What is the Difference Between TENS vs EMS ?

What is the Difference Between a TENS Unit vs EMS?

Have you wondered what is the difference between TENS vs EMS? You have come to the right place! But, before we dive into that let's discuss the basic premise and advantage to using an electric muscle stimulator.

If you’re not already benefiting from muscle stimulation, then it’s time for you to consider it. There are multiple options available on the market, with different names, so admittedly the acronyms can become confusing. To keep it simple, PlayMakar offers two basic therapeutic options in one machine: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS). On a basic level, both of these devices do the same thing: they stimulate nerves. This is done by placing electrode pads on the skin at a specific locations, wherever the user needs healing or is experiencing pain. Electrode pads conduct electricity, and as the machine generates electrical currents, the electrode pads deliver those gentle pulses through the skin and to the nerves.


It’s in the details where TENS and EMS differentiate. TENS stimulates the sensory nerve endings, while EMS stimulates the muscle. TENS treatment acts as a drug-free pain reliever, and EMS helps muscles to recover and strengthen. The combination of the two is often ideal for those in need of recovery.


When TENS stimulates the sensory nerve endings, it blocks the pain signal from traveling to the brain. This creates a pleasantly relieving, tingling sensation in place of the pain. The currents that TENS treatment sends can also produce endorphins. Stemming from the words “endogenous” (from within the body) and “morphine,” endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller and can even create a sense of euphoria, like morphine. The pain-killing properties of endorphins work just as TENS nerve stimulation works—by naturally inhibiting the transmission of pain signals to the brain. TENS therapy is often used to manage pain while the body is healing in situations like post-surgery recovery, athletic or other injuries, tension headaches, and chronic or acute pain.


The signals that an EMS machine sends treat the muscles like a passive exercise. They work by first stimulating the muscle, then contracting the muscle—similar to what actually takes place in exercise. This cycle creates many benefits, such as increasing blood flow to the area of treatment, which in turn can decrease inflammation and may help encourage muscle growth. For the sake of recovery, electrical muscle stimulation can reduce the production of lactic acid in the muscle. The use of EMS therapy can also relax muscle spasms, treat paralysis, and be used to prevent muscle atrophy in patients who can’t do their regular exercise routine. Using EMS when you’re resting fits naturally with the way exercise works, as muscles growth occurs during rest.

By |2019-06-14T11:28:46+00:00March 21st, 2018|EMS Therapy, Muscle Stimulator, Recovery, TENS Unit|0 Comments

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