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A TENS device for your home – and what to know before buying one

What do I need a TENS device for and what is TENS anyway?

The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation - TENS for short - has established itself as an extremely effective method to treat acute as well as chronic pain. One advantage is that you can also do the electrical stimulation at home. All you need is the TENS device that suits your needs.

A TENS unit can help: For example, for back pain, tension headaches or joint pain.

To treat these complaints with TENS is something like a "smart all-purpose weapon" and especially a useful alternative to medication. But is a device for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation sufficient or do you also need parallel electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) for your application?

In our shop you will find single TENS as well as EMS devices as well as combination devices for both types of electrical stimulation. While TENS treats only pain, EMS aims at strengthening the muscles. You can find more about EMS in our EMS guide. Often EMS is used together with TENS to also eliminate the causes of the complaints. When buying, please consider whether a combination device (e.g.: the STIM PRO X9) is useful or a pure TENS device (e.g. the STIM PRO T-400), which only supports transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is sufficient.

The functionality of TENS at a glance

TENS electrostimulation works on the principle of the control barrier theory. In essence, this means that you feel pain - wherever you are - only if the corresponding stimuli are also transmitted to the brain.

This is how the stimulation current therapy works:

In a stimulation current therapy with a TENS device, the electrodes transmit electrical impulses to the painful body part. This blocks the nerve pathways and prevents the transmission of pain to the brain. The user feels nothing more than a pleasant, slight tingling sensation.

For this reason, especially people who often suffer from severe pain should think about a TENS pain therapy. The effect can be described "from the outside" approximately in such a way that pain can be noticeably relieved and life is perceived as much more pleasant. 

In addition, you automatically counteract unhealthy relieving postures that you have gotten used to through the pain and which can lead to further complaints. In addition, from the point of view of those affected, the less intense pain has a relieving and therefore psychological effect.

TENS pain therapy can help with the following types of pain:

  • Headache

Tension headache is one of the most common complaints people suffer from. The electrical impulses of a TENS stimulation current device can immediately relieve tension and relieve headache. Further information: TENS for headaches

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  • Joint pain

Painful joints have many causes. Whether you hurt yourself during sports or suffer from a chronic disease such as osteoarthritis is irrelevant for TENS. Here you can also help yourself with the device. More detailed information: TENS for knee joint pain, TENS for ankle pain and TENS for wrist pain

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  • Hand pain

Many people who work in a craft or office know it: Painful hands make work an ordeal. Arthrosis and inflammation in the hand and finger joints are often the cause. But TENS can help. Further information: TENS for hand pain

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  • Back, neck & shoulder pain

Finally put an end to it? With special electrodes from axion, stimulation current therapy can be used particularly easily for this type of pain and relieve the pain. More detailed information: TENS for back pain, TENS for occipital neck pain and TENS for shoulder pain

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  • Menstrual cramps

They are associated with cramping and stabbing pain in many women. With TENS the monthly suffering may soon no longer be so bad. Further information: TENS for menstrual pain

  • Calf cramps

As an athlete, you know it. If you put too much strain on your legs and calves, cramps are inevitable. But at least the pain can be avoided or alleviated with electro stimulation therapy. Further information: TENS for calf pain

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How long should a TENS device be used?

Start with a 30-minute therapy session. If necessary, repeat this for another 30 minutes up to three times a day. During each therapy session, evaluate your pain before and after the session on a scale of 1 (low) to 20 (high) to track the actual success of pain relief.

Can a TENS unit be overused?

Normally, people do not experience any side effects if the TENS therapy is carried out correctly. In some cases, however, side effects may occur if overuse is too frequent and/or the intensity is set too high. These can lead to the fact that the body part to be treated is associated with discomfort, as if one would train too intensively and thus get pain.

In order to avoid side effects, you should give your skin a break about every 20 minutes during longer applications.

Can you sleep while you perform the TENS therapy?

No. The TENS stimulation current therapy should only be carried out with full consciousness.

Advantages of a TENS therapy - compared to classical methods of pain treatment

Low risk of side effects

Is it really worthwhile to buy a TENS unit and use it instead of taking medications that the doctor may have previously recommended? Actually, yes. Because compared to taking pharmaceuticals, TENS therapy has a very low risk of side effects.

Quick effect

Most users report that they were able to counteract their pain quickly and noticeably.

Improvement of the quality of life

In addition, many users report that the quality of life has improved significantly in a short period of time. There are even studies on stress reduction when using a ten device.¹

Many different application and therapy options

With the different modes and applications, axion's TENS units are clearly recommended. They can be equipped with different electrodes or can be connected. Thus you can use your device on various parts of the body and treat different types of pain - as mentioned above.

Frequent reduction of medication possible

AND: If you cannot manage without medication on medical advice, you can still do the TENS therapy. Often the need for medication can be reduced noticeably. There is no risk when taking medication and using stimulation current at the same time. Nevertheless, always consult your doctor about how your complaints can be treated optimally.

TENS units - Our recommendations

You would like to start with a stimulation current therapy for the treatment of your pain, but you do not know yet which device suits you best? The products differ mainly in terms of their range of functions and program variety. And other factors play a role as well. In the following you will find the following recommendations:

1. TENS-EMS Combo Device STIM-PRO X9 - the bestseller for maximum functionality and comfort

The axion combination unit impresses with a uniquely wide range of functions and maximum ease of use, which pays off for both TENS and EMS. You can also be pampered by the stimulation current massages. The combination device provides a total of 37 programs for pain therapy, muscle stimulation, pelvic floor training and for stimulation current massages. The four channels allow you to use up to eight electrodes simultaneously.

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To the ENS/EMS Combo Device STIM-PRO X9

2. STIM-PRO T-400 - Easy to use TENS complete unit

The STIM-PRO T-400 is a digital TENS unit and the answer to the most common types of pain occurring in everyday life. The range of functions extends over twelve different and easy to use programs. These can provide rapid relief for a variety of acute and chronic complaints. The five manual modes open up possibilities for professionals and more specific, individual TENS applications. The device can use up to four electrodes simultaneously with two channels.

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To the STIM-PRO T-400

3. STIM-PRO COMFORT - Practical and inexpensive basic device for beginners

The STIM-PRO Comfort is recommended for beginners who are looking for an inexpensive device for the pain treatment of acute complaints. The device convinces with its simple operation, with which the twelve programs can be used without any complications. The two channels allow the simultaneous use of up to four electrodes.

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To the STIM-PRO COMFORT

You have questions about TENS therapy or our products? Our trained product advisors are always available by e-mail at service@axion.shop or by phone +49 7152 - 353 911 - 0.

Try out your new TENS device for the first time, then start with gentle electrical impulses. Directly too strong impulses can irritate the skin. But do not stay too long, but increase the intensity then quite quickly to the intended level. This is a pleasant way to get into the pain therapy with your TENS unit. In general, the stimulation current is neither painful nor unpleasant.

Remember to clean the electrodes before application and to attach them only to healthy skin areas. And talk to your attending physician in advance. In some cases, TENS therapy is not compatible with the patient's situation. For example, if he has a pacemaker or severe diseases such as cancer. The doctor will point this out to you.

Sources and scientific studies

¹Ortu, E., Pietropaoli, D., Mazzei, G., Cattaneo, R., Giannoni, M. & Monaco, A. (2015). TENS effects on salivary stress markers: A pilot study. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 28(1), 114–118. https://doi.org/10.1177/0394632015572072

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