The 5 Most Effective TENS Machines for Sciatica and Fibromyalgia

The 5 Most Effective TENS Machines for Sciatica and Fibromyalgia

Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro TENS Machine

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Looking for the Most Effective TENS Machine for Sciatica 2018 and don’t want to read this whole guide? I will save you the trouble and make the decision easy for you! I highly recommend the Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro TENS Machine.

The Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro is the most used TENS machines by Physical Therapists to my knowledge. It is medically developed and has a quality that is hard to match, to be honest. The different intensities are accurate and do not skew, compared to some other TENS machines that you can use for fibromyalgia or sciatica. You can set 8 presets that are really good for different kinds of features, for example, you can program one for each of your most applied body parts.

The sticky electrode pads are easy to store and keep clean and comes in different shapes that you can combine throughout the 4 different pads.

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Comparison Chart

 
Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro TENS Machine
Gold TechCare Mini Massager TENS Machine
NURSAL Touch Screen TENS Machine
HealthmateForever YK15AB
iReliev TENS Unit
Price Range:
Quality:
Pros:Favored by healthcare professionalsRechargeable and smallBig touch-screen and A/B channelsEasiest to operateGot auto-lock and lifetime support
Cons:Pads lose “stickiness” fastLimited options A bit biggerIntensity might not be consistentIntensity might not be consistent
Bottom Line:An accurate and reliable productQuality although both cheap and basicGreat versatility and customizableVery powerful but a bit bigIt comes with a lot of different pads and options
Modes:8109158
Electrode Pads:42888
Clip Holder:YesNoYesYesYes
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Which TENS Machine Should you buy if you have Sciatica or Fibromyalgia?

[Product relevance last revised: 28 August 2018]

TENS Machines has truly hit the market of rehabilitation equipment with a storm. And no one can really complain. TENS stands for “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is claimed to be a non-invasive and drug-free method for pain relief. You can definitely use a TENS machine if you suffer from sciatica and because of the different types of syndrome experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers, a TENS machine can alleviate fibromyalgia pain to some degree.

A TENS machine produces low-voltage pulses that, when the electrode pads are applied to your skin, stimulates the nerve fibers to help block pain signals to your brain.

Nowadays, due to the advancement in technology and research, TENS machines can be both used and bought by pretty much everyone.

Most Effective TENS Machines to use for Sciatica and Fibromyalgia

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Portability 90%
Adjustability 74%
Comfort 86%

The Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro gives a medical-grade pain management and is the most used TENS machine that I have ever stumbled upon. I have never used this TENS machine at an intensity level of over 17-18 and this one is really good for those gentle pulsations at the beginning of every rehab.

And if you are not using it at the comfort of a Physical Therapist, it comes with a video series that demonstrates its different ways of treating pain in all of the areas of the body. Disclaimer: I have not seen these videos – but I bet they are of quality! Also comes with 2-year warranty. The Most Effective TENS machine for Sciatica alleviation

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Portability 64%
Adjustability 85%
Comfort 92%

This one is a really interesting option and probably the most effective budget TENS unit for sciatica, but should be bought with caution. It is the size of an iPod and as simple as it gets. It has 2 electrode patches that can be switched out.

It also has a rechargeable battery with a duration of about 10 hours. The screen is pretty small and the strength is not as high as some of the other TENS machines you could use for sciatica (In other words pretty weak, but as a person with sciatica or fibromyalgia, you will not need a stronger one).

It comes with a lifetime warranty and a 30 days’ money back guarantee. It is the most basic TENS unit for pain alliveation and is a TENS unit safe to use for nerve pain!

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NURSAL Touch Screen TENS Machine
Portability 67%
Adjustability 70%
Comfort 74%

The Nursal TENS Machine has, as the name suggests, a touchscreen. Although this might come as a good feature, that is not the reason it is the runner up in this Sciatica alleviation device review. The biggest feature is the lightweight and compact feel as well as the back clip that makes this one incredibly easy to use.

It shouldn’t be a hassle to use a TENS machine. The most stand-out feature is the A/B intensity adjustment, which means that you can have different intensities for the different electrode pads. The Touchscreen feature does make it an easy to navigate TENS machine for older people as it makes it a lot more user-friendly.

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What is a TENS machine?

TENS stands for “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is claimed to be a non-invasive and drug-free method for pain relief. In the early days of TENS machines, they were used by doctors and Physical Therapists to a very restricted extent.

Nowadays, due to the advancement in technology and research, TENS machines can be both used and bought by pretty much everyone.

A TENS machine produces low-voltage pulses that, when the electrode pads are applied to your skin, stimulates the nerve fibers to help block pain signals to your brain. On another more controversial note, some say that, due to the blocking of nerve signals, a TENS machine also causes one to increase natural endorphins also known as “The feel-good-chemical”.

Before we go any further, a disclaimer is in order.

Please consult with your physician before using a TENS machine for fibromyalgia or sciatica if you experience:

  • Any acute disease
  • Tumor
  • Pregnant
  • Heart disease
  • High fever
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Lack of skin sensation or abnormal skin condition
  • Any condition requiring the active supervision of a physician

Caution should also be used if:

  • Follow recent surgical procedures when muscle contraction may disrupt the healing process
  • You don’t yet know or are unsure of the cause of your pain
  • If you have epilepsy

Controversial Disclaimer:

  • Some patients may experience skin irritation, burn or hypersensitivity due to the electrical stimulation or electrical conductive medium. This irritation can usually be reduced by using an alternate conductive medium, or alternate electrode placement. Electrode placement and stimulation settings should be based on the guidance of the prescribing practitioner.
  • The device should be used only with the leads and electrodes recommended for use by the manufacturer

best tens machine for christmas gift present

How can a TENS Machine Help with Sciatica or Fibromyalgia?

Okay, just one last disclaimer. There is still a lot of controversy as regards to how TENS machines help with Sciatica or Fibromyalgia. As mentioned above, a big factor is, of course, that it is completely drug-free so if this is something that can either complement or completely overtake the use of medicine – already we have success! (People that have followed me and read my stuff for a while, I’m not keen on medical “pills” treatments).

Furthermore, there is the aspect of the previously mentioned “feel-good” endorphins that is (cit. fn) a result of both the chemical and the mind-body placebo effect.

Although there is also a place to mention the over-use of the TENS machine in regards to treating any chronic pain. It can’t be overdone as the side-effects will take the place of the benefits.

How long should you use your TENS machine if you have sciatica? One must not use it in spans of more than 30-minute sessions and not more than (I would say) 3-4 times a day. If used correctly, no side-effects can almost be excluded.

Also, a way to be sure to stay away from side effects is to not use the electrode pads in the same place each time of use.

As of the controversial part – I actually spent a lot of time studying this before writing this guide, so that no stone was left unturned. The first stone in this analogy is the consistency throughout research that the outcome is mostly positive.

The success rate varies from 70-80% but the positive effects decrease in the second stage treatments (usually after 2-3 months) to about 20-30%. My own take on this statistics is that the initial stage of treatment “opens the doors” to other types of active treatment, such as physical activities and prolonged stretching.

It will most probably also lead to a more socially active lifestyle, which in turn activates the mind-body connection that leads to a more symmetric alignment of the relationship between the mental and physical state.

Does a TENS Machine Hurt if you have Sciatica or Fibromyalgia?

A TENS machine can hurt. But so can a back massager and so can a hot stove. I do understand the caution in approaching such a device due to the electrode pads – they look pretty scary if you have not tried one before.

The matter of fact is that as long as you set the intensity on 1 and slowly increase it, you will be able to stop long before any pain will appear.

Also, as the electrode sends pulsation into the nerves, you can additionally feel this “sensational” pain that you can relate to a good back massage (or if you have tried acupuncture).

The initial settings for TENS unit therapy are best set by a professional, such as a physical therapist or physician. Before going home with a TENS unit, you should be sure to learn how to safely adjust the settings. This way you can try different amplitudes, pulse widths, and pulse rates to see what’s most effective.The Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro does come with an instructional video, which can be more than beneficial if you are unsure about the use of a TENS machine.

How High Intensity Should You Use?

Again, I have never used a TENS machine with more than 70% at its maximal intensity level (excluded from this statement are the weaker low-quality ones that are not as strong).

TENS machines are all easily adjusted to accord either you sciatica or fibromyalgia. The intensity of a TENS machine is calculated between amplitude, pulse with and pulse rate.

Amplitude is considered the “intensity” since it controls the electrical current and should be set pretty low to start off with.

The pulse width is the time of the effect of each electrical pulse. In other terms, it is the “duration” of the pulse – but this cannot be a correct medical term. Depending on you TENS machine it is usually measured from 10 to 1,000 microseconds.

The pulse rate is the number of pulses that occur every second. The frequency is always constant.

Although it can be a good thing to know what does settings indicate, you seldom have to adjust the metrics yourself, since the pre-adjusted settings do that for you.

So my recommendation for both sciatica and fibromyalgia is to use the most “conventional” setting since it gives you a high pulse rate, low amplitude and a short pulse width.

Although many TENS machines have the “acupuncture” settings, and it might sound tempting, the pulse rate is often way too slow compared to the high-intensity amplitude. I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t prefer it.

A lot of TENS machines likes to use the number of adjustment settings as a sales pitch, but it is often not the sheer number of settings that are important, it is the different settings intervals that are the most important factor to consider, and this is unfortunately hard to know before you have tried one.

Electrode Pads Placement for Sciatica and Fibromyalgia

I believe that this step of the process is pretty much trial and error. Different placements of TENS Machine electrode pads in relation to the nerves require a different adjustment of the intensity. I can give you 3 initial suggestions and you can move forward from these examples.

For Fibromyalgia
The placement is even more arbitrary and the electrodes should be placed wherever you think is most beneficial for you. Good pressure points can, for example, be the neck or the shoulders.

For Sciatica you can:

  • Attach the electrode pads on either each side of the lower back
  • Attach one electrode above the sciatic nerve and one on your thigh
  • Attach one on your hip and one on your thigh

Also, if you choose to buy one that can use more than 2 electrode pads at once, the options are even more vast. You can also use a TENS machine for a tennis elbow – meaning it is a very versatile thing to have!

Bonus tips for TENS machine use. Don’t tell the university – but it is pretty fun to use a TENS machine with a high-intensity setting on the forearm and try to have a beer-drinking contest.

If you send me an e-mail I just maybe will send you a video of it!

What are the best TENS units? This link sends you to a full TENS machine review with over 25 TENS machines reviewed.

Reviews of the Best TENS Machines for Chronic Pain

Portability 92%
Adjustability 87%
Comfort 86%

The Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro is the most used TENS machines by Physical Therapists to my knowledge. It is medically developed and has a quality that is hard to match, to be honest. It is a safe TENS machine to use for nerve pain for various reasons:

  • The different intensities are accurate and do not skew, compared to some other TENS machines.
  • You can set 8 presets that are really good for different kinds of features, for example, you can program one for each of your most applied body parts.
  • The sticky electrode pads are easy to store and keep clean and comes in different shapes that you can combine throughout the 4 different pads.

The FDA provided 2-year warranty is also something to consider as a pro as TENS machines are pretty new on the market and might still have some technical flaws.

One of the most effective sciatica devices on the market!

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  • Favored by healthcare professionals

  • 25 different therapeutic intensity levels

  • FDA Approved

  • Instruction Videos

  • Pads lose its “stickiness” fast

Portability 89%
Adjustability 75%
Comfort 83%

As budget and standard as it gets, but does the job for the person who maybe just want to see if TENS-machines is something that works for Sciatica pain or Fibromyalgia

  • Since it only has 2 electrode pads a targeted purpose as lower back pain is this TENS machines most fulfilling purpose.
  • It comes with a 30 days’ full money back guarantee, which further supports the argument to find out if a TENS machine is something that would work fibromyalgia pain alleviation.
  • Even though it has 10 preprogrammed settings, the settings does not “change” as much as one would expect.

Probably the best budget TENS machine for helping with sciatica pain, and that is why it made this list!

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  • Priceworthy

  • Rechargeable

  • Small and portable

  • Limited options

  • Lower Quality

NURSAL Touch Screen TENS Machine
Portability 89%
Adjustability 81%
Comfort 86%

The Nursal TENS machine brands itself with the advanced touchscreen design. While it is a good addition, the back-clip and portability option together with the A/B channel outputs make this as adjustable and customizable as there is.

  • It charges pretty much as a normal smartphone but has a way longer battery time.
  • 8 Standard Sticky Electrode Pads can be used at different kinds of intensities due to the A/B channel outputs.
  • The different kinds of settings make it so that you can switch them up to “trick” your muscles by changing the pulse rhythm.

It’s not hard to use a TENS unit for sciatica if you have a touchscreen like this one!

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  • Good for elders

  • Big touch-screen

  • A/B channels

  • A bit bigger

  • Not all might like the charger.

Portability 93%
Adjustability 71%
Comfort 91%

If i would to make a guide on the ”easiest TENS machines to use” (and maybe I will) the HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit would probably be my top choice pick.

  • Buttons are clearly labelled with words like “Neck”, “Shoulder”,”Back”, “Elbow”, “Hip”, “Ankle”,”Knee”, “Foot/Hand” or “Wrist”.”
  • The large LCD display shows you what you need for your targeted area, including the type of massage like acupuncture, tap, cubbing, or random. Those titles are of course arbitrary, since a TENS machines can’t possibly imitate the feeling of acupuncture.
  • The 4 outputs can output the same 20 levels of intensity, no matter which output you use, so you can combine them without dividing the strength throughout the different outputs.
  • It is easy to select the right button and together with a belt clip it makes for a very good TENS machines for on-the-go people.

Easy to use TENS Machine for chronic pain

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  • Good adjustability to intensity

  • Clearly displayed buttons

  • Easiest to operate

  • Intensity might not be consistent

  • Clip Belt can be a bit loose.

Portability 90%
Adjustability 74%
Comfort 86%

The iReliev ET-1313 TENS Bundle is designed with quality, durability, portability, and affordability in mind. iReliev also offers a lifetime of customer support for people who wish to either get tips on how to utilize the machine or have any questions regarding the operation.

  • This TENS machine comes with an auto-lock feature in case you use it in the pocket and don’t want to accidentally hit one of the settings. This can be good but since it comes with a belt clip holder, which shouldn’t be a problem.
  • The LCD display shows Program Mode P1-P8, Power Level, Battery Life, 5-60 Adjustable Timer, Intensity Output By Channel and the Auto-lock features.
  • It comes with 4 packs of electrode pads so that you will be sure to not run out of them anytime soon after the purchase.

If you’re wondering if a TENS machine can help with chronic pain alleviation, buying this TENS unit is your best bet since it has so many easy and light modes.

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  • Comes with extra electrode pads

  • Got auto-lock

  • Lifetime support

  • Adjustable timer

  • Intensity might not be consistent

User Impressions

Whoa, this one is hard. But the biggest complaint out there must be that the electrode pads “stickiness” wears off and that it causes them to buy new electrode pads when it is just the stickiness that is the issue.

Even considering all the warnings of the electrode pads ability to burn the skin, this is very rarely an occurrence in the different review forums.

The NURSAL Touch Screen TENS Machine has been both praised and criticized for its touchscreen. Some believe it is fantastic and some think the touch screen is too small. No one that bought this one seems to have a problem with non-sticky electrode pads though. Also, the NURSALS use of an innovative recharge-source might be fancied by all.

The Gold TechCare mini TENS Machine has had some complaint about the lack of putting the machine on “lock-mode” so sometimes the settings can be changed unintentionally when in laying in the pocket or what have you. Also, it is praised for the low price in comparison to the quality and the user interface.

The Healthmate forever TENS Machine machine has hardly any negative things said about it, except maybe that some experience that it falls easily out of the belt-clipper.

The Pure Enrichment PurePulse TENS Machine might have the most talked about drawback, but I haven’t experienced this at all so it is pretty weird, and this is the TENS machine I have used the most. It is regarding the lack of lasting-stickiness of the electrode pads.

iReliev TENS Machine’s only and biggest complaint is that there is a cap of 60 minutes, but this is, in my opinion, a good thing, you wouldn’t want to fall asleep with one or risk getting burned – and I believe that many of the TENS machines have this function? I’m confused.

Concluding this Sciatica and Fibromyalgia Alleviation Device Review

Actually, there is not a big difference between the different kinds of TENS machines. The biggest difference is usually the number of Electrode pads or the way to recharge it. There pretty much are 3 price classes, the cheap ones at around $20-30, the good quality ones at around $50-80 and the out-of-range ones that are solely used by professional practices.

Anyway, these are the suggestions and I truly hope this Chronic Pain alleviation device tool review helps you in your decisionmaking!

Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro TENS Machine

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What is the most effective TENS Machine for Chronic Pain 2018? I will save you the trouble and make the decision easy for you! I highly recommend the Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro TENS Machine.

The Pure Enrichment PurePulse Pro is the most used TENS machines by Physical Therapists to my knowledge. It is medically developed and has a quality that is hard to match, to be honest. The different intensities are accurate and do not skew, compared to some other TENS machines. You can set 8 presets that are really good for different kinds of features, for example, you can program one for each of your most applied body parts.

The sticky electrode pads are easy to store and keep clean and comes in different shapes that you can combine throughout the 4 different pads.

Check price on amazon
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2018-09-16T20:32:31+00:00 By |

About the Author:

MisterBack is a 26-year-old student that has a bachelors degree in Kinesiology, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and currently studying the Ph.D. Physical Therapy program. He has been providing information to people that have asked for it long before he started to write his own articles. As a strength and conditioning specialist, he has had the fortune of being in an environment of award-winning physical therapists and doctors, where he also had great access to a lot of rehabilitation product.

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