You bought a Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS) unit as a natural way to relieve pain. It has been making a difference but you may be wondering how you can make the experience better or even easier?
There are quite a few TENS unit accessories on the market today. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out which ones are worth getting. Let me share the 9 TENS machine accessories that you should consider.
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Do You Need TENS Unit accessories?
If you use your TENS machine frequently, it is probably worth investing in a few accessories. These products will help you get the most out of your TENS unit and could help save some money in the long run.
RELATED: Best TENS and EMS Combo Units
The 9 Best Tens Machine Accessories to Buy
With the growing popularity of TENS units, more and more accessories have been popping up on the market.
It’s important to think about how you use your TENS device as not all these items will be useful for you. For example, if you don’t use your TENS machine for back pain, a belt is probably not going to benefit you.
The right accessories can help you get more out of your therapy and even save money in some cases. Be sure to check that the product you choose will be compatible with the TENS unit that you have. Let’s examine some of the top TENS accessories available.
Conductive Products (Socks, Gloves, Sleeves)
Conductive products help distribute the low voltage electrical current from the TENS machine over a larger area evenly. Depending on your personal need, you can choose to use socks, gloves, or a sleeve. It will allow you to cover more surface area than a standard TENS pad and helps you be consistent in the area that you target.
If you have trouble finding the best spots for the TENS pads, one of these conductive products can be helpful. Additionally, they work well for areas where pads can work their way loose if you move a bit. Without the socks or gloves, toes and fingers are practically impossible to treat with normal electrodes.
Check out conductive socks here.
Check out conductive gloves here.
Check out conductive sleeves here.
TENS Massage Slippers
These are similar to acupressure sandals, but more powerful. You connect your TENS unit to the shoes and the metal parts that are built into the soles at acupressure points are stimulated. It’s an easy and effective way to administer TENS to your feet.
These Hi-Dow TENS Massage Slippers have an adjustable velcro strap and are large enough to fit most feet. It is compatible with HealthMateForever, TechCare, and several other TENS or EMS Units.
If you find it difficult to place electrodes on your own back, a TENS belt will make it easy. Just put it around your waist and connect it to your TENS machine. It has electrodes inside the belt.
The Techcare Massager Snap on Belt can help provide targeted pain relief for sore lower back muscles and even help burn fat in the belly area. It is compatible with most popular TENS units including TechCare Massager, iRest Massagers, and Unimed Massagers. It has two built-in silicon electrodes so you won’t need replacement pads. The belt is adjustable up to 34 inches, so one size will fit most.
If you are shopping for a gift, check out our suggestions for the best gifts for people with back pain.
TENS ear clip
The ears have many pressure points. With a TENS ear clip you can harness the power of reflexology and massage the ears. It can be especially helpful to those suffering from stress, tension headaches, or insomnia.
This TENS ear clip can also be used on your fingers. It has been redesigned to be more durable and provide a better grip. Be sure to choose the correct connector plug size for the TENS device you have. Note that you will get the best results if you moisten the clip with gel before use.
TENS unit pads
TENS pads (also called electrodes) do not last forever so you will need to purchase replacements at some point. There are so many different TENS replacement pads available, it can be hard to know which ones to buy.
You need to make sure the pad is compatible with your TENS unit as there are different connection types. Many machines come with a universal fitting that is not brand specific, but not all machines do. If you’re not sure that electrodes will fit your TENS machine, contact the retailer or check the product listing, reviews, and the related questions.
The replacement pads also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The best type will depend on the area that you want to target. The most common options are:
- 2x2 Square: This is the most popular option because it can target a specific spot in a uniform manner. Click to see options on Amazon.
- Round: Ideal for small joints or flat areas, such as the elbows, knees, and abs. Click to see options on Amazon.
- Butterfly-shaped: These large pads are designed to follow the contours of the body and distribute the current across a wide surface. They are perfect for the lower back. Click to see options on Amazon.
- Strips: These long rectangular pads are perfect for big joints and flat areas. If you want to target the back or spinal pain these can help. Due to their length, these pads can also be wrapped around areas like calves, thighs, abs, or arms to promote better circulation or to tone muscles. Click to see options on Amazon.
These pre-treatment skin wipes help to clean, disinfect, and protect the skin from adhesive gels and possible irritation. This improves electrode conductivity and prevents body oils from being absorbed into the electrode gel which in turn extends electrode life.
Electrode gel makes your TENS device work better and can prolong the life of your pads. You just need a little bit of gel each time you use your TENS machine. A tube of electrode gel doesn’t cost much so it will save you money in the long run. It is a wise investment.
This is the only salt-free and chloride-free electrically conductive gel recommended for electromedical procedures like TENS. Spectra 360 differs significantly from all other electrically conductive media because it works by wetting the skin which reduces skin resistance. It doesn’t need to be re-applied during the treatment and it won’t feel gritty either.
Periodically, the cable connecting the pads to the TENS machine should be replaced. How often you need to replace the wire depends on how frequently you use your unit. It’s a good idea to have backup wires on hand just in case.
The main factor to research when choosing replacement TENs wires is whether the wires will be compatible with the TENS machine you have. If you’re not sure that the cable will fit your TENS machine, contact the retailer or check the product listing, reviews, and the related questions.
Note: If you don't want to deal with wires, iReliev makes a wireless TENS device that you can wear under your clothes. Get more information here.
Most TENS machines are battery-powered. Like other electronics that are battery-powered, it is always good to have a few spare on hand. Check to see what type of batteries your specific machine requires as it can vary.
If it uses a 9V battery, I like these because they are affordable, long-lasting, and rechargeable. Even when these batteries are close to full you won't have to worry about long term memory effects, so you can recharge them at any time. The Tenergy NiMH 9 volt batteries can be recharged up to 1000 times, so in addition to being cost-effective, they can help lower your carbon footprint by reducing the waste caused by disposable single use batteries.
If you need a 9V battery charger, check out this one.
TENS Carrying Case
It makes sense to have a carrying case so that you can keep all your accessories with your TENS machine. A carrying case will also make life easier if you want to travel with your TENS equipment. With the hard outer case and padding inside, you don’t have to worry if you accidentally drop it.
This travel protective case from Massage Therapy Concepts is shockproof, water-resistant, and lightweight. Inside it has two mesh pocket sides and a soft middle flap to help you keep all your accessories organized and secure. It also comes in with a handy double-zipper and a wrist strap to make it easy to carry.
Note: Some TENS machines may come with a carrying case. Many times these cases don’t have room for any accessories and lack sufficient padding, so it may be worth buying another one.
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