A TENS unit can be a lifesaver if you have any pain in your joints or muscles. If you aren’t familiar with what a TENS unit is, it stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It’s basically a battery-operated device with leads that are connected to sticky pads that you attach to your skin in your problem areas. When you turn the device on, small electrical impulses are sent through the pads, which gives you a slight tingling feeling and can help relax your muscles.
There are so many different TENS units on the market that it can be difficult to digest the differences among them. Whether you’ve never used one before, or if you’re looking to upgrade your current device, you’ve come to the right website. We will break down some of the top rated TENS units and provide you with valuable information about the specific models and give you our general opinion about them.
- Brief Reviews of the Top Rated TENS Units
- Important Things to Consider When Buying a TENS Unit
Brief Reviews of the Top Rated TENS Units
Narrowing down your options when it comes to TENS units can be overwhelming. Since it is a health device, you may come across a lot of medical jargon that doesn’t mean anything to you. We will simplify the terminology for you, so that you will understand the pros and cons of each of the products we present to you.
HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS Unit
HealthmateForever is widely known as one of the best brands of TENS units, and this model is no exception. This unit has four different outputs and you can apply eight different pads and use 15 different modes.
Even though it may seem like it’s complicated with all the different accessories, it is actually one of the most user-friendly devices on the market. It is designed to help you relieve your pain if you have arthritis, tendonitis, back pain, nerve pain and any other sort of pain. If you suffer from any of those pains, then the HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit is a great option for you.
As far as the usability goes, the pads are very sticky, so you won’t have to worry about them falling off easily when you are using them. It has 20 different levels of intensity and a large LCD screen so it is easy to change the settings. The short backlight is good for saving batteries, but it only uses three AAA batteries, which last a lot longer than you would expect for a device that produces so much energy.
Even though the short backlight saves batteries, it’s also one of my complaints. Sometimes you want to see the settings, but you can’t because the screen turned off. The only other complaint that I have is that it doesn’t come with a very detailed user manual, but it’s not too difficult to figure out in general. Overall, I would say this is a top-of-the-line TENS unit for the price and will help relieve your pain tremendously.
Tens Unit – Tens Machine for Pain Management, Back Pain and Rehabilitation
If you’re looking for value in your TENS unit, then there may not be a better product than the TENS 7000. Don’t let the appearance fool you, because it looks old and outdated. But it gets the job done effectively and simply, which is all you really want when you are in pain.
It includes four pads, five modes and eight intensity levels. What I really like about this device is the ability to time and record the sessions that you do. This is helpful to know what you’ve done in the past, so you can provide the information to your doctor if needed, or just for your own records.
Depending on the type of pain that you have, a 30-minute session is usually more than enough to ease that pain. The only downfall that I have noticed with this unit is that it uses a 9V battery instead of rechargeable ones. It will still last a long time before you have to replace the battery, but you have to be prepared so you don’t run out of juice during a session. There is a low-battery indicator to help you prepare for that, though.
The TENS 7000 offers the best value amongst most other similar units. It does just about as good a job as the more expensive units and is much cheaper!
Santamedical LFM-110 TENS Electronic Pulse Massager
When you receive this TENS unit, your first impression will probably be that it looks like your television remote. That’s about how big it is and it has just the right amount of buttons to help you navigate exactly what you need it to do. You can choose from six different modes, 2-4 pads and three massage styles.
The device is simple to operate because you can just press the button that indicates the location of your pain, adjust the speed and the type of massage style that you want and you’re ready to be relieved! The one thing I don’t really like is that the device will turn off after 15-minutes. It’s easy to turn back on, but it’s still a little annoying if you like to have longer sessions. It operates on 4 AAA batteries, so you won’t break the bank buying expensive batteries all the time.
There aren’t too many downfalls about this device because it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. The ease of use and the inexpensive price make it an attractive option for most consumers.
HealthmateForever HM6ML TENS Unit
One of the great things about this TENS unit is the fact that it has a rechargeable battery. Many other units use regular batteries that have to be replaced after about 10 hours of use or so.
This unit is smaller than most cell phones at just over one-ounce in weight and dimensions of 1.5” x 3.25” x 0.25”. It includes four reusable pads, two sets of wires and six different programs.
Since it has two different sets of wires, you can treat two areas of your body at once. Not only will this make you feel better, but you can cut down on the amount of time that you get treatment. And because of its size, it’s the ultimate portable TENS machine if you are constantly away from your home for any reason.
This TENS unit has some unique features about it, but it is also a little pricier than most of the other units that we’ve reviewed. It’s still a good product overall for a decent price.
TruMedic TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager
Out of the other models that we’ve reviewed, the TruMedic TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager is probably the most versatile and effective of all of them.
It includes eight electrode pads that can be used on all areas of your body, and it also has five stimulation programs, three massage settings, intensity and speed adjustability and an easy-to-use control that looks similar to your television remote.
The device requires four AAA batteries, which means you will have to change them out after several hours of use. It is actually a lot larger than the other devices, so if you plan on taking it different places, you’ll need to keep that in mind. Otherwise, the power is perfect to be used on every part of your body that needs treatment.
Even though this is a versatile TENS unit, there isn’t anything special about it. If you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive unit that doesn’t have a lot of features, then this is definitely one to consider.
Important Things to Consider When Buying a TENS Unit
When you’re shopping for your first TENS unit, it can feel a little overwhelming. Even when you have a handful of products to choose from, knowing which one is right for you can be a difficult task. Before you even start shopping for one, consider a few different features and options to help you eliminate some products right away. By process of elimination, you should be able to narrow down your options and it will eventually become clear which one is right for you.
Know What You Need a TENS Unit For
It’s obvious that you’re shopping for a TENS unit because you are in pain and you want to relieve that pain. If you only have one area of pain, then you don’t need a unit with eight different pads included. Not only will the majority of the pads go unused, but you’ll be wasting your money as well. You should also consult your doctor to make sure a TENS unit is even what you need. Buying one is a lot cheaper than going to the chiropractor, so it’s worth a doctor’s visit to make sure that it will be effective on you. Once you’ve determined that you truly need a TENS unit, then you can narrow down your options based on other features.
How Many Programs Does it Offer?
Unless you are familiar with medical terminology and knowing how to manually set the wavelengths and pulses of a TENS unit, then you would be better off with a unit that has preset programs. Most of the units today have multiple programs or modes that allow you to set them easily with a push of a button. These programs include continuous, pulse, burst and modulation, among others. The mode that you choose on the unit is dependent upon the type of pain that you have and the area that it’s occurring in. The more programs the TENS unit has, the better chance that you will find the perfect one. But if you know exactly what type of program you need for the pain that you have, then you’ll be able to more easily select the unit you need.
Find Out the Intensity Levels
Intensity doesn’t necessarily equate to power. Instead, it’s the amount of adjustability that a particular unit has. For example, a TENS unit with fewer intensity levels will have larger gaps between intensity levels than one with more levels. If you need a gradual intensity, then you want to find a unit that has a higher amount of intensity levels. Otherwise, you may struggle finding the perfect amount of intensity in your treatment.
Make Sure It’s Easy to Use and Know What Types of Batteries it Uses
A TENS unit is a complicated device when it comes to the mechanics and the science behind how it works. But that doesn’t mean it has to be equally as complicated when it comes to using it. You should be able to tell right away how easy it will be to use. Most of them have a large LCD screen with a few buttons underneath it that clearly show what they are for. Of course, every TENS unit will come with a user manual, but a good rule of thumb is to look at the face of the device and see how complicated it looks without reading anything about it.
The type of batteries that a device uses doesn’t necessarily affect the usability, but it can determine how much money you will spend in the long run. If a unit doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, then you can expect to be able to use it for about 10 hours or so before changing out the batteries. That means you’ll be replacing batteries at least once every two weeks if you use it for an hour each day. The cost of the TENS unit itself may be cheaper, but you’ll be spending more money on batteries in the long run.
Size and Portability
Some people have so much pain and tension that they can’t make it through the day without using their TENS unit. If that’s something you suffer with, then you need to make sure that the device you purchase is small enough to fit in your pocket or in a small carrying case. Most of them are designed for portability, but the actual size that you need depends on your situation and where you plan on using it.
After reading this article, you should know a lot of the basic features about TENS units and understand which ones are important to you. Out of the five devices that we reviewed here, I would say the HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS Unit is the best overall product in terms of usability, functionality and price. It does everything you could want in a TENS unit and it will be a true lifesaver for you if you start experiencing pain.
But if it doesn’t seem like that’s the right unit for you, then at least you have a solid foundation of knowledge now that should help you narrow down your options when you begin your shopping experience.