The Best TENS Unit for Back Pain

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Buying Guide for

Best TENS Unit for Back Pain

Using a TENS unit for back pain is a device you can use if you want alternative back pain treatments. Millions of people deal with back pain. It is one of the leading reasons why people take time off work and see a doctor. There are many causes of back pain. These include:

Treating Back Pain

back pain

Everyone experiences back pain in different ways because it is a complex condition. Some people may only experience mild irritation, yet they can handle day-to-day activities without any problems. Other people may experience back pain that is so debilitating that it is difficult or impossible to perform regular daily activities.

Treatment options will vary depending on the severity of your back pain. Over-the-counter medications and the use of heat pads are common treatments for back pain. Doctors recommend continuing to perform light daily activities and exercises that do not increase the pain. Doctors do not recommend bed rest because it can increase pain and discomfort.

In many cases, back pain can go away after several weeks or months. If your back pain does not go away, your doctor may increase your current treatments or recommend alternative treatments.

What is a TENS Unit?

One of the alternative treatments you can use for your back pain is a TENS unit. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, and you can purchase a TENS unit for back pain in-store or online. Hospitals and healthcare facilities use TENS units, and they are safe to use at home.

A TENS unit sends electrical currents through the skin to control nerve pain and provide temporary or permanent relief. In addition to back pain, a TENS unit can also provide relief for arthritis, tendonitis, recovery from surgery, headaches, and any other painful body part. Using electrical pulses to stimulate the nerves is considered a highly effective way to reduce, prevent, or eliminate pain.

TENS Unit for Back Pain Precautions

A TENS unit for back pain is safe to use in most cases, but you should take some precautions. If the electrical current is too intense, it can irritate or burn the skin. Be sure to check and adjust the electrical current so that this does not happen. You may react to the electrode pads if you suffer from skin allergies. People who should not use a TENS unit include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People with a heart condition or use a pacemaker
  • People who use devices such as defibrillators and infusion pumps

The Best TENS Unit for Back Pain

There are a variety of tens units that you can choose from that range in price from the low $20 range to several hundred dollars. You can choose one that provides basic back pain treatment or one that provides several types of several muscle treatments. Here are a few examples of tens units that represent different prices and functions.

The Compex Wireless USA 2.0 is a premium muscle stimulator that is at the top of the price range at $549. This device features multiple programs, which include one TENS unit, four strength programs, two muscle warm-up programs, and three muscle recovery programs. These functions are helpful if you can maintain an exercise program while dealing with back pain. The Compex also comes with wireless pods to give you maximum mobility.


  • Multiple functions
  • For people who can exercise while dealing with mild back pain


  • High price
  • Too many functions that you may not need
This device is the best TENS unit for back pain, and it can be used by anybody who has an active lifestyle while needing pain relief. The current price of the iReliev Wireless TENS Plus EMS Therapeutic Wearable System is $157.94. The iReliev has 14 programs, including seven pain relief programs, one arthritis program, and six muscle conditioning programs. This device also has a rechargeable battery with up to ten hours of battery life and medical-grade output strength.


  • Wireless 2-in-1 TENS and EMS system
  • Self-adhesive reusable electrodes


  • Electrodes may not stick after 30 or more uses
  • Users with no assistance may have trouble putting electrodes on their back
This TENS/EMS combo device has a current price tag of $86.99. It has 24 preset programs, five TENS modes, and two EMS modes. The size of the iStim makes it portable and appropriate for use in the office or while traveling. The pulse rate, width, intensity, and treatment time are all adjustable. In addition to back pain, you can use the iStim to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, neuropathy, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, and other ailments.


  • Multiple TENS modes
  • FDA over-the-counter approved


  • Not wireless
The TENS 7000 Digital TENS Unit is one of the lowest-priced TENS units you will find. It has a current price of $28.99, yet it will provide you with prescription-strength pain relief. The TENS 7000 has all the accessories you need and can be used to treat pain in different parts of your body, including your legs, shoulders, feet, and elbows.


  • Affordable price
  • Powerful and easy-to-use


  • Questionable quality based on user reviews
The NURSAL muscle stimulator device is selling at a current price of $23.99. It offers professional pain relief with 24 pre-programmed massage modes and 20 intensity levels to help relax stiff muscles. Some of these modes include kneading, acupuncture, beat, and cupping. This device comes with 14 TENS reusable adhesive electrode pads that come in three sizes for precise electrical stimulation.


  • Affordable price
  • Easy-to-use
  • Small, portable package


  • It is not wireless
These are just a few of the numerous TENS units that are available for purchase online or in-store. It can be challenging to choose the best TENS unit for back pain. Know what you need and know how much you are willing to spend before purchasing the best TENS unit for back pain.

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