Confusion reigns supreme when one tries to find a tens unit on the internet. It’s so bewildering for the patient who generally has heard of the “pain machine” and is now searching trying to find out what it is and how to buy. Unfortunately there is very little good factual information on how to compare one tens unit to another and also if the company that is selling the unit is reliable.

To help clarify we’ve put in a short summary of help with the most used terms on the internet as of today, March 10, 2010, to help you understand what is being referenced and also is it factual or somewhat deceiving.

Below is a partial summary of the terms being used to find a “tens unit”, ie. pain machine, on the internet and what the patient/potential customer is looking for:

    • how to use a tens unit

– patient probably has unit but no way to understand how to use; try a video

    • empi tns unit

– a brand name

    • tens unit placement

– where do I put the electrodes?

    • tens unit reviews

– is one better than another?

    • tens unit for back pain

– again, what do I do for my back pain

    • muscle stimulator

– this is NOT a valid tens unit term – be wary of anyone saying their tens is a “muscle stimulator”. My advice, don’t buy.

    • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

– person seeking information on theory of how works

    • ultrasound

– confused between electrical and mechanical energy

    • ems unit

– this is a muscle stimulator, not what searching for

    • interferential unit

– much stronger and more effective than tens for pain, carryover pain relief

    • pens unit

– might be referring to a “percutaneous” (under the skin surgically placed electrodes)

    • tins unit

– nice try and simple misspelling

    • mens unit

– actually is a micro electronic nerve stimulator – jury out on efficacy for chronic pain on this

    • tns 3000

– name given to specific model of tens unit

    • tns 7000

– a specific model being referenced

    • intelect tens

– big clinical unit for hospitals, not patients, but uses interferential therapy, not tns

    • tns 2500

– specific model

    • tens 6000

– specific model

We have a long way to go in educating how tens units, interferential, electrotherapy is used to help chronic pain patients. With proper education the success rate will skyrocket.