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Portable TENS Machine

Best Portable TENS Machine for Massage and Pain Relief

Best Portable TENS Machinesthe portable TENS machine is a  small hand-held unit which use gentle electrical pulses to tense and relax muscles.

This is a process sometimes known as electrotherapy. The TENS acronym stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

It is also not uncommon to see them referred to as EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) units, 10s units or even tenz machines .

TENS units usually have a small handheld control with several wires and pads. The pads go on your skin on the areas where you experience pain and tension, and the wires conduct the electric shocks to the pads, which then pass into your muscles. These machines are able to stimulate the actions of massage therapists, without needing another person.

The electrical impulses also work to block the pain receptors in your body’s central nervous system, which is exactly what painkillers do. Fortunately, you can usually get a portable TENS machine for a couple hundred dollars or less, which will last you for a long time.

Portable TENS Machine 2017 for Pain Management, Back Pain, and Rehabilitation

This TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator is pretty versatile and would be great for both use at home and for traveling. It comes with one battery, which will last for about 48 hours of use. After that, you can either buy more batteries, or you can invest in a chargeable battery to save money in the long run.

This TENS machine has four wires to accommodate up to four electrode pads at a time. This unit can automatically record and time electrotherapy sessions for over 900 hours of use. It also comes with a carrying case so you can use it and take it wherever you may need it.

This machine has five different modes for you to choose from, including: burst, normal, modulation, strength duration 1, and strength duration 2. With all of those different options, this TENS machine is great for finding the best way to treat your chronic pain with electrotherapy.

HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS Unit

The HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit is super easy to use, no matter where you are feeling pain. It has buttons for different areas of the body, including the neck, shoulders, hips, knees, and many more. This feature makes it very easy to get the right electrotherapy for the specific area of the body, for a special, targeted session. In total, this TENS unit has 15 different modes and 20 different intensity levels so you can get a very customized relaxation.

This machine comes with four wires that can each hold two pads, for a total of eight pads at a time. The screen is a backlight LCD screen, which makes it easy for anyone to use, including the elderly. The unit will automatically shut off after 80 minutes, so you will not have to worry about accidentally leaving it on for hours and hours.

TruMedic TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager

The truMedic TENS Unit Electronic Pulse Massager is a simple yet advanced machine to easily work out the worst knots and chronic pain. It can hold up to four electrode pads at a time, so you can get the most out of your electrotherapy sessions at home. You get to choose from five automatic programs such as neck, shoulder, joint, sole, and hand-foot, and from three different settings: massage, beat, and knead.

The unit can treat pain in even more areas, such as the back, knees, and legs. This particular TENS unit comes with an extra set of electrode pads and extra batteries, as well as a free video series. The LCD screen is simple and makes it easy to see and adjust the intensity of the program you are using to one of ten different settings to treat every ache and pain from mild to moderate to strong.

HealthmateForever TENS Unit 6 Modes Best Back Neck Stress Neck Sciatic Pain Relief

This HealthmateForever TENS Unit with 6 Modes is designed to be convenient and effective. It has a single wire plug in, but it comes with a wire with four leads, so you can use four electrode pads at once while still dealing with minimal wires, which prevents tangling and makes it easier to use.

This TENS machine has six different modes, including Tuina, Acupuncture, Guasha, Cupping, Tapping, and Combination. The timer can be set to run anywhere between 10-60 minutes, so you can customize your experience depending on the time you have and the pain you are looking to get rid of.

This TENS machine also comes with a handy rechargeable lithium battery, so you do not have to worry about needing new, fresh batteries. The battery can run for up to ten hours in between charges, so you also will not have to worry about charging it often.

Lifetime Warranty, FDA Cleared HealthmateForever TENS Unit HandHeld Body Massager

The HealthmateForever TENS Unit HandHeld Body Massager is a nice little machine that you can take anywhere-it even fits in your pocket. It comes with a built in timer that has a default of 20 minutes, but can be adjusted from 10-60 minutes. The LCD screen allows you to easily see and adjust the session time, intensity, and mode, as well as keep an eye on the battery life.

This unit is easily rechargeable and it can use between four to eight electrode pads at a time. It comes with two double lead wires and two wires with four leads each.

This HealthmateForever TENS unit has eight different modes, which include Tuina, Tapping, Cupping, Body Building, Acupuncture, Guasha, Weight Loss, and Combination. With all of these options, this TENS unit is sure to fit whatever your goals are, be it weight loss, body building, or pain relief.

iReliev Top-Best TENS Massager Unit

The iReliev Top-Best TENS Massager Unit includes a dual channel feature with two separate electrode wire plug ins. This means that you can choose to use two smaller electrode pads for smaller areas such as hands, feet, ankles, and wrists, or you can use four larger pads to cover and work larger areas such as shoulders and the back.

The unit is designed to be super portable, so you really can take and use it just about anywhere. The machine offers eight pre-set programs with 25 different levels of intensity to fit your needs. The timer can be adjusted from 5-60 minutes to customize your electrotherapy session.

This TENS massager unit has a LCD screen that shows the battery life, mode, and intensity so you can easily see and make any adjustments as needed. There is a back wrap accessory that you can purchase separately to use with this TENS unit as well.

AccuRelief Dual Channel TENS Electrotherapy Pain Relief System

The AccuRelief Dual Channel TENS Electrotherapy Pain Relief System is FDA approved, so you do not even need a prescription to be able to use it. The unit has six pre-programmed modes and 25 levels of intensity, so you can customize your treatment session to fit your needs.

This TENS unit has a timer for 30 minutes and will automatically turn off after 30 minutes. This AccuRelief unit runs on AAA batteries, and it comes with three AAA batteries to start you off. The remote has a dual channel design, and it comes with two double lead wires.

With this TENS unit, you can use up to four electrode pads at a time, so you can use it to treat pain in areas as small as your hands and wrists, or as large as your shoulders and back. The remote is simple and easy to use and to adjust the intensity and program modes.

Zewa Spabuddy Sport TENS Pain Therapy

The Zewa Spabuddy Sport TENS Pain Therapy massage unit is great for getting quick pain relief without taking painkillers. This unit comes with eight pre-programmed modes that allow you to customize your sessions each time. The dual channel allows you to plug in two lead wires at a time.

It comes with two double lead wires so you can use four electrode pads at once; otherwise if you purchase two wires with four leads each, you can get eight pads going all at the same time.

This TENS unit includes 30 intensity levels to fit everyone. The built in timer ranges from 5-95 minutes and also has a continuous timer setting. This Zewa Spabuddy TENS unit is great for use after workouts and sports to relax muscles.  It is also ideal for treating chronic pain and tension that occurs from everyday activities as well. And the best part is that you do not need a prescription to get this unit.

PurePulse Duo EMS & TENS Combo Device

The PurePulse Duo EMS & TENS Combo Device combines electrical muscle stimulation and nerve stimulation all into one device to best treat chronic muscle pain, post-workout soreness, and joint stiffness. The adjustable timer can be set between 5-60 minutes, and it will automatically shut off after 60 minutes to help save the battery life.

This combo device also has a dual channel feature, so you can focus on two areas at the same time, or even use two different intensities simultaneously. It has eight TENS programs, six EMS programs, and 25 levels of intensity.

This unit also comes with a seven part video series by a professional physical therapist to educate users on the correct ways to use the device and the best ways to treat their pain. The super compact design of this TENS unit allows you to easily take it and use it anywhere, such as at work, home, or while traveling.

truMedic TM-1000PRO Deluxe TENS Unit for Pain Relief

The truMedic TM-1000PRO Deluxe TENS Unit for Pain Relief is a great and efficient way to treat muscle soreness and pain. This unit can run for up to two hours at a time to deliver long lasting relief.

It has 20 different intensity levels to treat everything from mild to strong pain, soreness, and tension. Even though this TENS unit is very powerful, it is also small and compact, small enough to take with you while traveling or for use at work.

It has a dual channel, so you can plug in up to two lead wires at a time for even better results and to maximize the pain relief area without adding on extra time.

This remote features easy and simple control buttons to customize the electrotherapy by selecting the targeted area such as shoulder or back and selecting the type of therapy you want, such as massage, beat, or knead.

TENS Unit Features to Look Out For

Features vary between 10s machines, so it is important that you get a TENS unit with all of the features that you are looking for.

Massage Programs

Most TENS units will have a few different massage programs and settings so that you can customize your electrotherapy sessions exactly how you like it. Some days you may have more or less pain, or you may have different areas of your body that are aching, so having options allows you to get the best treatment for your body and muscles.

The more options you have, the more realistic the treatment session will be compared to a massage with a real massage therapist, such as how you can tell your therapist your problem areas and they focus on those targeted areas.

If you like having options, it can make the investment of buying an at-home TENS unit easier because you know that you will be able to get a lot of use out of it. If you do not care about having a ton of massage programs and settings, then you should go for a TENS unit that is simple.

Having more options than you want could get confusing and if you suffer from occasional pain, you might not need those extra settings and programs.


TENS units vary in price, so you will have to decide how much you are willing to spend on one. Keep in mind that that using a TENS unit at home as an alternative to going to a spa or therapist will save you money over time, so even though it may sound expensive, consider the money you will save by having one.

If you just want a cheap TENS unit for occasional use, you may find it worthwhile to go for a less expensive one. However, if you suffer from chronic pain and soreness often, you may find it worth the investment to get a more expensive unit.

Something you should also take into consideration when you are looking at price is how often you will be using it. If you only plan to use it occasionally, spending several hundred dollars might not make the expense worthwhile to you. However, if you suffer frequent pain and usually visit a massage therapist for relief, then spending more money at first will make more sense for you, as you will get a ton of use out of it.

Also keep in mind that your health insurance may be able to cover some if not all of the cost of a TENS unit, especially if you have been diagnosed with chronic pain and it affects your day to day life.

Dual Channel

Having a TENS unit with a dual channel feature can make a big difference in the results and effectiveness of the pain relief you may get. Units with dual channels are able to accommodate twice the number of electrode pads as units that only have one plug in.

Having more pads with your unit means that you have more options. You can get better results with more electrode pads, work on more areas at once, work on larger body areas, or even use two different intensities as once.

The Benefits of Using a Portable TENS Unit at Home

Using a portable TENS machine at home is extremely convenient for several reasons. First of all, you do not have to go anywhere. You do not need an appointment and you can still receive the benefits of a massage and electrotherapy in the comfort of your own home.

If you have a busy lifestyle, owning a personal TENS unit will be a better way for you to ease the aches in your body because you can get your treatment whenever you have time for it. You can even do other things like read, work, or travel while you get to experience the relaxing properties of electrotherapy.

Getting a TENS unit for use at home is also great because, once you purchase it, you can treat your pain whenever, wherever, and as often as you like without any additional costs.

The expense of driving to and from your therapist, paying for the service, and the time involved can add up quickly, and you can easily find yourself spending way more time and money to ease your pain than you would if you had a TENS unit.

Besides the conveniences of having a portable TENS machine unit at home, there are also physical benefits as well. Since it will be easier for you to relieve pain, your body will benefit even more from the sessions. Electrotherapy can help to relieve tension and aches in your muscles while blocking pain receptors. However, they can also alleviate stress and tension in your whole body because the better you feel physically, the happier you are.

Using a TENS unit can also help to improve blood flow, circulation, and blood pressure. Some TENS units imitate a variety of massage techniques such as cupping, so you can get the benefits of several different massage techniques. TENS units are a great alternative for people who normally take painkillers to try to relieve chronic pain. It will lower the amount of drugs you put into your system, so you are less likely to become dependent or immune.

One of the best things about TENS units is that everyone can benefit from having one. Even if you sit at a desk all day, you can still build up tension in your back, especially if your posture is not the best.

Athletes and body builders in particular are great candidates for using TENS units because they can help to reduce soreness and can help the muscles recover faster. Even the elderly can benefit from using TENS units. TENS units are also great for relieving joint stiffness, especially in the wrists, ankles, and knees, which are areas that begin to cause pain the older we get.

Some people should not use a TENS unit at home without first consulting with their doctor. People with medical conditions such as acute disease, tumors, infectious diseases, heart disease, fever, abnormal blood pressure, suffer from a loss of sensation, have an abnormal skin condition, women who are pregnant, or anyone who requires active supervision from a doctor should check with their physicians before using a TENS unit. Some units require a prescription in order to get them, so keep that in mind as well.

Whether you suffer from chronic pain mild or severe, are an athlete, or suffer from joint pain and stiffness, you can benefit from having a portable TENS machine and using it at home. TENS units are a great alternative way to relieve pain without the use of drugs. These units allow people to have the freedom to take control of their lives by actively managing and treating chronic pain themselves.

About Fiona Marsh