Buy TENS unit from Walmart or Amazon or Neither?

Recently, there has been an overwhelming amount of retail stores and online sites that are now offering TENS units, including Walmart and Amazon to name a few.  If you are suffering from a serious musculoskeletal injury, these stores are not the right place to get a pain relieving TENS unit or related device.

By purchasing a TENS unit from Walmart or other store, you may be able to save yourself a few dollars.  But there are some risk factors one should consider before making this decision:

  • TENS units purchased in a store are NOT the same prescription strength TENS unit ordered through your physicians medical office. Strength and quality are much less.
  • TENS units are potentially dangerous when used with certain health conditions and age groups. A properly trained medical provider can make this decision.
  • Red Flags such as pacemakers and insulin pumps need to be considered when prescribing a TENS unit. Using a TENS with one of these devices could result in serious injury or even death.
  • Your doctor has the ability to instruct you on proper usage. This would include placement of pads.  Frequency of use for different conditions.  Duration of use.  And setting freq. and Hz. of the unit for each body part and condition.
  • TENS units shouldn’t be used with certain skin conditions.
  • TENS units used on cancer patients can be potently dangerous.

Above are just a few of the things that need to be considered when buying a TENS unit from a store.  These units are serious medical devices!  They  should not be “picked up” when you’re out doing your weekly shopping or ordered online.  Shaq is not a medical provider, and not the correct person to give medical advice.

On top of some of the risk factors listed, it has to also be considered, you may not be saving money by purchasing TENS units or related products from the store or online.  Most private health insurances, workers comp. insurances, and auto insurances provide DME coverage.  DME is short for “durable medical equipment” which includes such medical devices like TENS, EMS, crutches, knee braces, back braces, canes, etc.  Your health care provider and/or insurance company can let you know if your plan will cover such devices.  If your private insurance covers DME, your only requirement is your co-pay.  This tends to be much cheaper than the over-the -counter products.

My advice, talk to your doctor about TENS. Discuss with he or she if a TENS unit maybe right for your condition. For so many reasons, the main one being your own health and well-being, buying from a store may not be the best choice.

If you need additional information concerning TENS, visit DirecTENS.  The leading online supplier of TENS units for work comp. and auto injury victims.

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