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Electrotherapy How To Choose TEN EMS Stimulators

How to Choose Between an Electronic Muscle Stimulator and TENS Unit

TENS EMS Stimulator In Use


Electronic Muscle Stimulators technically are TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators) devices, the difference being which nerves in your body are stimulated during electrotherapy. EMS Machines are designed to stimulate muscle motor nerves while TENS devices stimulate sensory nerve endings. Both types of treatment work by generating electrical impulses that stimulate nerves through the skin causing muscles controlled by those nerves to react by contracting.

Electronic Muscle Stimulators provide a proven, efficient way of treating muscle injuries by the transmission of electronic pulses that cause passive exercise. The stimulation, contraction and relaxation cycle created by EMS loosens muscle fibers, increases blood flow and stimulates muscle growth. Similar to a TENS unit they are found to be outstanding solutions for stimulating neurons through the skin.

Electronic Muscle Stimulation is an internationally accepted and proven way of treating muscle injuries. With dual isolated channels, the digital wave technology provides a highly efficient delivery of the wave signal. It works by sending electronic pulses to the muscle needing treatment; this causes the muscle to exercise passively. Electronic Muscle Stimulation has a low frequency and this in conjunction with the square wave pattern allows direct work on muscle groupings. Electronic Muscle Stimulation is widely used in hospitals and sports clinics for the treatment of muscular injuries and for the re-education of paralyzed muscles, to prevent atrophy in affected muscles and improving muscle tone and blood circulation. Devices such as the Slendertone Flex Abdominal Training System use the principles of electronic muscle stimulation to firm and tone abdominal muscles, while the Slendertone ReVive Muscle Conditioner is used for recovery from muscle injuries.

TENS units provide temporary relief to the nerves and also feature dual channel use, which enables you to switch back and forth between mode preferences quickly and easily. TENS units have adjustable intensity and asymmetrical bi-phase square wave patterns that allows different treatment options. It is a set of electrodes which are placed on the skin on your back and emits an electrical signal which stimulates your neurons through the skin. The sensation is more like the tingling and numbness of your jaw after dental work than pain. The Acclaim 10S-D Digital TENS Unit is a highly popular TENS unit found in therapists' offices and clinics worldwide while the Acclaim 10S-A Analog TENS Unit is a simpler, more economic model typically used in the home.

With very similar features such as the adjustable pulse width, channels and intensity control, the TENS units and electronic muscle stimulators are much alike. The biggest difference however is the stimulation of muscles and nerves. With muscle stimulators you are both healing and rebuilding muscle while the TENS unit is a temporary pain relief solution. Combination units like the Acclaim Mini 10S-TE TENS/EMS Stimulator provide both therapies simultaneously for more customized outcomes. As always, we recommend you consult your doctor or therapist to decide which form of electrotherapy is best for your condition.

For more information on TENS devices and Electronic Muscle Stimulators, be sure to check out our Electrotherapy Department at!

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