5 Top Tens Units for Back Pain (for Back Pain Sufferers)

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5 Top Tens Units for Back Pain (for Back Pain Sufferers)
Written by: Marijune Tiamzon, RN, MHPNP

Article Reviewed & Updated on 10/05/2023

With millions of people suffering from back pain every day, many turn to various pain relief methods ranging from surgery to physical therapy, and pain medication.

Some of these therapies are expensive, intrusive, or habit forming. The dangerous rise in pain medication addiction is alarming, so people look for alternatives.

In recent years, more patients have turned to one popular alternative, TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, for effective and efficient pain relief.

These devices are typically used to relieve pain from fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and neuropathic pain.

TENS can also work as part of a post operative recovery plan. A very common usage for TENS is to relieve chronic lower back pain caused by disc herniation, muscle spasms, sciatica, and many other causes.

#1.) TENS 7000 Digital TENS Unit with Accessories

Features & Pros:

● The kit includes two pairs of lead wires, 4-pack of reusable 2 x 2-inch pads, a nine-volt battery and instruction manual all in a portable carry case.

● The unit has five powerful TENS therapy modes for back, neck, or joint pain. Also work as a muscle relaxer.

Dual channel control with each control knob connect to two pads, so you can have different intensity levels for each location.

● Modes include: The burst, normal, modulation, strength duration 1 and strength duration 2.

● The TENS 700 provides reliable, drug-free muscle pain relief from back pain, neck pain, tennis elbow, and bursitis.

● Portable, compact, and lightweight great for travel.


● The control is sensitive so you can increase intensity to higher levels than intended. A soft touch is needed.

● Not a rechargeable battery, and if you use it for long periods, that means replacing the 9-volt regularly.

What Buyers Loved

● “The pads are super sticky so that is good”

● “Works great. Relieves pain without medication.”

● “It is a small but powerful machine.”

 What Buyers Wished for

● “the unit only comes with one sized pad and you only get 4. “ it would be nice to get a smaller size in addition to the 2” by 2” pads.

● “pads do lose their adhesive fast. “

TENS 7000 Review

“I recently purchased the TENS 7000 Digital TENS Unit and I have been using it for various aches and pains, including back pain, neck pain, and sciatica. This unit comes with a variety of accessories and the digital display makes it easy to adjust the settings to your specific needs.

One of the things I love about this TENS unit is how quickly it provides relief. Within minutes of turning it on, I feel a significant decrease in pain and discomfort. The unit is also very portable and lightweight, making it easy to use at home, work or on-the-go.

I appreciate the variety of modes and intensity levels available, allowing me to customize my therapy to my specific needs. The unit is also very easy to use and comes with a comprehensive manual to help guide you through the setup process.

Overall, I would give the TENS 7000 Digital TENS Unit a 4 out of 5 stars rating. The only issue I had with this product was that the battery life could have been a bit longer, but this is a minor inconvenience compared to the relief it provides. I would highly recommend this TENS unit to anyone looking for an effective and convenient solution to their pain management needs.”

#2.) iReliev Premium TENS + EMS Therapeutic Wearable System

ireliev tens unit

Features & Pros:

● You get two different systems, the TENS and EMS which stimulates the muscles.

● In the package you get Wireless TENS + EMS Muscle Stimulator Hand Control, (2) Wireless TENS + EMS Pods (Paired as Channel 1),(1) Dual USB Plug Adapter,(1) Dual USB Charging Wires, (2) 3″ x 5″ Electrode Pads,Hard Carrying Case,(4) Pod Decals (2-CH2, CH3 and CH4),Instruction Manual.

● The Quick Start Guide helps get you moving fast.

● This is a truly wireless system. You can apply the pods anywhere on the body because there are no wires to worry about.

● Once you program your levels and time limits, you can leave the remote behind and go anywhere.

Battery lasts and can be recharged.

Texas based company for in-country customer support.

● Four-channel hand control.


● This is more expensive than many other units.

What Buyers Loved

● “large pads with the wireless unit are perfect for treating my lumbar sacral plexus nerve damage while the smaller pad with the wired unit work well on my shoulders.”

● “I leave the handheld wireless remote in the living room then walk all around the house.”

 What Buyers Wished for

● A lower cost, although buyers were enthusiastic with the product.

iReliev Review:

“Thank you iReliev, Peggy and Beth

Review by Jon G. on 6 Jan 2023review stating Thank you iReliev, Peggy and Beth

An excellent product that already seems to be helping, to strengthen the muscles around a torn rotator cuff.
In addition, during two different phone calls, both Peggy and Beth at I Reliev were unusually informed, pleasant and patient, walking me through all the steps of how to use the iReliev , when I was having trouble figuring out the steps.”

#3.) AUVON Rechargeable TENS Unit Muscle Stimulator

Features & Pros:

● TENS unit comes with 12 pads, an ABS Pads Holder, USB Cable and a dust-proof storage bag.

● The unit has 24 different modes for lots of different combinations and therapeutic choices.

Rechargable and up to 10 hours of use.

● The remote has easy to follow graphics, once you understand what they mean.

Medical grade electrodes and pin connectors for excellent connections and lasting quality.

Dual Channel. Choose different modes and intensities for each channel.


● The navigation device can be a bit overwhelming at first. Takes time to understand the step-by-step instructions provided.

● The two wires are a bit short, but you can pull them out to lengthen them, so you can place the electrodes apart.

What Buyers Loved

●  “Healthy variety of modes to choose from; there are six categories and 24 modes.”

● “Battery lasted longer than I expected it to and is rechargeable.”

● “The two wires (A and B) can be customized to use different modes and intensities which really enhances the pain management experience for me.”

● “For the battery, I will say that the battery life has also been fantastic.

What Buyers Wished for

● Wished the screen light would stay on rather than timing out.

● The navigation of the device can be confusing at first.

Auvon Review:

”Once I hit my 30s I discovered how terrible back trouble really is after working physical jobs for years. Luckily a friend let me borrow this while I was in intense pain and I bought it on Amazon 10 minutes after pressing start. It is easy to take with you (amazing on airplanes) and the different functions help target different types of pain.

I was on a trip with family and my grandma started having intense back spasms (she has MS) and was bedridden. I let her borrow this unit and she immediately felt better and able to get up and move around.

Obviously she has tried almost everything for her muscle spasms but she was amazed by the power of this little unit. I ended up overnighting one for her to the hotel!! So… if you’re in pain but still have a life to live I suggest giving this thing a shot.”

[Extra Bonus] AUVON TENS Unit Pads Electrode Patches with Upgraded Self-Stick

Features & Pros:

● This replacement set includes 20 electrode patches with superior quality cloth in a resealable protective package that keeps the pads in good condition much longer.

● Upgraded industrial adhesive for up to 45 uses.

● Non-irritating for most skin types.

● The pins are standard 2mm connectors making the pads universal to many other TENS machines.


● Some people thought the pads didn’t hold up for very long, losing stickiness after just a few uses.

What Buyers Loved

● “I bought these to replace the ones that came with my tens machine and they work as well as the ones that came with it.”

● “These patches stay in place for active wear during PT or exercises.“

● “They seem to be durable and have stayed sticky after many uses. I did not have any adverse reaction to these electrode pads.”

What Buyers Wished for

● The pads sometimes roll up or get stuck to clothes.

● They lasted as long as they were supposed to.

Auvon Extra Package Review:

”Great price for an item I use everyday, everyone I have told about tens is thrilled and now the great price for replacement pads.
Nice to know that with all the price increases these days the pads stayed at a good price . Great delivery ,great replacement product
Keep up the good work at 85 I need all the low prices I can get”

#4.) Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator Machine - Dual Channel Electronic Pulse Massager

Features & Pros:

● You get both TENS stimulation and massage.

IncludesTENS Machine, 10 x Square Electrode Pads(2"x 2"), 2 x Lead Wires (1/2 Wire), 1 x Machine Holder, 1 x USB Cable, 1 x Professional User Manual,

● The large digital display is easy to read.

● The unit is compact and comes with Powerful rechargeable Battery with USB cable for use with computer, power pack or wall adaptor.

● One charge provides 10 hours of usage.

● Two channels and 22 Modes, 40 Levels of professional therapy.


● The side buttons can cause you to turn the unit off unintentionally.

● The unit won’t stay on the top level indefinitely. It automatically decreases after a period.

What Buyers Loved

● “It has a MASSAGE feature!!! Sometimes you need T.E.N.S. and sometimes you do not. I love having the massage feature to use on tight muscles BEFORE they become an issue.”“

● “It seems stronger than my previous unit.”

● “was worried about a 9v battery not being strong enough. I was wrong.”

● “I can’t go past setting 5 of 8. It’s so strong. I love it. I have very bad back pain and I love this guy.”

What Buyers Wished for

● A cover to protect the buttons as you move around. Bumping into something can change the settings.

● “Stick pads don’t last long though. But overall very pleased!

Nicwell Care TENS Review:

“Product worked as promised on the first try. Device provides multiple options of TENS, EMS and Massage - you quickly feel the difference in pulsation when you switch modes.

Pads are nice and sticky, so I can see them lasting beyond the guidance in the directions if 10-15 times. Small module easily fits into your pocket.

Noted the other user had issues with accidentally tapping it off due to location of on/off switch but no issues here and I was able to keeping moving around the kitchen while the device did its magic. I would recommend!”

#5.) TENS + EMS Pain Relief & Recovery System

Features & Pros:

● You get two modes, EMS and TENS in one device for pain relief and muscle building and recovery.

14 pre-set programs including EMS for muscle stimulation.

● The package includes the dual device, 3 AAA batteries, 2 lead wires, belt clip holster,4 2” x 2” pads and 2 3.5” x 5” pads.

● The Texas-based company means easy customer service help.

● Two-year warranty on this product.


● This unit is not rechargeable. It uses 3 AAA batteries you need to replace.

● As with other TENS machines, you can’t use it if you have a pacemaker, defibrillator, or any implanted electronic device or any implanted medical devices containing metal

What Buyers Loved

● “Very user friendly and effective machine.”

● “relief that fits in my pocket, very easy to use”

● “It works well and is small enough to be portable.”

● “Great for muscle spasms”

● The larger pads appealed to many people.

 What Buyers Wished for

● Some think the pads lost stickiness too quickly.

● Rechargeable batteries would be nice.

IReliev Recovery System Review

“We bought a vehicle that didn't have heated seats - which was a downgrade for us. This however, is a must have if you do not have heated seats in your ride.
You can adjust to the exact degree temperature that you want your buns to be warmed to. My wife is happy, and I am happy. Buy this to stay warm.

What is a Tens Unit for back pain?

Millions of people suffer from daily back pain that reduces the quality of their lives. One solution is the use of a TENS Unit.

A TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator consists of an electrical signal generator with a battery for power and some electrodes along with some adhesive pads.

The device can be hooked to a belt. The electrodes, when placed strategically on the skin, deliver low voltage electrical current to intercept pain signals and relieve pain.

Here's how a TENS system works. The electrical impulses flood the nervous system to reduce its ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain.

The impulses also cause the body to release natural pain relievers, endorphins.

Different settings for the intensity, frequency, and duration work best for different types and degrees of pain. For example, lower frequencies often are best for chronic pain, whereas higher settings work well for intense pain.

How to Use a Tens Unit for Lower Back Pain

To use TENS machines for lower back pain, start by applying the adhesive TENS electrodes to the affected area. Then find the best setting for your individual needs. Settings include intensity, frequency, and duration.

Intensity changes the degree of stimulation. Frequency is the number of electrical pulses per second, with high-frequency ranging from 80 to 120 cycles per second and low-frequency from 1 to 20 cycles per second.

Duration concerns the number of microseconds the current runs during each pulse. Adjust the settings until you find relief from pain.  Back pain coming from all different causes from sport injuries to disc herniation will need different settings.

Follow these steps to get the most from your TENS treatment sessions:

● Apply the electrodes to the skin wherever you feel pain. Place the two pads on either side of the pain source for the best results. Over time, you may find spacing the electrodes slightly closer together or further apart helps alleviate pain best.

● Next, turn the machine on at the lowest settings.

● Wait a few seconds and try adjusting the pulse length and frequency. Continue experimenting with the settings until you find the optimum adjustments that relieve your pain.

● Each session should be limited to 30 minutes. Repeat as necessary.

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