Shoulder Massage

10 Best TENS Unit Reviews

Roots of Being is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Whether you are struggling with a frozen shoulder, back pain, a rotator cuff injury, muscle knots, foot pain, tense muscles, etc, a TENS unit can help you relax and alleviate pain. Also known as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy, this method of pain management is drug-free and FDA approved with no potential side effects.

You simply attach little pads to a unit that looks like a TV Remote with a bunch of headphone connections, and place the pads on your problem areas. The TENS unit will stimulate the nerves and provide quick pain relief. Cool!

In this article, we’ll review 10 of the best TENS units around. We also have a buyer’s guide that goes into all the details. We’ll start with the Best TENS Unit, the Belifu TENS/EMS Unit.


Best TENS Unit Comparison Table

Preview
Top Choice!
Belifu Dual Channel TENS EMS Unit 24 Modes Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief Therapy, Electronic...
Runner-Up
HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit EMS Muscle Stimulator 4 outputs 15 modes Handheld Electrotherapy...
AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator Machine with 20 Modes, 2" and 2"x4" TENS Unit...
Name
Belifu
Healthmate Forever
AUVON
Number of Pads
10
8
8
Rechargeable Battery
Price on Amazon
$35.99
$29.99
$35.99
Top Choice!
Preview
Belifu Dual Channel TENS EMS Unit 24 Modes Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief Therapy, Electronic...
Name
Belifu
Number of Pads
10
Rechargeable Battery
Price on Amazon
$35.99
View on Amazon
Runner-Up
Preview
HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit EMS Muscle Stimulator 4 outputs 15 modes Handheld Electrotherapy...
Name
Healthmate Forever
Number of Pads
8
Rechargeable Battery
Price on Amazon
$29.99
View on Amazon
Preview
AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator Machine with 20 Modes, 2" and 2"x4" TENS Unit...
Name
AUVON
Number of Pads
8
Rechargeable Battery
Price on Amazon
$35.99
View on Amazon

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Our Top Pick: Belifu Dual Channel TENS and EMS Unit

Belifu Dual Channel TENS and EMS Unit

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit weight: 12ounces
  • FDA approved
  • Ten pads of different sizes
  • Twenty four pre-programmed massage modes
  • Twenty intensity levels
  • Time control options
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium battery
  • Portable
  • Dust-proof storage bag included

The Details

Belifu Dual Channel TENS/EMS Unit

Belifu Dual Channel TENS and EMS unit is a powerful, multifunctional TENS massager. The TENS features provide a perfect drug-free pain management solution while EMS properties can help strengthen muscles over time. This unit is ideal for many types of pain, as it offers human-stimulated massage for quick and effective pain relief.

The massage options on the Belifu mimic sensations you get on the massage bed, including tuina, tapping, cupping, acupuncture, and scarping. Furthermore, the different shapes and sizes of the pads allow the users to cover the various body areas easily and effectively.

The Belifu package comes with the Belifu Dual Channel TENS/EMS unit, two large-sized pads, eight medium-sized pads, three pieces of electric wire, one USB cable, a convenient carry bag, and a user manual.

The unit is pocket-sized and features a rechargeable battery, which makes it the perfect on-the-go solution for pain management. Rechargeable batteries are so much more convenient than having to deal with replacing batteries.

Belifu Modes

The user interface on the Belifu is well-regarded by reviewers. The cursor buttons on the face allow users to switch between modes. The round button in the center controls the frequency. A/B intensity can be altered by pressing the +/- buttons.

Users can also set the timer for the session, anywhere from ten to sixty minutes. Keep in mind that while the maximum time for a session is sixty minutes, you can reset the timer at the end of a session if needed. Just be careful not to overuse your TENS unit.

The battery level is also indicated on the device to ensure your sessions are never interrupted due to dead batteries.

The Belifu TENS/EMS device is the best TENS unit available.

Belifu Dual Channel TENS EMS Unit 24 Modes Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief Therapy, Electronic...
  • Multi-functional Tens Massager with 24 Preprog...
  • Non-Invasive, Non-Drug Choice for Relieving Pa...
  • A/B Dual Channels Tens with 24 Modes, 20 Le...
  • Free Dust-Proof Drawstring Storage Bag, Reusable...
  • Built in Powerful Rechargeable Lithium Battery--...

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Our Runner-Up: Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS Unit

Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS Unit

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit weight: 13 ounces
  • FDA approved
  • Powerful muscle stimulator with twenty intensity levels
  • Two independent A/B channels
  • Frequency adjustment
  • Eight highly adhesive pads
  • TENS unit with four outputs
  • Animated backlit LCD display
  • Fifteen electrotherapy modes
  • Automatic timer

The Details

Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS/EMS Unit

Healthmate Forever YK15AB is a two-in-one device equipped with TENS and EMS features. The unit helps alleviate pain and strengthen muscles through involuntary muscle contraction.

The electrotherapy features block the pain receptors in the brain to provide drug-free temporary pain management. Additionally, the EMS features strengthen affected muscles to provide a more permanent solution.

The unit combines the centuries-old, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) remedies and modern technologies to provide effective pain relief and a relaxing massage. The Healthmate imitates the sensation of TCM massage therapy.

The Healthmate Forever YK15AB comes with six therapeutic massage actions, including kneading, acupuncture, tapping, cupping, scraping, and random massage. It is ideal for those looking for an effective alternative for painkillers, and is effective in the shoulders and in many other areas of the body.

It has custom design modes that are tailored to the needs of specific body parts, including, shoulder, neck, back, elbow, hip, ankle, foot, knee, and wrist. This makes it your all-in-one pain management solution for everyday use.

Healthmate Forever YK15AB TENS Unit

For best results, place the pads at least three centimeters apart. Make sure you plug the wires into the pads before turning the unit on. Once it is switched on, you can select any mode and adjust the speed and intensity by pressing the +/- buttons. You can also alter the intensities for A/B channels.

Set the timer, sit back, and relax. When you’re done, make sure you turn the device off before removing the pads or unplugging the wires.

While the device is overall highly durable, you can ensure the longevity of the pads by placing them on the pad holder when not in use.

Furthermore, the compact size of the unit makes it travel-friendly. It allows you to enjoy TENS therapy at home, work, or during travels. The package includes a control unit, eight pads of regular size, one pad holder, four sets of lead wires, three AAA batteries, and a user manual.

The Healthmate Forever has tons of satisfied users all around the world who can vouch for its effectiveness and high quality!

The Healthmate Forever is our runner-up choice for the best TENS units. It works quite well, but we like the rechargeable batteries and extra pads that come on the Belifu.

Sale
HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit EMS Muscle Stimulator 4 outputs 15 modes Handheld Electrotherapy...
  • Buttons are clearly labelled with words like...
  • New Features: 15 modes, easy to select the right...
  • Effective - 9 Auto Stimulation Programs,...
  • If you have one of the following conditions,...
  • Some patients may experience skin irritation, burn...

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Budget: Naipo TENS and EMS Unit

No products found.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit weight: 1 pound
  • Six massage modes for pain
  • Twenty intensity levels
  • Ten massage pads
  • Independent control for A/B channels
  • FDA/FCC certifications
  • Adjustable timer and LCD screen
  • Battery: 3AAA batteries included
  • Safety locker
  • Washable gel pads

The Details

No products found.

The Naipo TENS/EMS Unit is an excellent choice for those on a budget. Naipo is a great brand (they were our top choice of neck and shoulder massagers) and this unit offers the most economical solution for shoulder pain management available.

With general wellbeing in mind, Naipo has introduced this relatively inexpensive TENS unit equipped with six massage modes – kneading, tapping, scraping, cupping, acupuncture, and random massage.

Furthermore, twenty intensity setting – separate for A and B channels – allows for a completely customized massage experience.

No products found.

Apart from that, you can use the timer feature to set the duration of a session anywhere from ten to sixty minutes. Safety Locker is another helpful feature that prevents accidental mode or intensity changes during the TENS session. The compact size of the unit makes it easy to carry Naipo TENS and EMS Unit. Furthermore, it is equipped with a handy back clip, which allows the users to carry on with their work or chores as they enjoy the therapeutic effects of TENS therapy.

Apart from shoulders, it also works well for other parts of the body, including the upper arm, elbow, lower back, hip, thigh, sciatic, knee, calf, ankle, and foot. The unit certainly offers value for money.

This is an excellent budget choice among the Best TENS Units.

No products found.


AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator Machine

AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator Machine

Key Points at a Glance

  • Twenty preset modes
  • Independent mode control for channel A and B
  • Reusable pads for different pad sizes
  • 1-year warranty

The Details

AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit

The size and shapes of the pads make the AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator Machine one of the best TENS units for the wrists and other parts of the body. It comes with twenty mode settings, which allows it to tackle different types of pain effectively. Like our other TENS units, the A and B channels are independent, which means they can work in different modes at the same time. This allows users to massage and enjoy TENS therapy in two different parts of the body simultaneously.

The best part about AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator Machine is its industry-leading, TENS electrodes pads. They are self-stick and reusable for up to 45 uses. The 2” x 2” pads are recommended for intense pain in compact areas, like shoulder knee, and ankles. The larger 2” x 4” pads work better to cover larger areas like back and thigh. Another good news is that these reusable pads do not require gel.

For all these reasons, this is an excellent TENS unit for people who want to manage pain in wrists as well as other areas in the body. Like our top choice, the AUVON features a rechargeable battery. Note that this listing does not state that the device is FDA cleared.

Sale
AUVON Dual Channel TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator Machine with 20 Modes, 2" and 2"x4" TENS Unit...
  • Pain Relief Machine. The rechargeable electric...
  • Up to 20 Modes. Pre-set modes offer you hammering,...
  • Independent Mode Control. You can set separate...
  • Industry-Leading TENS Pads. The included electrode...
  • What You Receive: 1 x Dual Channel TENS Machine, 4...

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


TENStim Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator

No products found.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit Weight: 1.76 ounces
  • FDA 510K cleared
  • TENS, EMS + body massage therapy
  • Includes Ear Clips for Auricular Therapy

The Details

No products found.

The TENStim Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator is a good-quality TENS/EMS unit that also offers Auricular Therapy (and a high price!). It comes with dual channels, which means that you can focus on two different parts of the body at the same time. It is powered by a high-grade lithium-ion battery which is rechargeable and has a long battery life.

Along with the unit and its basic accessories, the package also includes a bonus ear clip for auricular therapy. This alternative treatment

However, the unit lies on the expensive side of the price scale. It is covered under a two-year warranty, which is nice. But users have complaints about the quality of instructions and the quality of the materials used to build the unit.

Given the cost of this device, it’s probably best to look elsewhere unless you’re really intrigued by the Auricular Therapy features.

No products found.


TENS Unit Buyer’s Guide

Best TENS Unit

TENS Units use Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation to treat pain quickly and effectively. This painless electrotherapy involves attaching electrodes on the skin. These electrodes send out modified electrical pulses into the skin, which offer nerve stimulation and provide pain relief.

TENS machines can be set to different wavelength frequencies, allowing greater flexibility to users. You can adjust the treatment according to your needs for fast and effective results.  Experts recommend using a TENS unit regularly for the best results.

The placement of the TENS unit pad also plays a significant role in its performance. Depending on your pain relief needs, you’ll place the pads in different locations and configurations. For instance, if you have all-around shoulder pain, you’ll likely place two TENS unit pads on the shoulder. Depending on the unit you use, you’ll likely place one in the front and the other at the back of the shoulder to provide maximum relief. 

On the other hand, if the pain is centralized, affecting only one side of the shoulder, you can place all pads on the affected side.

For tight and tensed muscles, causing general soreness, it is best to place the pads or the nodes on the trapezius muscle – the area where most of the muscle stress is concentrated.

Who Needs a TENS Unit?

Everyone looking for a non-invasive, natural way of relieving pain should consider a TENS unit. It works by delivering low-intensity electrical impulses through the skin to reach the nerves and muscles. These electrical impulses flood the nervous system, diminishing is its ability to send pain signals to the brain and backbone. As a result, you will experience temporary pain-relief without any side effects.

Electrotherapy can also be employed to treat multiple other conditions. Here’s a list of some of the most common symptoms and conditions that TENS unit can be used to treat and alleviate:

  • Period pain
  • Joint pain
  • Postoperative pain
  • Stressed muscles
  • Labor pain
  • Arthritis
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Wrist Pain
  • Endometriosis
  • Diabetic neurotherapy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sports injury

TENS units are generally compact and portable, which makes them the perfect option for those looking for on-the-go pain management.

Who Should Avoid Using a TENS Unit?

For safe and convenient usage and to avoid any potential injury, it is essential to know when it’s not a good idea to use a TENS unit for treating pain in shoulders or any other part of the body. Here’s a list of people who should avoid using TENS unit:

  • Pregnant women should avoid using a TENS unit in pelvic and abdominal areas.
  • People with epilepsy should avoid using a TENS unit in the head or neck areas as it can induce a seizure.
  • People with heart problems should avoid a TENS unit and look for alternative pain management options.
  • People with a pacemaker or any other metallic implant in the body should avoid using a TENS unit.
  • People allergic to adhesive electrode pads should switch to hypoallergenic pads for safe use.

What Is EMS?

Sme TENS Units also provide Electronic Muscle Stimulation, or EMS. This treatment stimulates the muscles to grow, as if they are being worked out. EMS typically works in concert with TENS to strengthen muscles over the longer term. The goal of this treatment is to eliminate pain by strengthening the muscle to the point where you no longer feel pain.

Important Features to Consider

There are multiple important features to consider when it comes to buying the best TENS unit. Let’s take a look at some of the most important features that you should check before purchasing a TENS unit.

Modes

Good-quality TENS units come with different kinds of massage modes. They generally include modes like kneading, acupuncture, cupping, rubbing, shiatsu, tuina, tapping, scraping, etc. It is important to understand that no single mode will work well for everyone. So, you may have to switch between different modes before finding the one that helps you alleviate your pain quickly and effectively.

This makes it important to check the modes offered by the TENS units. A lot of cheap units that are generally available in pharmacies offer one or two modes. However, it is advisable to opt for TENS units with a greater number of modes to make sure your unit is effective.

Battery Life

Generally, an electrotherapy session can be as short as ten minutes or it can go on for as long as an hour. However, the length of a session should depend on your requirement – not battery life. Therefore, it is important to opt for TENS units that offer good battery life so that you can use your unit for a long time without worrying about running out of battery.

Some units are powered by rechargeable batteries, while others are powered with AAA Batteries. In our eyes, the rechargeable battery units are much better.

Type and Quality of Electrode Pads

There are different types of electrode pads. Some are self-adhesive and reusable while others may need to be replaced more often. Furthermore, some electrodes require gel while others can work just as well without it.

The shape and size of the electrode pad also come into play when you are trying to treat different kinds of pain.

For instance, if you want to cover a compact area for intense pain, it is better to use smaller pads while bigger pads are a better option for larger areas like the back.

FDA Clearance

To make sure that the TENS unit is safe for use and is of good quality. It is advisable to check the FDA clearance. Any unit that is approved by the FDA is likely to be highly effective. Virtually all the devices on this list are FDA Cleared.

Dual-Channel

Dual channels allow you to treat two parts of the body at the same time. It is not only convenient but also less time-consuming. Therefore, if you are always on the go or want to treat multiple parts of the body, it is advisable to keep an eye out for this feature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is TENS unit a permanent solution for pain?

A TENS unit offers only a temporary relief from pain. However, some units help strengthen muscles with continuous use, which may result in a permanent solution over the long term.

Where should I put the electrode pads?

Proper placement of the electrode pads is crucial to obtain the best results from TENS therapy. Position the pads in a manner that allows the current to pass through the affected area. You can also read the manufacturer’s instructions to find more about the right placement.

What precautions should I take for using a TENS unit?

Before using a TENS unit, make sure that your skin is clean and free from dirt and oil. For safety reasons, it is important to plug the electrodes into the pads before switching on the unit. Similarly, make sure you turn the unit off before unplugging the electrodes.


Other Products We Looked At:

KEDSUM Rechargeable 16 Modes Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator

KEDSUM Rechargeable 16 Modes Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator

KEDSUM Rechargeable 16 Modes Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator comes with sixteen modes and twenty intensity levels. It offers a customized TENS experience to every user. The compact size means it’s quite portable, and perfect for quick and effective TENS sessions wherever you want. It also has an impressive battery life of around ten hours. The package includes an electric impulse massager, eight pads of varying shapes and sizes, an AC adapter, a USB wire, pad holder, and three sets of electrode wires.

While the unit generally received positive reviews, some users are concerned about the quality and durability of the unit. Users also have complaints about the complexity of the controls.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Dual output design
  • Sixteen modes and twenty intensity levels

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator

iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator

iReliev Muscle Stimulator combines the benefits of TENS and EMS. It features seven pain relief modes and fourteen modes. It also comes with a separate mode for arthritis and six muscle strengthening modes. Apart from the extensive list of modes, the unit also allows for 25 different intensity levels along with dual-channel features. You can also set the timer for the duration of the session.

While the unit works well, users have concerns about the design features. Furthermore, navigating through multiple settings and different modes can get cumbersome for some users. When you change the mode, the unit resets the level to zero, which makes it tiring to find the perfect settings.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Twenty modes
  • Twenty-five intensity levels
Sale
iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief & Arthritis & Muscle Strength...
iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief & Arthritis & Muscle Strength...
2 in 1: iReliev TENS + EMS Combination Unit Combines Two Therapies in 1 device.
−$55.04 $74.95

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Healthmate Forever TENS Pro

Healthmate Forever TENS Pro

Healthmate Forever TENS Pro comes with fifteen preprogrammed operating modes, including acupuncture, tuina, suction cups, foot modes, articulate mode, bodybuilding mode taps, shiatsu, pressure, back pain mode, tissue massage, and more.

The adjustable time feature allows the users to set the duration of the session anywhere between ten to eighty minutes. Apart from that, the unit features two independent output units with adjustable intensities. The backlit LCD makes it easier to select the mode of your choice.

However, there are some quality concerns associated with this TENS unit. Some users also complain about the durability of the unit. While the price of the unit is relatively higher than other products, some pieces fail to deliver the quality and convenient pain management that one would expect.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Dual valve
  • Fifteen modes and twenty intensity levels

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Ohuhu Rechargeable TENS Unit

Ohuhu Rechargeable TENS Unit

With sixteen preprogrammed modes and twenty different intensity levels, Ohuhu Rechargeable TENS Unit offers a great solution to manage pain. It is designed by professionals to utilize bio-electric technology to reach deeper veins and muscles.

Portable and compact in size, this TENS unit can be your go-to pain management system.

Some users have voiced serious concerns over the quality and durability. Manufacturer’s instructions are provided but some users still find it difficult to navigate the unit and find the settings of their choice.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit weight: 15.2 ounces
  • FDA cleared
  • Sixteen preprogrammed modes

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


FlexHeat Tens EMS Unit with Heat

FlexHeat Tens EMS Unit with Heat

FlexHeat Tens EMS Unit with Heat provides pain relief by combining the features of TENS and EMS with heat. It comes with three different settings – heat only, TENS+ EMS + Heat, and TENS and EMS. These modes allow for greater flexibility when it comes to using the unit. Furthermore, it features dual, independent channels, which means you can use it to treat two different parts of the body simultaneously.

It comes with twenty different intensity levels to provide comfortable and relaxing TENS, EMS, and heat experience.

Some users find that the battery life is not as long they’d like. Apart from that, the size of the electrode pads is too large to cover smaller areas and take care of severe pain. Some users also complain that the pads don’t stick well to the skin.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Unit weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Carrying pouch
  • Two electrode pads

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Conclusion

TENS therapy is an innovative way to tackle pain. It is a drug-free alternative for pain management that allows you to skip all the usual side effects associated with painkillers. However, it is important to choose the best TENS unit for shoulder pain for effective results. So, take your time to pick the right TENS unit, sit back and relax as this wonder machine takes care of your pain for you!

Last update on 2022-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API