I’ve shared a few times here about how TENS has helped me through many chronic pain issues. I was first introduced to TENS through physical therapy for tennis elbow back in 2007. I can’t recall if that was when I received my first home unit as well. Back then they were expensive and I was lucky that my insurance paid for me to have a home unit. These days they are much more affordable thanks to companies like TechCare.
TENS units work for pain by interrupting the pain signals at the nerves. You place the electrode pads on certain locations (usually near the site of the pain) and the unit sends small electric pulses through the pads into the nerves, eliminating or decreasing the sensation of the pain. It doesn’t “cure” the pain it only stops the signal.
I received the TechCare TENS SE model which arrived in a very nice box an included 2 sets of electrode pads, 4 output cables (2 2-in-1 cables, and 2 4-in-1 cables), a USB cable, wall charger, plastic pad/cable holder, manual, and a function point schematic.
This is a big improvement over that first TENS unit that I purchased a decade ago. Instead of dials and a single function, this TENS unit has 9 different functions. With the 4-in-1 cables you could actually have pads on up to 8 different sites on your body. Each output wire is controlled seperately so you can use only one side or both. If you use both you can have them set on different modes. So, you might have side A set to one mode affecting up to 4 different sites, while B is set to a different mode with a different intensity level on up to 4 different sites. The unit operates on a timer that can be increased in increments of 10 minutes, for up to 60 minutes.
Another big improvement over my decade old model. That old one required batteries that had to be replaced. That’s no longer an issue as this one recharges via the included USB cord. I can plug it into my computer to charge it or charge it via the included wall charger.
The Treatment Point Schematic is a pretty cool inclusion in this unit as well. It lays out some 94 different points and then lists out what using the TENs on those points can help. Those points cover everything from irregular menstruation to heel pain. Sometimes you don’t need or want to put the pads exactly on the site of the pain, but this guide helps you figure out where you need to put them based on where the pain is.
The 9 different modes also means that there’s a mode for just about everyone. Back when I first started having trouble with TMJ I found that I couldn’t handle having the TENS on my neck as it would cause me to tighten up, but I found that with the different modes and a low enough intensity I could find one that I could not only handle on my neck but that would actually help relieve some of the tension there. The A/B modes allowed me to use one setting on my neck to help it release while I used a different setting on my lower back which was also giving me problems.
I do wish that the instructions gave a little more info on the different modes and what they might be good for, and/or that the Treatment point guide gave suggestions on which mode to use. You pretty much just have to scroll through them using the buttons and find the ones that work best for you.
Overall, the TechCare SE massager is a great deal on Amazon Prime for just $32.99, it’s much more affordable than many other lower functioning TENs units on the market.