What is the difference between estim and TENS unit?

Asked By: Gulnara Clages | Last Updated: 31st May, 2020
Category: healthy living physical therapy
4.2/5 (81 Views . 29 Votes)
The main difference
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machines stimulate the nerves exclusively for the purpose of relieving pain, whereas Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) machines are designed to stimulate the muscles for the purposes of strengthening and rehabilitating them.

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Considering this, what is better than a TENS unit?

Deciding between a TENS and EMS unit can be difficult. If you currently take medications for nerve pain, a TENS unit is also likely a better choice than an EMS unit. If you're currently taking medication to target muscle pain, stiffness or spasms, an EMS unit is likely a better choice than a TENS unit.

Additionally, what is the best TENS unit for home use? Our Top 10 TENS Units: Reviewed and Rated

  1. iReliev Wireless TENS + EMS Muscle Stimulator. Best overall TENS unit: Our top-rated pick.
  2. TechCare Plus 24.
  3. PowerDot 2.0 Duo Smart Muscle Stimulator.
  4. Auvon Dual Channel TENS Unit.
  5. iReliev Premium TENS + EMS Pain Relief Recovery.
  6. TENS 7000.
  7. HealthmateForever YK15AB8.
  8. Zewa SpaBuddy Sport.

Secondly, is interferential better than tens?

There was no statistically significant difference between the TENS and interferential current groups (P > 0.05); a difference was only found between these groups and the controls (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: There was no difference between TENS and interferential current for chronic low back pain treatment.

Can you build muscle with a TENS unit?

The answer is yes, you can use EMS to build muscle faster in some cases. However TENS is used only as a pain reliever and for therapeutic effects. So, while EMS can grow your muscles, TENS can only help ease pain after a workout.

35 Related Question Answers Found

Does a TENS unit increase blood flow?

An increase in skin temperature has also been associated with analgesia when TENS was used in patients who experienced chronic pain in the extremities. Therefore, it is suggested that TENS increases blood flow, thereby stimulating the healing of various types of wounds.

Can I use a TENS unit on my abs?

Electromyostimulation (EMS) helps world-class athletes enhance their sports performance and tone muscle faster. However, using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit for toning abs or other muscles won't work as it relieves pain by stimulating the nerves without building muscle.

Can a TENS machine help with anxiety?

Anxiety. Similar to depression, research that looks at the effects of TENS treatment on those suffering from anxiety is limited. However a project focussed on hyperalgesia and pain found that TENS did help to reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Does a TENS unit reduce inflammation?

There are many arthritic diseases, which cause non-inflammatory or inflammatory joint pain. TENS units, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, can help to control arthritis pain without the use of additional drugs as well as reduce the amount of medication and related side-effects.

Can you use TENS unit too much?


Other side effects from a TENS unit are often down to people not following the guidance and overusing the device or having the intensity set too high. Using the machine too much can make the area being treated sore. While using excessive intensity can make muscles twitch and result in unpleasant sensations.

Where do you put a TENS unit for lower back pain?

One on the right and left of the pain area on the lower back, and along the leg for sciatic pain will relieve more symptoms. If you have Coccygeal pain or pain higher up your back, place the electrodes on either side of the spine in your mid-back and along the spine in your lower back.

Where do I place tens pads for sciatica?

TENS unit electrode placement is critical when using TENS therapy to relieve sciatica pain. For best results position the electrodes on your lower back near the area of pain. Adjust the frequency as necessary and move the electrode pads around as necessary to achieve the best relief from your pain.

What are TENS units good for?

A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is a battery-operated device that some people use to treat pain. These electrical impulses flood the nervous system, reducing its ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain.

What are the types of tens?

TENS Modes
  • Traditional TENS (Hi TENS, Normal TENS)
  • Acupuncture TENS (Lo TENS, AcuTENS)
  • Brief Intense TENS.
  • Burst Mode TENS.
  • Modulation Mode TENS.

Can a TENS unit help get rid of cellulite?


Electric muscle stimulators such as TENS units have occasionally been used to treat cellulite. The stimulators use a direct current to break up scar tissue below the skin, as well as fat cells and fluid pockets. While diet and exercise can help reduce cellulite's appearance, they can never eliminate it completely.

How does IFT reduce pain?

Unlike TENS, which uses intermittent pulses for stimulating the surface nerves and blocking the pain signal, the IFT makes use of continuous stimulation administered deep in the affected tissue. The stimulation leads to blocking the pain signals and a decrease in inflammation as well as swelling.

What is IFC therapy?

Interferential current therapy is an effective therapy option used by many physiotherapy clinics to relieve pain and accelerate the self-healing process, getting your body back to a healthy, pain free state. The high frequency signals of an IFC penetrate through the skin into deeper lying muscle tissues.

What is IFT treatment?

The basic principle of Interferential Therapy (IFT) is to utilise the significant physiological effects of low frequency (<250pps) electrical stimulation of nerves without the associated painful and somewhat unpleasant side effects sometimes associated with low frequency stimulation.

What is NMES?

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation or NMES uses a device that sends electrical impulses to nerves. This input causes muscles to contract. It is often used to “re-train” or “re-educate” a muscle to function and to build strength after a surgery or period of disuse.

What are the side effects of electroTHERAPY?


Electrotherapy Side Effects
The most common side effect with electrotherapy is skin irritation or rash, caused by the adhesives in the electrodes or the tape holding the electrodes in place. Overusing electrotherapy may cause a burning feeling in the skin.

How does estim work?

E-stim uses electrical pulses to mimic the action of signals coming from neurons (cells in your nervous system). These mild electrical currents target either muscles or nerves. E-stim therapy for muscle recovery sends signals to targeted muscles to make them contract.

Is NMES the same as tens?

TENS and NMES target different nerve groups of the body. TENS is specifically targets the sensory nerves, which are responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. NMES targets the muscle itself, specifically through the motor nerves.