Choosing the Right TENS Device

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.

TENS Units: An Introduction

TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, is a drug-free way to control pain. Here’s how it works. A TENS machine produces millions of tiny electrical impulses which:

  • Block pain messagesfrom being sent to your brain. When you place the reusable TENS pads on the source of your pain, the electrical impulses move fast, traveling to your brain and overriding the pain impulses, helping you feel less pain.
  • Increase endorphins, which are natural pain relievers. Endorphins make us feel good—these neurotransmitters, chemicals that pass signals from one neuron to the next, impact how our central nervous system works.
  • Improve blood circulation, a common cause of general aches and pains as well as some kinds of arthritis.

Choosing the Right TENS Device

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 Digital TENS Unit is a highly popular TENS unit found in therapists’ offices and clinics worldwide while the eze 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 Maimed TENS/EMS Combo 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.

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