Using a Tens Unit for Neck Pain

We will talk about the usage of a tens unit for neck pain. Injury, stress and anxiety, as well as sitting at a desk or sleeping wrong can all lead to neck issues such as a pinched nerve in neck, neck spasm, or a stiff neck.

About seven out of 10 people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives, so there is a good chance that you will face this problem too.

Some kinds of neck pain, a stiff neck, or even a locked or twisted neck, is usually nothing too serious and tends to subside after a while. Other types of pain resulting from whiplash, or neck wear and tear, are slightly more serious and may require medical treatment.

Treatments for Neck Issues

  • Physical treatments such as osteopaths, chiropractors, and physiotherapists
  • Manipulation
  • The Alexander Technique
  • TENS
  • Collars
  • Acupuncture
  • Injections
  • Surgery
  • Drug treatments such as amitriptyline or gabapentin and pregabalin

Tens Machine For Neck Pain Relief

Can you use a tens unit on your neck? Absolutely. It is of my opinion that tens units are a great solution for neck pain, especially for those who do not wish to use drugs. Electrodes are placed either on or near the area of pain and they then send out soothing electrical pulses to block pain signals.

Several different studies have been conducted which have taken a look at the effectiveness of using a tens unit on the neck.

One randomized clinical trial took place in 2005. The study looked at 218 participants who were suffering from neck pain, and the subjects were divided into different treatment groups.

Those who had been treated with a tens device and those in the exercise group had notable improvement in areas of pain, isometric neck muscle strength, and disability. These improvements were seen after six weeks and maintained after six months. The study was published in Clinical Rehabilitation.

Another study took place in 2010 and it analyzed 39 patients who were experiencing lubroscral pain. 16 of these subjects were treated with a TENS device several times a day for 20 minutes. These individuals experienced improvement in the function and mobility of the lumbosacral spine in addition to pain relief.

As you can see scientific studies back up the use of a tens device to effectively help in treating neck pain.

Any tens unit can be used for neck pain. Omrom Electrotherapy unit, Tens 3000, Tens 7000, or Smart Relief Tens Therapy are all good options to consider. Another alternative is Dr. Ho's Neck and Shoulder Massager; although not technically a tens device (it is a shiatsu neck and shoulder massager with heat) it is another good choice for neck pain.

Now let's talk about how to use a tens unit for neck pain. Check out this Youtube video to learn how to apply electrodes if you are experiencing a migraine or neck pain. The clip states that you should not place electrodes on the forehead nor above the hairline.

When discussing tens unit placement for neck pain I suggest that you put the electrodes on the shoulders or lower down on the neck before moving it upwards. This is because the device is more intense the higher up on the neck it is placed, so you may want to take it easy at first.

Compare Electronic Pulse Massagers

Here is a couple of the best TENS units for neck pain from different brands.

TENS 7000

iReliev Pain Relief System Dual Channel Tens Massager

truMedic PL-009

HealthmateForever Pro-12AB
Modes 5 8 5 12
Channels Dual Dual Dual Dual
Pads 4 4 4 4
Intensity 8 25 10 20
Touch Screen No No No No
EMS No No No Yes
Battery 1 x 9V 3 x AAA 4 x AAA Rechargeable lithium
Size (inches) (H x W x D) 3.98 x 2.4 x 0.96 3.5 x 2.06 x 0.76 7.8 x 2 x 0.8 3.5 x 1.75 x 0.25
Weight (oz) 5.29 2.65 6.4 1.8
Warranty 1 Year Warranty 1 Year Warranty 90 Day Warranty Lifetime Warranty in US and Canada
Price $ $$ $ $$$
Rating 8.2 7.7 7.1 8.4
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