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13 Best TENS Units for Back Pain

by Jessica Hegg April 19, 2018 0 Comments

Golfer Back and shoulder pain during the tournament, muscle injury concept.

A TENS Unit for back pain stimulates the nerves with low-voltage electrical impulse to keep pain signals from reaching the brain. Safe and non-invasive, TENS units also promote the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mechanism for alleviating pain. Most TENS machines for back pain feature an LCD screen, multiple modes and levels of intensity, and a timer so you can pre-program the length of your session. Check out our roundup of the best TENS units for sciatica, hip pain, arthritis, and other conditions.

Best TENS Units for Back Pain - Top 13

Model Brand Lowest Price
1. XPD-12 Modes TENS Unit HiDow
BEST PRICE »
2. TENS Unit Vive
BEST PRICE »
3. FDA-Cleared TENS Unit HealthmateForever
BEST PRICE »
4. Digital TENS Unit Roscoe Medical
BEST PRICE »
5. Electronic TENS Unit Santamedical
BEST PRICE »
6. TENS Unit with 16 Modes NURSAL
BEST PRICE »
7. Electronic Pulse Massager Pure Enrichment
BEST PRICE »
8. TENS Unit with 8 Modes HealthmateForever
BEST PRICE »
9. TENS and EMS Combination Unit iReliev
BEST PRICE »
10. Rechargeable TENS Unit Ohuhu
BEST PRICE »
11. Mini Massager TENS Unit TechCare Massager
BEST PRICE »
12. Touch Screen TENS Unit MiroPure
BEST PRICE »
13. FDA-Cleared TENS Unit TEC.BEAN
BEST PRICE »

1. XPD-12 Modes TENS Unit by HiDow XPD-12 Modes TENS Unit by HiDow

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This is the first unit to combine TENS and EMS therapy to stimulate both nerves and muscles. The device features a backlit display, twelve modes, intensity controls, an adjustable timer, and runs on a rechargeable internal lithium battery. It comes with a set of large hand-shaped pads, and a set of extra-large square-shaped adhesive electrode pads.

Pros:
  • Combines TENS and EMS
  • Rechargeable lithium battery
  • Comes with a user manual
Cons:
  • Higher price point

2. TENS Unit by Vive TENS Unit by Vive

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With sixteen massage modes and adjustable intensity level, this TENS machine offers customizable pain relief. The backlit LCD screen means that you can easily use the device even in the dark. Plus, the rechargeable in-built lithium battery offers up to ten hours of use.

Pros:
  • Easy-to-read LCD display
  • Up to 10 hours of continuous use
  • Includes a manual with a position chart
Cons:
  • The pads could be more adhesive

3. FDA-Cleared TENS Unit by HealthmateForever FDA-Cleared TENS Unit by HealthmateForever

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This TENS unit alleviates back pain by blocking the pain receptors in the central nervous system. It also features a muscle stimulator to send electric pulses to the muscles. The device offers nine auto-stimulation programs, six massage settings, as well as adjustable speed and intensity. The eight self-adhesive pads are flexible enough to wrap around the joints such as knees and elbows.

Pros:
  • 9 auto-stimulation programs
  • Outputs for 4 electrode pads
  • Features a belt clip—highly portable
Cons:
  • Runs on AAA batteries

4. Digital TENS Unit by Roscoe Medical Digital TENS Unit by Roscoe Medical

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Designed for use with two electrode pads, this TENS unit for sciatica and other back conditions features five program modes, and an adjustable intensity level. It also has an adjustable timer that allows you to set the duration of the treatment between five and 60 minutes.

Pros:
  • Physician-grade technology
  • Therapeutic pain relief
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
Cons:
  • Not as durable as some other TENS units

5. Electronic TENS Unit by Santamedical Electronic TENS Unit by Santamedical

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This lightweight TENS unit has six program modes, three massage styles, and fully adjustable speed and intensity. Set the unit to ‘waist’ to treat back pain or use the ‘knead’ feature for a targeted massage. The device comes with four pads, and two channels, so you can either use it on one or two parts of the body at the same time.

Pros:
  • Light and portable
  • Dual channel system—can treat two areas at the same time
  • Recommended by doctors
Cons:
  • There could be more variety between the program modes

6. TENS Unit with 16 Modes by NURSAL TENS Unit with 16 Modes by NURSAL

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Ideal for those who suffer from back pain, sciatica, or hip pain, this TENS unit comes with sixteen massage modes and twenty levels of intensity. The timer allows users to set the treatment time at between ten and 60 minutes, or leave it on the default setting of 20 minutes. The unit comes with eight self-adhesive electrode pads of various sizes that do not require cream or gel to apply. The integrated lithium battery offers up to ten hours of use.

Pros:
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • 8 self-adhesive pads
  • USB port
Cons:
  • Instructions are not clear

7. Electronic Pulse Massager by Pure Enrichment Electronic Pulse Massager by Pure Enrichment

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With six simulation modes and three body therapy settings—massage, beat, and knead—this TENS machine for back and hip pain features a convenient LCD screen that displays information about your session, including time, treatment areas, pulse speed, and program settings.

Pros:
  • Informative LCD screen
  • FDA-approved
  • Targets sore muscles
Cons:
  • No in-built battery

8. TENS Unit with 8 Modes by HealthmateForever TENS Unit with 8 Modes by HealthmateForever

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This TENS device can be used to alleviate back pain and tone the gluteal muscles. It features eight modes, an adjustable timer, and twenty levels of intensity. The dual output design means that you can simultaneously use the unit on two different areas of the body. There is also a pause button to instantly stop the device in case of an emergency.

Pros:
  • Firms gluteal muscles
  • Internal lithium battery
  • Pause button instantly stops the device
Cons:
  • Some users have reported poor workmanship

9. TENS and EMS Combination Unit by iReliev TENS and EMS Combination Unit by iReliev

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This unit combines both TENS and EMS therapies to target the nerves and muscles. It comes with fourteen therapy modes, including seven TENS modes, one TENS mode that targets arthritis, and six EMS modes. Plus, it has 25 levels of intensity, an adjustable timer, two channels, and a lock function for extra safety.

Pros:
  • 25 levels of intensity
  • Combines nerve and muscle stimulation
  • A mode that targets arthritis
Cons:
  • Some users have reported electric shocks

10. Rechargeable TENS Unit by Ohuhu Rechargeable TENS Unit by Ohuhu

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Featuring an easy-to-read LCD display, this TENS unit has sixteen modes including acupuncture, rubbing, kneading, shiatsu, and vibration. It comes with six small and six large self-adhesive electrode pads, and an in-built lithium battery that can be recharged using a wall charger or a USB port. The pocket-sized device can even be used by two people simultaneously.

Pros:
  • 12 self-adhesive pads
  • Auto off function
  • Can be used by 2 people at the same time
Cons:
  • Comes without instructions

11. Mini Massager TENS Unit by TechCare Massager Mini Massager TENS Unit by TechCare Massager

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Ideal for drug-free pain management, this TENS unit for lower back pain combines TENS and EMS to deliver low-voltage pulse stimulation for the nerves and muscles. It comes with ten massage modes including deep tissue, foot cupping, and acupuncture, each with an adjustable level of intensity. Plus, the rechargeable lithium battery allows twenty hours of continuous use.

Pros:
  • Increases endorphin release to relieve pain
  • Rechargeable lithium battery—up to 20 hours of use
  • Adjustable timer
Cons:
  • Comes with no instructions

12. Touch Screen TENS Unit by MiroPure Touch Screen TENS Unit by MiroPure

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This TENS unit comes with eight self-adhesive electrode pads—two large pads, four medium pads, and two small pads—so you can easily use it on various parts of the body. The touch screen lets you choose between twelve different modes and twenty levels of intensity. Plus, the timer lets you set the therapy session at between ten and sixty minutes.

Pros:
  • Treat 6 different areas simultaneously
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Touch screen
Cons:
  • Some users have reported battery problems

13. FDA-Cleared TENS Unit by TEC.BEAN FDA-Cleared TENS Unit by TEC.BEAN

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This bestselling TENS unit for sciatica and other back conditions features sixteen pre-programmed modes and a built-in timer that can be adjusted to between ten and 60 minutes. Compact enough to fit in your pocket, it features a large LCD screen, an integrated rechargeable lithium battery, and eight self-adhesive pads of various sizes.

Pros:
  • Electrode pads only need to be washed every 30 uses
  • FDA-approved
  • 20 levels of intensity
Cons:
  • The instructions could be more clear

Tips for Dealing with Back Pain

Lower and upper back pain can be major trouble. While a TENS unit can go a long way to alleviate back discomfort, here are a number of other measures you can take to help you heal and get back to enjoying life.

  • Posture Correctors

Bad posture can cause shoulder and neck pain, spinal problems, and even migraines. Luckily, posture correctors can help. While the best posture corrector for you will depend on your body type and the cause of poor posture, most correctors work by pulling the shoulders back into their correct position. Some also feature a waistband to support the lower back.

Find the best posture correctors for rounded shoulders here.

  • Back Braces

Wearing a back brace alleviates pain and tension by keeping the spine in its proper position. Braces can also be used to prevent back injury during strenuous activities such as heavy lifting. Some back braces target specific conditions such as sciatica .

Tip:
Check out our list of the best back braces for women

  • Seat Cushions

Whether at the office or at home in from of the TV, we spend a lot of our time sitting down. Placing an ergonomically-designed seat cushion on a chair can alleviate back pain and promote general back health. Most seat cushions work by reducing pressure on the tailbone and improving posture.

Tip:
Learn about what you can do to protect your back while coughing or sneezing.

Find the Best TENS Unit for Back Pain

Electric pulse stimulation is a great way to alleviate back pain in the comfort of your own home, without the need to take potentially harmful medication. Simply place the self-adhesive electrode pads at the site of the pain, select the mode and intensity of the treatment, and let the electrical pulses activate your body’s natural pain blockers. Take a look at our list of the best TENS units for back discomfort and get back to enjoying a pain-free life.

Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager at ViveHealth.com. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle. Through her writing she works to share valuable information aimed at overcoming obstacles and improving the quality of life for others.



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