This doesn’t just affect a certain age demographic either. All ages share a certain potential to develop injuries or conditions that would cause bodily pain.
Athletes have a high risk of developing joint pain due to the massive amounts of use and stress they exert on their joints while in training for their sport.
At the same time, office workers who live more sedentary lifestyles have high risks of developing issues in their back if they don’t choose to practice proper posture and exercise.
With TENs units, these unique tools were developed to bring pain relief to those suffering from chronic or acute pain and are easily accessible to purchase. Let’s look at what a TENs unit is before we start looking at specific models.
Pain Is the Name of the Game
TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, are simple devices with a power source (battery), electrodes, and some kind of connection between the electrodes and the battery – typically a wire.
The power source sends out an electrical signal that travels to the electrodes and crosses the boundary of your skin to interact with your actual nervous system.
Your nervous system is composed of two main functional parts, the central nervous system and the peripheral. The central nervous system is made up of the spinal cord and brain, and the peripheral nervous system is everything else!
All communication between yourself and the outside world and vice-versa occurs via this unique system that connects our brains to our bodies and helps us interpret our surroundings.
When we experience discomfort, certain neural receptors called nociceptors are activated.
These are specially developed neurons that are meant to tell the brain about discomfort happening in any given location. Pain itself, although it may seem counterintuitive, is a good signal to receive. It tells the brain something is wrong with the body, and its main objective is to bring awareness that homeostasis is being challenged and that you need to bring it back to balance.
TENS Unit Magic
When one of these pain pathways is activated, and a signal is sent to the brain, TENS sends out an electrical signal that actually acts in competition. It is thought that it acts as a sort of gate, closing off or overriding the signal that the brain would interpret as pain.
TENS typically appeals to the person looking for some kind of answer to more chronic pain relief; however, it can be used for any aches and pains associated with daily rhythms.
What Kind of TENS Unit is Right for You?
If you are in the market for a TENS unit, then chances are you are concerned with the obvious question of which one to pick from. So here are some questions that will help you narrow down your search:
- What kind of lifestyle do you live?
- When do you experience the most pain?
- What is your budget?
- How often do you plan on using it?
These four questions can help you narrow in on the perfect product for you. For those who live a busy, more active lifestyle, this means that maybe you’d prefer a smaller, more compact TENS unit that can easily fit in your travel luggage or handbag.
If you don’t plan to use it on the go, a larger unit is more up your alley.
When you experience your pain is also a big question to ask yourself. If you mostly notice it while at work, this could indicate the type of model you should be looking at. Consider models that utilize electrode pads you can apply and forget about instead of one that doesn’t use pads. This could be a selling point for you, depending on when you need the therapy.
Top 3 TENS Units for Shoulder Pain You Should Look At
Ever looked for a cookie recipe online? Chances are, it ended up being quite the ordeal as you realized that thousands of recipes were at your fingertips.
What’s more, they were all buried in articles that focused more on the autobiographical qualities of the author than the cookie recipe itself. The same feeling of being overwhelmed can happen when looking for a TENS unit. Because of this, we’ve narrowed down our top three picks for your consideration.
But why only three? Good question.
TENS units generally are all very similar. Thus, we have taken three model types that represent the larger population of TENS units on the market and highlighted their strengths and weaknesses.
Now that you have a foundational knowledge of how TENS machines are designed to interface with your body and help alleviate discomfort in your shoulders, this list will help you identify key elements of TENS units that are essential for your journey.
TruMedic TENS Electronic Pulse Unit
Let’s start with a great entry-level model on our list, the TruMedic TENS Electronic Pulse Unit. This model can be ordered on Amazon and has an impressive reputation. With over five thousand reviews that average 4.5 stars, the customer satisfaction for this unit is evident.
Not only that, but it is small, compact, and easy to assemble. It also has a very user-friendly interface that consists of a battery unit/control pad with large buttons that are clearly labeled and easy to understand.
Omega Professional NMS/EMS Combo Unit
On the other end of the spectrum, we have a medical-grade unit that pulls out all the bells and whistles. This guy will run you a little more, but with over four hundred 5 star reviews, it’s easy to see how this machine is for those looking to make a serious investment.
A big benefit of going this route is that while it may be more costly than other models, it comes with the ability to switch into EMS mode and TENS. The only drawback to this is that it isn’t as easily accessible as it does require a certain amount of assembly.
Hempvana Rocket Relief Pen
The last product we’ll look at is one of the more unique options on the market for TENS units and comes from the team at Hempvana. This TENS machine is an all-in-one, single-unit device that can easily fit inside most travel luggage of any kind. It’s one of the few devices on the market that doesn’t have wires or any kind of assembly required.
The Rocket Relief Pen also comes with replaceable head units as well as three different styles of use. You can use the flat headpiece for more generalized pain or switch over to the single-pointed or double-pointed headpieces for more precise pain locations.
The main advantage to this device is the sheer accessibility as you can throw it in almost any bag or compartment, and it has absolutely no wires to use.
Regardless of what unit you chose, knowing what you know now about how TENS impacts your life will help you in your journey. Different models represent different levels of accessibility both in use and finances, and as long as you know why you need one, you are well equipped to find the perfect model!