TENS vs. EMS: Which is best for muscle pain?

Hey, This is Jeremy from Fit Labs and Welcome to our in-depth comparison of the TENS vs. EMS.

It is hard to perform strenuous workouts without experiencing some form of pain. I know how unbearable pain can be – especially when you are working out for the first time or have a pre-existing medical condition. I have used both TENS and EMS in treating some of my workout trainees and the results have been stunning. However, choosing between the two electrical impulse machines is not that straightforward.

In this video, we want to go in-depth into the key differences between these two fitness machines. You will find the links to the two products in the description, and you can use the links to check the latest prices and other user review.

So, the main difference between TENS and EMS is how they are used to relieve pain

The Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) are both used to pass an electrical current to relieve pain the body. The TENS will send an electrical impulse to the skin and this helps block the pain signals from reaching the brain. During this process the TENS machine will boost the production of endorphins (work as painkillers) and improve blood circulation. The EMS will send the electrical impulses to the skin just like the TENS but in this case they help your muscles contract. When muscles contract this helps in relieving pain. Overall, the TENS work on your nerves to relieve pain while the ENS strengthens and rehabilitates your muscles.


You should use the TENS machine to relieve joint, nerve and muscle pain. You can also use it for reducing inflammatory arthritis, foot/back pain, post-operative pain and contractions during childbirth. The primary function of the EMS is to strengthen and relax muscles. This makes it ideal for cases of poor blood circulation and muscular spasm. EMS is more used by athletes for relieving muscle pain than TENS.

Focus area
Nerve endings
Blocks pain signal from reaching brain
Relaxes muscles
Ease of use
More complicated
Easier to use
General purpose
Mostly used by athletes

From the table it is observed that the TENS is an electrical simulation technique that works on the nerve endings hence preventing pain signals from reaching the brain while the EMS helps in relaxing muscles hence relieving pain.

TENS – Overview & Features

TENS stands out for Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation – it is a nerve form of therapy that uses electrical pulses to simulate the nerve endings so that they can release endorphins and hence block pain signals from reaching the brain. TENS equipment come with various programs and modes which helps them adjust to meet individual needs. Most of the people using TENS often suffer from various ailments like foot pain, inflammatory arthritis, and various post-surgery pains. The endorphins produced during the process work wonders for boosting your mood.


  • Block transmission of pain to the brain
  • Stimulate production of endorphins (act as painkillers)
  • Boost blood circulation
  • Reduces migraines
  • Remove discomfort from sports injuries

EMS – Overview & Features

EMS stands for Electronic muscle stimulation and is a technique used for treating muscle pain and improve blood circulation. Electrical stimulation works by sending an electrical current to the muscle through skin electrodes. Once this current sent is sent it will cause the muscles to contract. This contraction will strengthen the muscle and relieve inflammation. When you are exercising or are an athlete the chances of inflammation is very high. EMS will reduce edema and muscle pain and promote healing as more blood flows to these areas.


  • Helps in blood circulation
  • Promote healing from muscle spasms
  • Helps prevent venous thrombosis in lower legs
  • Stimulation of weak muscles
  • Reduce inflammation of muscles and supporting joints

Verdict: So, Which is better – TENS or EMS?

Firstly, both techniques treat different kind of ailments. The EMS works in relaxing the muscles hence strengthening them while TENS will prevent the sending of pain signals to the brain by producing mood enhancer hormones like endorphins. If you are working out, then EMS will make more sense to you as it will help in boosting blood circulation and cure muscular spasm.

If you liked this video, please hit the thumbs up button and subscribe to our channel. Also, let us know which video you would like to see next from us.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here