• RevivePEMF

What is the difference between PEMF & a TENS unit?

Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) therapy is a treatment approach that relies upon electromagnetic fields targeting the body at the cellular level. Its main purpose is to stimulate cell repair, and it can therefore be used in a number of health care applications, including pain management and to stimulate the healing process of fractured bones and wounds. Meanwhile, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy utilizes a low-voltage electrical current to relieve symptomatic pain by exciting sensory nerves and stimulating the opioid system or the pain gate mechanism. Although PEMF devices and TENS units are closely related, they differ in a number of ways. Continue reading for a rundown of the main differences between PEMF devices and TENS units.

Mechanism of Action

The main difference between PEMF devices and TENS units is the mechanism by which they achieve their therapeutic benefits. As the name suggests, PEMF devices use electromagnetic fields generated by a copper coil. These magnetic fields are pulsed and applied to the body with the aim of enhancing the repair process of bodily cells and tissues. On the other hand, TENS units make use of a low-voltage electrical current that stimulates the nerves.


PEMF devices and TENS units also differ in their range of clinical applications. Although TENS units are highly effective at managing symptomatic pain, they cannot affect the healing process in any way.

Conversely, clinicians are able to use PEMF devices to facilitate the repair of damaged cells, stimulate neurons, reduce inflammation, and even enhance the creation of new healthy cells. PEMF therapy can also help in improving circulation, speeding up wound healing, and improving sleep quality. All of these uses are in addition to the pain management benefits that PEMF devices share in common with TENS units. A patient suffering from a nonunion fracture may use a PEMF device to achieve pain relief and speed up the healing process simultaneously, whereas a TENS unit would only be able to lessen the pain resulting from the fracture.


Since TENS units make use of an electrical current, they require direct contact with the skin. Thus, they cannot be used anywhere and at any time. PEMF devices, however, rely on electromagnetic fields and, therefore, do not require direct contact with the skin. PEMF therapy can be applied while wearing light clothing, which makes them a more convenient option that patients can use in a wider range of settings. PEMF devices can also target a larger area of the body at once compared to the coverage capacity of TENS electrodes. Thus, unlike Pulse Centers innovative Chair Pad, Total Body bed, Rings and Paddles used for the delivery of PEMF, TENS electrodes must be moved from one area of the body to another, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

The Takeaway

While many people consider PEMF devices and TENS units to be in similar categories, these devices have several unique features that set them apart. They utilize very different mechanisms of action to achieve their therapeutic results and differ substantially in their medical applications. TENS units are primarily useful in pain management, while PEMF devices can facilitate healing in addition to relieving pain. If you are looking for a PEMF device, get in touch with us today for top-quality products from the most reliable manufacturers.

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