HoMedics TENS Unit, the Rapid+Relief Gel Pads, Works!

**Disclaimer: I was provided free samples of the product for the purpose of this review, but the opinions and photos are all my own.**

Being a runner, I frequently push it too far and end up sore. I’m not even one of those people who run 10+ miles on a daily basis, but injuries still happen. (I actually typically do 3.5-4 miles, and only 3-4x per week.) When I’m not running, I’m doing Zumba, yoga or Pilates. I also throw in some weight training, walking and anything else that I can do with my family. As a person who sits at a desk most of the day, exercise is even more necessary but sometimes, it’s easier to get stiff from not getting up and then squeezing in a workout without the proper warm-up. That’s a recipe for disaster, but something I admittedly do frequently.  Note: always warm up. It’s not just to make it easier, but to help prevent tears, stretches and other injuries that could sideline you.

I love to work out, but I do have two herniated disks and two compressed disks, and plantar fasciitis that’s bad enough to warranty surgery in the new year, so I have to be sure I’m not doing anything that will result in not being able to get out of bed in the morning or not walk.  Luckily, it’s been four years since my back flared bad enough to keep me from getting up, but that doesn’t mean it’s not painful at times. Increasing the incline on my run will do it quickly, as will running up and down the stairs one too many times. (Stair climbing can be great exercise and very cheap if you don’t want to go to the gym and have a two-story house!)

In comes HoMedics Rapid+Relief Electronic Pain Relief Pad, a wireless, portable Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) device. Available over-the-counter for $29.99, it blocks the nerve pathways from transmitting pain from sore and aching muscles. It’s drug- and chemical-free, the strongest pain relief without a prescription. It comes in two models: one for your back, and one for your arms and legs. The relief is immediate and safe, and can be hidden under your clothing for discreet use. You decide how much relief you want, with a choice of 15 levels.

 Homedics TENS units

I initially tried the smaller unit of the two as I was having some pain in my upper shoulder; this one wasn’t exercise-related, but to be honest, I haven’t exercised in the last four days anyway. The neck/shoulder area simply hurt from falling straight into a dead sleep last night with my arm under the pillows at an odd angle, one I’m paying for today.

 The experience was a positive one! It’s a strange sensation initially but when you’re in pain and then it disappears, both my husband and I (who tested the back pain unit) can tell you that the tingling is well-worth it and you stop realizing it’s even there after a little while. The units were easy to apply and use and they stayed in place. Mine was under the collar of my sweater/tank top and was totally invisible unless you moved aside the sweater; it wasn’t bulky and didn’t impede movement. My husband experienced the same thing, though the placement of his Rapid Relief Pad was on his lower back unit where you would think it would interfere with a waistband. The pad is so thin, with smooth edges, it doesn’t easily catch on anything.

 I also tried it on my calf, as I’d been getting leg cramps. It hid easily under skinny jeans and didn’t come off when I remembered halfway through the 20-minute run time that I had some laundry to hang up.

homedics tens leg
After a 20-minute use, me, each tiwe were both in a lot less pain, and it didn’t return quickly. When it did, it was less for me than it had been prior. One big selling point of this, to me, is the ability to put it on before I hop in a 2+ hour car ride home from the office, use it for the 20-minutes that is recommended, and I don’t need to remove it until I get home as it wouldn’t feel uncomfortable while it’s not on. (If I put it in a really hairy section of my arm, it might have been different but I didn’t try that out.) No one  needs to know about it and it’s quickly applied when you only have a couple of minutes to set yourself up. And you don’t need help or an electrical outlet!

See how thin it is?

TENS units used to be prescribed by doctors but they aren’t always covered by insurance plans and therefore aren’t available to everyone. They also have wires that can be unwieldy and aren’t nearly as portable and private as a HoMedics TENS unit. HoMedics’ products are easy to obtain at various drugstores and Amazon.com.

homedics tens bottom

Once you buy a HoMedic TENS unit, you will find approximately 50 20-minute uses but the battery and the necessary gels are replaceable so you can continue to use the unit once you purchase refills. (Two sets of replacement gels run $9.99.) This means you’re not out $200+ for a TENS unit and you have the choice of what kind to buy.

 homedics tens case

When you’re done, you pop it back into its little case, snap it shut and it’s easily stored.

HoMedics was established in 1987 as an innovative manufacturer of health, wellness and electronic lifestyle products. You can visit their website for further information.

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    1. We got one temporarily when my husband had his knee surgery, but the insurance company wanted it back rather than pay the last week’s rent, which would have paid it off. We’ve always wanted another one, so it’s cool that everyone can buy them off the shelves without a prescription. I really enjoyed it and know I’ll get more use out of them for sure!

    2. Christy Garrett, I agree. TENS feels nice while you are using it, But that is only during the time I was using the Tens unit. There really isn’t any long term relief.

      1. Sometimes that’s just what you need though! This will come in handy on a car ride or plane ride or sitting at a desk where you can’t do anything else. I’ve got some wonderful exercises that help..if I can get up and walk around. The TENS is an awesome drug-free way to get through a tough spot. So glad it’s easily accessible now!

  1. Thank you for taking the time to post this thorough review! Electrical stimulation helped me through some dark days when I was suffering from chronic back and sciatic nerve pain partially caused by herniated and degenerative discs in my lower back. Everything I tried failed to help, including 2 back surgeries (a year apart from each other) to remove herniated disc material at L5 S1. I eventually discovered that certain Pilates and yoga poses reduced my pain, but there were just as many poses that aggravated it. Maintaining a neutral spine while under load is critical, but I found that going into flexion (rounding the back, such as bending forward) with no load/weight at all would rapidly escalate any present pain. This made stretching the hamstrings especially tricky. http://www.DefeatingBackPain.com is a great resource that combines the back and sciatic benefits of yoga and Pilates… it helped me completely eliminate my pain while avoiding the potential problem areas. I hope this helps someone!


  2. I love these tens. I have both the lower back and arm & leg ones and they work great. It does give me relief and I am able to almost get the same result with these that I get from the Chiropractor for a lot less money. I was able to purchase both kinds at Aldi’s for $20 each when available. The batteries are available almost everywhere and not pricey. Well worth the purchase!

  3. I just purchased the lower back pain relief pad. I am curious as to how it feels when you use it. Other TENS machines I have used have a definite pulsing. I feel more of a tingling sensation with this product. Is this how it is suppose to work or did I get a dud? I have tried changing the battery just in case.

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