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TENS Unit Therapy

Learn More about TENS Unit Therapy (View Complete Description)

TENS Unit Therapy

TENS unit therapy, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is the use of electrical current applied to the skin for pain relief. Used for both chronic and acute, or temporary, pain, TENS unit therapy is widely used by doctors, physical therapists, athletes, and those who suffer from chronic back or knee pain. First used in ancient Greece in 63 A.D., in which people relieved pain by standing on electrical fish at the seashore, the first patient-wearable TENS unit was patented in the United States in 1974. TENS unit therapy is a non-invasive and safe way to manage pain when used properly.

How do TENS units work?

TENS unit devices use high and low frequency electrical impulses to stimulate nerves, or to be more specific, opioid receptors in the central nervous system. High and low frequency TENS devices trigger different parts of the central nervous system depending on your specific needs: high frequency triggers delta-opioid receptors in the spinal cord and the supraspinally while low frequency TENS therapy activates mu-opioid receptors in the spinal cord and the supraspinally. High frequency TENS also activates muscarinic receptors centrally to produce analgesia, essentially blocking the pain gate temporarily. Low frequency treatment releases serotonin and activates serotonin receptors in the spinal cord. Essentially, TENS unit therapy is used to help relieve neuropathic pain, or pain caused by nerve damage.

TENS Pain Relief

TENS units are intended to reduce both chronic and acute pain including, but not limited to, postoperative pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Many patients benefit from TENS unit therapy while others do not depending on individual differences and their pain threshold. TENS has also been used in obstetric care during labor, bladder-stone removal, and pain in the limbs, especially the knees.

The TENS unit devices available to consumers are essentially simplified versions of the more complex models used by physicians, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals. Featuring digital LCD screens and preset therapy programs, home TENS units give end users an easy and inexpensive way to enjoy pain relief treatments similar what they would receive during an appointment. Professional model TENS units are controlled by digital or analog means and have no preset programs, but allow the healthcare provider to adjust frequency and pulse width settings to suit the patient. Hybrid TENS units are also available that have preset therapy programs but also allow the user to experiment with the settings for the best treatment possible.

Why TENS Unit Therapy?

TENS therapy offers users in pain an alternative way to treat their discomfort. While medications and heating or cooling pads can be effective, many patients respond better to a TENS unit. Medications can often present the danger of side-effects, such as addiction, stomach issues from overuse, and/or allergic reactions. Hot and cold packs can be uncomfortable and are not always convenient to have available, whereas TENS devices are often completely portable so they can be used anywhere. TENS devices also treat the source of the pain (the nerves), making a quicker and more effective form of pain relief for those with nerve damage.

Is TENS Unit Therapy Safe to Use?

TENS therapy is both a safe and non-invasive way to relieve pain. However, TENS units should be used with caution and under a doctor"s supervision in people with epilepsy or pregnant women. The TENS electrodes should never be placed over a pregnant woman"s uterus as this may affect the unborn child. TENS units should also never be used by someone with a cardiac pacemaker due to the risk of interference or failure of the implanted device.

Proper placement of the TENS electrodes is also key for safety. Never place the electrodes:

  • On each temple (transcerebrally)
  • In the mouth
  • On or near the eyes
  • On the front of the neck
  • Directly on the groin, such as on the penis or testicles
  • On areas of numb skin or skin with deceased sensation
  • On or near the trigeminal nerve if you have a history of herpes zoster induced trigeminal neuralgia
  • On broken skin or wounds

As mentioned before, consult your doctor or healthcare professional before starting a TENS unit therapy program for proper guidance and to make sure that TENS therapy is right for you.

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  1. Mettler Sys*Stim 206 Neuromuscular Stimulator

    Mettler Sys*Stim 206 Neuromuscular Stimulator

    SKU: A13777x

    $1,499.00

    The Mettler Sys*Stim 206 Neuromuscular Stimulator is an affordable, easy-to-use one-channel neuromuscular stimulator designed for combination therapy of TENS and muscle stimulation.

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  2. Prospera PL009 Pulse Massager Replacement Pads

    Prospera PL009 Pulse Massager Replacement Pads

    SKU: A17133

    $18.99

    The Prospera PL009 Pulse Massager Replacement Pads are specifically designed to work with the Prospera Electronic Pulse Massager TENS unit (sold separately). These replacement pads come equipped with the connecting wire and come four to a pack. Buy the Prospera PL009 Pulse Massager Replacement Pads today from ActiveForever!

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  3. Quadstar II - Multi Modality Sequential Stimulator
  4. TENS 7000 To Go Back Pain Relief System

    TENS 7000 To Go Back Pain Relief System

    SKU: A23839x

    Starting at: $49.99

    This TENS Unit Pain management offers the best pain relief for the back, foot, neck or anywhere that is causing discomfort.

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  5. WiTouch Wireless TENS OTC for Back Pain

    WiTouch Wireless TENS OTC for Back Pain

    SKU: A22836

    $94.99

    Hollywog WiTouch is the first wireless remote controlled pain relief device incorporating TENS technology to specifically target lower back pain.

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  6. Mettler Digital 212 TEN Unit

    Mettler Digital 212 TEN Unit

    SKU: A13780

    $70.99

    The Mettler Digital 212 TEN Unit is an easy to use two-channel tens unit. Unlike traditional TENS units, the Mettler 212 features a digital display that shows all treatment parameters while the unit is in use. Additional features include the continuous, modulated and burst modes as well as a timer that may be set for 15, 30 and 60 minutes as well as continuous stimulation. The pulse frequency and width of the Digital 212 may be set independently and the unit comes with a carrying case and all supplies necessary for therapy. Buy the Mettler Digital 212 TEN Unit today from ActiveForever!

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  7. AccuRelief Dual Channel TENS

    AccuRelief Dual Channel TENS

    SKU: A25995

    $38.99

    The AccuRelief Dual Channel TENS is personal prescription-strength pain relief system that can be used for a wide variety of join aches and muscle pains. Dual channel functionality means that you can use two or four electrode pads at the same time. The lead wires insert into Channel 1 and 2 and each wire connects to two 2" x 2" electrodes. The intensity of each pair of electrodes can be adjusted independently and it is not necessary to have both channels running (you can use just one wire with two electrodes). Ideal for those suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, and muscle and joint pain, this TENS unit can be used at home, the office, or while traveling.

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  8. AccuRelief Mini Tens

    AccuRelief Mini Tens

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    The AccuRelief Mini TENS is a tiny, compact electrical TENS unit that offers powerful targeted, and effective pain relief. Do not be fooled by its size.

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  9. AccuRelief Remote Wireless TENS

    AccuRelief Remote Wireless TENS

    SKU: A25996

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    The AccuRelief Wireless Remote Control TENS offers pain relief at the touch of a button anywhere, anytime. The best feature about this innovative system is that there are no messy wires to deal with. This wireless compact electrical TENS unit delivers powerful pain relief just where you need it with the convenience of a remote control. Athletes suffering from muscle and joint pain, or anyone who has fibromyalgia and arthritis will benefit greatly from this lightweight and portable unit. 

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  10. AccuRelief TENS Single Channel

    AccuRelief TENS Single Channel

    SKU: A25994

    $33.99

    The AccuRelief TENS Single Channel unit is a personal and portable pain relief device that offers prescription-strength relief while at home, work, or traveling. TENS uses tiny electrical impulses sent through the skin to the nerves to modify pain perception through two 2" x 2" electrode pads. Perfect for those with muscle and joint pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, the six pre-set body programs are tailored for specific pain areas such as the neck, back, elbows, wrist, knees, and ankles. 

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  11. GV 350 Galvanic High-Volt Pulsed Stimulator
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