How Do I Choose the Right Tens Unit?
by Riley Remington
A frequently asked question here at Remington from both consumers and therapists is: “Your company has so many options for TENS or STIM units, which one is the best for me ? and what is the difference between yours and a DR. HO (or mainstream unit) “
The word TENS is not a new term for Remington Medical. We were instrumental over 30 years ago educating therapists and patients who have never used the technology, showing them the benefits of introducing TENS into their practice. As a pioneer in the sales, service, and education of TENS in Canada, world-class manufacturers looked to Remington Medical to distribute their units.
For over 22 years, Remington Medical partnered with Verity Medical to introduce their full line of stimulators into Canada.
Verity Medical represents one of our core values here – quality. One that not only surrounds innovation but also a product that is reliable, durable, patient-friendly, and affordable. What separates the Verity Medical units from the consumer level ‘DR. HO’ units out there are that these have been tested and adopted by clinicians and health professionals worldwide to ensure that there is a wide range of devices to supply the therapeutic benefits that different patient categories need.
The base unit: Neurotrac Verity Tens is typically all someone would need for pain relief for areas such as the lower back, hips, and legs. This TENS unit is extremely easy to use with 11 pre-set programs and 3 customizable programs making it a very practical unit for pain management at home.
If you want something a little more versatile for just a small increase in price, check out the Neurotrac MultiTens unit, allowing you to run 2 programs at once which allows you to run a combination of high and low-frequency pain relief treatments on two areas at the same time. For example, you can use channel 1 to release pain-relieving endorphins in the area where the pain occurs. At the same time, use channel 2 for triggering the pain gate mechanism, placing your electrodes on the meridian near the vertebra. Endorphins and gate mechanisms are targeted with different combinations of stimuli at the same time; this is where Neurotrac MultiTENS is very useful.
It also includes Multiphase custom programs. This is a great basic unit for a clinic as the MultiTENS allows for statistics to be backed up by an internal calendar system. When locked, the unit records up to 5 sessions daily for up to 60 days. With its easy to use menu system, it allows the therapist to review the statistics to ensure that the patient is using the unit correctly.
The MultiTENS also has NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation) protocols. This combines TENS and NMES in one unit. Using NMES is best used under the guidance of your health care professional.
One of the more unique units that we have is the Neurotrac REHAB. This is almost always used in a clinical setting or prescribed by therapists for the patient. This triggered stim comes with 10 preset STIM & 10 Neuromuscular Stimulation programs. The Trigger allows the therapists or patients to control when the Stimulation will be activated for example in NeuroRehabilitation during functional activities. This unit can be found in Pediatric to Geriatric facilities all over the world.
Take a look at the complete line of Verity Medical Stimulators.
Here are some general guidelines on using a basic TENS machine for at-home use for pain relief:
Guidelines on using a Tens Unit:
- Take note of exactly where your pain is located. Outline the most concise and tender area of the pain.
- Always use two pads (one channel) or four pads (two channels) at the same time depending upon the type of TENS unit that you have as it will not work with just one pad
- You can alter the flow of the electrical sensation if you change the distance between the electrode pads and/or the direction of the pads.
- The pads can be placed in one of three directions 1. vertical 2. horizontal 3. angulated.
- The pads should never touch and should be at least, 1 inch apart. As the distance between the two pads increases the effectiveness decreases.
- It is advisable not to place the pads directly over a joint such as the knee, elbow or ankle as its movement can alter the adherence of the pad.
Where to Place the Tens Unit Pads:
- When the pain extends across a significant distance of your body (e.g. low back to just above the back of the knee): Place one of the pads vertically at the top of the pain and the other pad vertically at the bottom of the pain. (see sciatic)
- When the pain is more focused over a smaller area (e.g. calf pain): Place pads in parallel on each side of the pain. (see calf)
- When the pain overlaps a joint (e.g. elbow pain): Place each pad on the muscle or soft tissue just above and below the joint in a horizontal and parallel direction. (see elbow)
- When the pain is wide (e.g. between your shoulders below the neck): Place the pads to the left and right side of your spine in a vertical direction. If pain extends out even further above or below the shoulder area, the pads can be angulated to encompass the region of discomfort.
We would love to hear from you! Get in contact with any questions and our dedicated team can help find the right TENs unit for you.