TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a form of electrotherapy. Electrotherapy can be used to manage pain, increase joint mobility, repair tissue, reduce swelling, reduce muscle atrophy, and help treat incontinence. Typically TENS Units are used to provide pain relief, and reduce muscle atrophy. Some TENS units are specifically tailored towards pain management and while others are tailored towards muscle stimulation to reduce muscle atrophy, such machines are categorized as EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) and are often called Stimulation or just Stim units.
EMS units work by sending an electronic impulse to your muscles causing a contraction. In addition to reduced muscle atrophy, EMS units can be used for strength training for athletes, muscle rehabilitation, relaxing muscle spasms, increasing blood circulation, increasing range of motion, and immediate exercise recovery.
Physical therapists use TENS and EMS as a modality to treat back pain and with portable TENS units, but they can easily be used at home. Buying a TENS unit instead of going to your physical therapist can be a good move because you not only get to stop paying your therapist but you have access to a TENS machine anytime you start to experience pain.
A lot people rely on EMS and TENS for Physical Therapy to relieve pain for many chronic conditions such as back pain, neck pain, Arthritis, Tendinitis/Bursitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, spinal cord disorders, and even foot pain.
First medical products carries a wide variety of TENS and Stimulation units including brands such as NeuroTech, Amrex, BakWel, Mettler, Intelect, and Quattro.