Alternative forms of pain management aren’t for everybody, but they are often excellent resources for people who cope with chronic pain. Electronic stimulation therapy in the form of TENS and EMS units is one of these methods for pain management, and while the two are quite similar, they each have their own specific uses.

About Electronic Stimulation Therapy

Electronic stimulation therapy-- often shortened to e-stim-- is a form of pain managment that uses electronic signals to relieve pain. TENS and EMS units are the most common kind of e-stim unit, and both work by sending light shocks to the user through conductive pads. Electrode are placed around an area doctors want to treat, and controlled shocks are sent from an external machine directly to the affected area with little to no interference.

What is a TENS Unit?

TENS units rely on light shocks to flood the nervous system with information, thus making it harder for pain signals to reach the brain. Additionally, these shocks may also help stimulate the user’s cells to produce endorphins, which can further relieve pain.


TENS therapy is mainly used to relieve pain, and can help reduce pain from conditions such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Sports injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Pain from labor
  • Period pains

EMS Units

EMS units work similarly to TENS units, but these devices use stronger shocks to directly stimulate the muscles. This can help build muscle mass over time, and may, in some cases, reduce pain as well.


EMS therapy is most often used for patients who are recovering from serious inuries and are bedridden. Since EMS units specialize in building muscle mass, they may also benefit athletes who are either recovering from an injury, or looking to continue building muscle.


Choosing the right device for your needs is crucial when investing in electronic stimulation therapy. As always, it is best to speak with your doctor about your personal needs before making a purchase, but at home, there are some things you can consider on your own. For example, are you looking for pain relief or muscle recovery? How frequently do you plan on using this device, and do you plan on using other methods of exercise or pain relief in tandem with your device? Where exactly is your pain, if you have any? Are you recovering from any surgeries or do you use internal electronic medical devices like a pacemaker or an insulin pump?


Regardless of your choice, you can browse affordable TENS units, EMS units, accessories, and other methods for pain management at Medical Supply Depot website.

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