If you are searching for a TENS unit then it is likely you will be baffled by the HUGE selection available on the market. As you can probably guess, some of these units are absolutely superb at what they do. The vast majority however leave something to be desired. On this page I want to talk to you a little bit about how you can choose the best TENS unit. Let’s take a little look, shall we?
First and foremost, if you are working with a physiotherapist and have used a TENS machine with them and found that it works then opt for the same model. There is no point going hunting for one of you already know that something is going to work with you. It seems like a lot of unnecessary effort. If you have not used one there, and they recommend one, then it is worth asking their advice with regards to suggestions. They will come in handy. After all, who is going to know better than an expert?
Perhaps one of the most important considerations that you will need to make when it comes to how to choose the best TENS unit is the part of your body that needs ‘treatment’. Whilst there are a number of TENS units out there which are suitable for ALL parts of the body, there are some units which are not. For example, if you need it for your ankle then you may have a bit of difficulty finding one that does the job well. You should always read through the reviews of the units to make sure that you end up with something that works PERFECTLY for your needs. If you can, try to get one of those ‘general use’ units (i.e. ones that can target multiple parts of your body at once). They tend to work better. It is always handy to have around too.
You may also want to think about how much control you want over the use of the TENS unit. For example; most units on the market will have settings already programmed into them. These settings will automatically calculate the amount of pulses, length of time, and other things related to a body part. This is all well and good. However, there are some people out there who may think that these settings are not powerful enough, or in cases of serious pain far too powerful. In these situations you are going to need a way to turn it down. Thankfully many of the top quality TENS units on the market allow you to do this. It is very rare to come across a cheaper unit that allows this level of control so I do suggest that you steer clear of the lower end of the market.
Don’t forget; you should always be paying attention to how the unit is actually powered. Many units on the market are battery powered. The cheaper ones do not have very good batteries. You will be lucky to get an hour out of them. You should ALWAYS look into TENS machine reviews to get an idea with regards to how long the battery is going to last. If you wish, you can also search for one which is not only powered by a battery but also by AC. This way you will be able to use it if the battery has gone. This is probably only going to be necessary if you intend to use it for long periods of time.
All TENS units on the market will need their pads replaced from time to time. It is important that you look into how easy it is to get hold of these pads. With the cheaper units on the market it is a nightmare to get hold of them. When you do find a stockiest you will often find that they are at inflated prices. So in the long run you may actually be paying more for the cheaper unit (don’t forget that the pads will often wear down far quicker!). You should always opt for the biggest brand names in the business. There is a reason why these companies have got where they are. It is because they actually work, and they work well.
If you are intending on wearing your tens machine ‘out and about’ then you are going to want to choose one which can be clipped to a belt (some are supplied with one). If you don’t care about that then you will most likely be able to save a little bit of money for a unit that you can just hold in your hand whilst using it. By all accounts however, these ‘handheld’ units tend to be slightly more difficult to maneuver about, so if you turn it on you are in for a long session of sitting down.
When it comes to price DO NOT purchase something simply because it is cheap. In fact, this is perhaps the worst thing you can do when it comes to buying a TENS unit. You may think that you get a good deal. Trust me though, with TENS units the phrase ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ has never been truer. Cheap units will last you a year or so at most before needing replacing. On top of this you have the cost of replacement pads (and they are going to be VERY difficult to track down with an unbranded unit). Basically; avoid them.
Finally, you should ALWAYS read through reviews when you are searching for a TENS unit. After all, the advice of people in the same situation as you will come in incredibly handy. Make sure you pay attention to both the positive and the negative reviews here.
I know, there is a LOT to think about here. However, I do urge you to think about all of it when buying a TENS unit. After all, a good one will last you a few years. A poor quality one will need to be replaced sooner as opposed to later.
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