The 26 Review

  • What is a TENS unit A TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a small electronic medical device most commonly used for pain management.
  • Why The electrical pulses stimulate the nerves, which can reduce pain signals to the brain providing temporary relief.
  • Recommended For Patients that have chronic or acute muscle pain, joint pain, nerve-related pain, or postoperative pain
  • Common Conditions Arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, diabetic neuropathy, and peripheral artery disease

Let’s take a closer look…

A TENS unit is a small electronic device commonly used for pain management. It delivers mild electrical impulses to specific areas of the body through electrodes placed on the skin. The TENS unit works by stimulating the nerves, which can help reduce pain signals to the brain and provide temporary pain relief. TENS units typically consist of a battery-powered control unit and electrode pads. The electrode pads are placed on or near the area experiencing pain, and when the TENS unit is activated, it sends electrical impulses through the skin to the underlying nerves. The intensity and frequency of the electrical impulses can be adjusted based on individual needs and comfort. The primary use of a TENS unit is to provide symptomatic relief for various types of acute and chronic pain, such as muscle pain, joint pain, nerve-related pain, or postoperative pain. It is often used as a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to pain medication. TENS therapy is generally considered safe, but it is important to follow the instructions provided by the healthcare professional or the device manufacturer to ensure proper and safe usage.


TENS units offer several benefits for individuals seeking pain relief or management. Here are some key benefits:

  • Easy and Convenient Use
  • Versatile Application
  • Adjunctive Therapy
  • Non-Invasive and Drug-Free Pain Relief
  • Adjustable Pain Relief
  • Potential Reduction in Pain Medication Dependency


There are different types of TENS units available on the market, each with its own features and functionalities. Here are some common types:

Standard TENS Units

These are the most basic and commonly used TENS units. They typically offer adjustable settings for intensity, frequency, and pulse width. Standard TENS units usually have a control unit with a screen or buttons for easy adjustments.

Dual Channel TENS Units

Dual channel TENS units have two independent channels, allowing for the simultaneous use of multiple electrode pads or leads. This feature is beneficial for targeting multiple areas or applying different intensity levels to separate regions of the body.

Wireless TENS Units

Wireless TENS units eliminate the need for wired connections between the control unit and the electrode pads. They use wireless technology, such as Bluetooth or radiofrequency, to transmit electrical impulses to the electrodes. This allows for greater freedom of movement and convenience during TENS therapy.

Wearable TENS Units

Wearable TENS units are designed to be worn directly on the body, providing continuous pain relief throughout the day. They may come in the form of wearable patches, belts, or sleeves that integrate the electrodes and control unit into a single device. Wearable TENS units offer discreet and convenient pain management.

Combination TENS/EMS Units

Combination TENS/EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) units combine the pain-relieving benefits of TENS therapy with the muscle-stimulating effects of EMS. These units offer different modes for pain relief and muscle stimulation, allowing users to switch between TENS and EMS functionalities as needed.

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