Which is the Best TENS Unit?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/4/2012 9:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Forum,
I seem to have a pinched nerve in my lower back. The pain shoots down my left leg, and it is getting worse. I am thinking of trying one of these TENS things. There seem to be a number of them on the market; some quite reasonably priced. Should I try one of these, or go to my doctor to try to get one prescribed?
Thank you for your help!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 6/4/2012 10:51 PM (GMT -7)   
My acupuncturist uses one on me, and I love it! I'm looking to get my own as well. I don't know which one is best-talk to you doc- but I have heard that people often use them incorrectly. Make sure you have someone show you how to use it so you don't get hurt and get the maximum out of it. Let us know what you decide to get!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15152
   Posted 6/5/2012 7:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mike and welcome to the chronic pain forum. If you have health insurance generally the dr recommends PT fit you with one and do a trial with it. If the Tens Unit helps he can then recommend that your insurance purchase one for you. In addition you will need supplies for it-so its better to go this route and let your health insurance pay for it and the supplies. Like you said, there are so many different ones out there its hard to know buying one say off of Ebay to know if its a current model or not. A PT can show you where to place the electrodes and how to use the machine correctly.

Let us know what you decide. Take care....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 6/9/2012 1:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm on my second unit made by EMPI, and I swear by it!  It's the only brand recommended by my Pain Management Center.  I've used it for back pain and it works like a charm.  My unit was prescribed by my Pain Management doctor, so it's cost is covered by my insurance, which is a big plus.  My unit comes with a variety of electrodes and settings, and can be used on various parts of the body.  I will tell you this...on the days that I'm totally out of my pain meds, which happens every week, my TENS unit is the only thing that gets me thru the day.  There have been times that I probably would have considered checking out if I didn't have my TENS unit to provide me with pain relief...I value it that much!
Most often I use a butterfly electrode on my lower back and turn the intermittant setting up to full blast.  The "zapping" takes a little getting used to, but I wouldn't trade mine for the world.  The only reason this is my second unit is because I accidentally lost the first one on a trip, otherwise I'd still be using it.  Ebay is a great place to get cheap replacement electrode pads, which are considered a "consumable" item and pretty much interchangeable.  They usually only last 15-20 uses before they are shot.  My EMPI unit came with two sets of rechargeable batteries, and each set lasts several hours on a charge.  This is a feature you definitely want, or you'll be going thru a boatload of batteries. 
Well, that's my recommendation!  Let us know what you do!
Leigh Ann cool
•On Disability for: Chronic Migraines, serious Back and Knee problems (will need surgery eventually), moderate Depression, Anxiety/Panic disorder, TMJ, stomach problems
•Divorced, 46, spawn-free


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 6/10/2012 9:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree EMPI and customer service is great. Never had any issues getting pads or with my system. One of my cables wore out this had a new set to me the next day.

Had another company for a year not worth even saying there name living h^%& just to get pads wanted the doctor to call every thing or have to send them a script from the doctor. Needless to say it was crazy! Was like pulling teeth your self!

EMPI ***** Stars :)

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/26/2014 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mike!

Can you tell me what company you get your tens EMPI tens unit and supplies from? I would like to check to see if they are in my insurance's network.

Thank you,

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15152
   Posted 10/27/2014 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Angela & welcome to the forum. Just to let you know this is an older thread & we have not heard from Mike in over 2 years.

You may want to contact your insurance company directly & they can tell you what brand of Tens Units they will pay for. In most instances before an insurance company will pay for a unit, you have to do a trial with one to see if it is going to work for you or not. My units were all prescribed by my physical therapist who tried me with the unit. Then after a couple of months of the insurance paying for the rental it was recommended that they purchase a unit for me. The insurance purchased the unit & paid for my supplies for it.

We request all new members to write a separate intro post so that everyone will see it & be able to say hello & welcome aboard. To start a new post look to the left & click on Post New Topic, type in a heading & then start typing. Posting on an older thread such as this one, not many people will see your post.

I will lock this thread to keep others from posting on it, as we like to keep the older threads off the main page. Thanks.
Moderator Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums
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