitation, TENS units are all about relieving pain. You should ideally choose a TENS unit that also features EMS modes.

Now that you know all about the best TENS units out there, you can choose the right one to manage chronic muscle pain and feel more relaxed all day. These devices come with various functions and settings to help you personalize the therapy. They’re especially useful for people with sciatica, arthritis, joint pain, neck pain, and more. The options listed here are a great place to start your TENS treatment journey and enjoy a truly therapeutic massage.

Disclaimer: The information given in this section has been taken from manufacturers’ sources. MomJunction is not responsible for any of the claims made here. We recommend readers’ discretion.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation: Mechanisms Clinical Application and Evidence; National Library of Medicine
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4589923/
  2. TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation); NHS
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/transcutaneous-electrical-nerve-stimulation-tens/
  3. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS); The University of Iowa.
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/transcutaneous-electrical-nerve-stimulation-tens/

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Vibha Navarathna

Vibha is a coder turned content writer. She holds a Masters degree in Computer Applications from Osmania University, Hyderabad and a certificate in 'Introduction To Child Psychology'. Her passion for writing fresh and informative content made her a full-time writer. Holding certifications in content writing and creative writing, she writes on electronics, baby and health products for MomJunction. Apart from... more