The 6 Best Wireless TENS Units for Back Pain


A wireless TENS unit is one of the most popular drug-free, non-invasive and non-addictive ways to continuously relieve back pain on the go.
wireless TENS machine reviews

A portable TENS machine does not require attaching any wires to the electrodes, and there will be no wires hanging out of your pocket.


A wireless TENS battery depends on its battery, so you’ll need a device with a strong one to keep it working as long as possible.

You also need high-quality pads that won’t fall off mid-treatment, and versatile programs to choose from – to tailor the treatment to your needs.

This is why we’ve researched long and hard, and created this guide to help you make the right choice, no matter if you’re looking for your first TENS unit, or want to upgrade your current one for pain relief on the go.

In a Hurry?

See our top 3 picks below, followed by our detailed wireless TENS machines reviews:

Wireless TENS UnitBottom LineIntensity Levels/ProgramsPrice
iReliev TENS & EMS

🥇Top Pick
Largest treatment area
Most versatile
25 intensities
16 programs
2-4 pods
3-5 hours use
$170 with code meital10 at iReliev
PlayMakar TENS & EMS

Best Muscle Stimulator25 intensities
14 programs
2-4 pods
3-5 hours use
Dual USB charger & adapter
$179 at Playmakar
Us code SAFE10
Easy Home Wireless TENS Unit
100% Portable
No wires, no remote
20 settings
6 programs
10 hours use
$29 on Amazon
Hollywog WiTouch
Highest Intensity
Best for using along the spine
4 programs
15 levels intensity
30-minute sessions
$77 on Amazon
Use code under the price

This post may contain affiliate links, at no extra cost to you.

How Does a TENS Machine Relieve Back Pain?

A TENS unit (electric stimulation unit) delivers low-voltage, non-painful electrical pulses via electrodes placed directly onto the skin around the area of pain.

These pulses control pain signals in the body, creating temporary (from 5 minutes to 18 hours) relief from pain.

They can control abnormally excited nerves and release endorphins – natural pain-relieving hormones.

A TENS machine is like a little electric buddy that helps reduce back pain by sending tiny electric signals to your nerves.

You can control the unit yourself, which allows you to customize the exact type and intensity of treatment you want.

how does a wireless tens unit work for back pain

Low-frequency TENS may take longer to relieve pain, but the relief will last longer than using high-frequency TENS machines.

The frequency of the currents coming from a TENS unit can be turned up or down, ranging from about 10 Hz to 50 Hz.

Most TENS sessions last from 15 to 30 minutes and can be administered as often as needed.

Wireless TENS Machines Pros & Cons

TENS units with no wires and cords are simpler to use (and those with remote control are easiest to use and adjust), they are completely discrete (you can wear them under your clothes), and are lightweight and portable.

You can use them anywhere without worrying about a power outlet, but you have to make sure the rechargeable TENS unit has a long-lasting battery, so it won’t run out at an inconvenient time.

Also, wireless TENS units offer fewer programs to choose from, so customization is somewhat limited compared to wired units.

The Top 6 Wireless TENS Units for Back Pain

Through our 25-hour research and our trial and experience, here are the 6 best wireless TENS therapy units for back pain and sciatica:

1. iReliev Wireless TENS & EMS Machine Best Value

iReliev wireless TENS and EMS unit tesing and review

  • Intensity settings – 25
  • Programs – 16 (8 TENSE + 6 EMS)
  • Output strength – up to 80mA
  • Included Pads – 2-4

Pros – fully isolated channels, large coverage (up to 4 pads), pods connect well and good communication, has EMS, versatile programs, Back-lit display for easier visibility, comes with a carrying case for travel

Cons – only works with iReliev pads, smaller screen

$170 with code meital10 at iReliev / $189 on Amazon

The iReliev TENS & EMS unit has 2 wireless hubs, a handheld remote with a backlit screen, and a good set of reusable sticky pads.

With a maximum output of 0.2 watts, this device also offers 16 programs, 25 intensity levels, and timer options – that make it still our top pick for 2024.

The iReliev is the most versatile wireless TENS machine on this list and has a strong rechargeable battery that lasts for 3-5 hours of continuous use per charge, the pads do not fall off, and it works with no malfunctions.

best wireless TENS unit for back pain
Lightweight yet sturdy carrying case

It’s incredibly versatile, with 14 preset programs including 7 for pain relief, 1 for arthritis, and 6 for muscle conditioning

The EMS programs are for exercise preparation, post-exercise recovery, building endurance, and strengthening your muscles.

What is EMS?

EMS stands for “Electrical Muscle Stimulation”.

This electrical stimulation gently contracts the muscles and helps warm them and activate them to increase strength and endurance and promote recovery – without you having to move at all.

Once the electrode pads are applied to your skin, the electrical impulses activate your motor nerves to send signals that cause your muscles to contract.

This is the same natural process you feel when you work out your muscles.

how to use a wireless TENS unit for low back pain
Low back pain placement


  • Fully isolated channels
  • Use up to 4 pads
  • Battery lasts for 3-5 hours of treatment
  • The pods connect very easily and the communication between the devices is flawless
  • Has EMS for muscle recovery and preparing for exercise
  • Versatile programs for pain relief and muscle strengthening
  • You can try different programs on all of the channels – simultaneously
  • Session length can be set for 5-60 minutes – depending on the program you choose
  • Pads are reusable
  • FDA cleared


  • Only works with iReliev pads
  • Smaller screen

Available on Amazon ($189) and at iReliev ($170 with code meital10)

2. PlayMakar PRO Best for Athletes

playmakar wireless TENS EMS review

  • Output Strength – up to 100mA
  • Programs – 14
  • Pods – 2-4

Pros – FDA cleared, highly versatile with 14 TENS & EMS programs and 25 intensity levels, concealable under clothes, works 3-5 hours per charge, reusable pods

Cons – relatively expensive

$179 with code SAFE10 at PlayMakar 

The Playmakar TENS & EMS unit is completely wireless and offers 14 programs that serve a range of purposes, including building strength, enhancing endurance, aiding in recovery, improving warm-up quality, managing pain, and providing tension-relieving massages – all in a single device.

The receiver units are small enough to hide under your clothes (2.35″ in diameter and .55″ in height) and you can use any number of pods you’d like with this system. And

You can use each pod (up to 4 pods!) for 3-5 hours, and the hand controller can be used for 8-10 hours.

In our experience, programs 1-4 are best for sore muscles and feel like a comfortable pulsing sensation.

Program 8 is best for arthritis pain relief and feels like a comfortable tingling and pulsing coming in waves.

You can adjust your pods independently for up to 4 channels but you can use as many pods per channel as you wish.

playmakar tens machine manual

You can adjust the TENS intensity for each pod separately with 25 levels of intensity.

This is one of the best mini wireless TENS & EMS units you’ll find in 2024, and we highly recommend it.

playmakar tens unit features and review
Here’s what you get inside


  • FDA cleared
  • Highly versatile with 14 TENS & EMS programs and 25 intensity levels
  • Concealable under your clothes
  • You can use as many pods as you’d like
  • Can be used for 3-5 hours per charge
  • Comprehensive and clear instruction manual
  • Pods are reusable
  • 2-year warranty, free shipping, and 30-day return on the official site


  • More expensive than other wireless units

Available at PlayMakar ($179 with code SAFE10)

3. AccuRelief Wireless TENS Unit Budget Pick

wireless TENS unit with remote review

  • Waveform: Bi-phase square pulse wave
  • Frequency: 5~125Hz
  • Pulse width: 130/250 μS
  • Output strength: up to 70mA

Pros – 3 phases of alternate therapy, comes with 2 reusable electrode gel pads with snap connectors, lightweight, easy to use, smaller than a credit card

Cons – 30-minute auto shutoff, needs battery changing every 2-3 weeks

$33 on Amazon

The AccuRelief small (2.4 x 2.1 x 0.7 inches), portable and wireless TENS unit has two electrode controllers, that allow you to treat your back pain in more than one area.

Plus, you can change the intensity of each electrode separately by using the digital remote or pressing the buttons on the pads directly.

All you have to do is power up and connect it, place the electrodes on your skin, and operate it with the remote control.


  • Programmed with 3 phases of alternate therapy
  • Comes with 2 reusable electrode gel pads with snap connectors
  • Comes with 6 AAA batteries
  • 20 levels of intensity to choose from
  • Lightweight (1.6 ounces) and flexible
  • Easy to use – comes with an electrode placement guide and a clear quick-start guide
  • Lightweight and small – half an inch thick and smaller than a credit card


  • 30-minute shutoff – you’ll need to re-start again if you’d like to continue treatment
  • You’ll have to change the batteries every 2-3 weeks, depending on usage (added cost)

Available at Carex ($39) and on Amazon ($39)

4. Icy Hot Portable TENS Unit Best for Pinched Nerve

TENS unit for sciatica

  • Size 6.6 x 2.4 x 6.4 inches
  • Weight 4.8 ounces.
  • Channels single channel, 1 mode/program
  • Output strength – up to 63mA

Pros – powerful, high-intensity level option, 63 intensity levels, simple and easy to use, good for small areas

Cons – the pad lasts for a limited time, shuts off after 30 minutes, and requires a battery change

$34 on Amazon

The Icy Hot TENS FDA-approved unit is a prescription-strength single-pad electrotherapy unit, with 63 intensity levels.

However, the single pad that comes with it (which contains 2 electrodes) lasts for only about 12-30 uses, and you’ll need to buy a big pack of batteries because they will run out after about 2 weeks.

To use it, you simply snap the electrical unit onto the electrode pad, peel the pad, and place it on your painful area.

Then, press the on/off button.

It’s a small coverage unit, so it is best for treating a pinched nerve or a muscle knot.

It does not pretend to be a high-end TENS unit but rather a reasonable starter unit to test out. If you find this type of treatment works for you –  you can certainly step up to a more sophisticated TENS unit.


  • Powerful, high-intensity level option.
  • 63 intensity levels
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Comes with batteries
  • Good as a starter kit and for small areas (pinched nerve, muscle knots)


  • The pad lasts for a limited time, replacement is needed. (You can find them here).
  • Automatically shuts off after 30 minutes. If you want to continue treatment, you’ll have to wait 5 minutes for the battery to recharge.
  • It doesn’t come with a remote, a bit difficult to adjust intensity when placed on your back, but the + and – buttons are raised you can find them when you feel your way around.
  • Requires battery change every couple of weeks

Available on Amazon

5. Hollywog Wireless TENS Unit Best for Beginners

itouch wireless tens unit

  • Size: 9 x 5.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Channels: Single channel
  • Waveform: Asymmetric biphasic square pulse.
  • Output strength: up to 110 mA

Pros – starts at a low-intensity level when turned on, best for use along the spine with each pad on one side of the spine, USA-made, comfortable

Cons – you’ll have to change the pad when they lose their “stickiness”, relatively expensive

$77 on Amazon (with code under the price)

The WiTouch portable TENS machine covers a relatively large treatment area and is operated through buttons or via the Witouch Pro app, which allows you to track your progress.

The portable and discrete design makes it perfect to use anywhere along your spine (low/mid/upper back), and you can choose from 4 programs with 15 levels of intensity (the highest intensity is 110mA – the highest on this list).

The device comes with everything you need to get started, including 3 pairs of exclusive Hollywog gel pads (this unit is made in the USA!), 2 AAA batteries, a mini screwdriver to access the battery compartment, and a quick start guide.

holywog wireless tens unit review


  • Automatically starts at a low-intensity level when turned on
  • Best for use along the spine, with each pad on one side of the spine
  • Made in the USA
  • Signals when you need to better place the UNIT with a yellow light turning on in the remote
  • Comfortable for all situations – sitting, moving around, etc.


  • Auto shut off after 30 minutes (but can be re-started without waiting)
  • You’ll have to change the pad when they lose their “stickiness”.
  • More expensive than average, probably due to USA manufacturing and the highest output intensity

Available on Amazon ($77)

6. Easy Home Wireless TENS & EMS Machine – 100% Portable

easy home cordless tens ems device

  • Programs – 6
  • Intensity levels – 20
  • Battery – rechargeable
  • Output strength – up to 60mA

Pros – discreet under clothing, affordable, 10 hours of work per charge

Cons – May lose stickiness quickly, may require assistance to place and use

$29 on Amazon

The Easy Home small wireless TENS unit has no wires or even a remote control and is designed to be 100% portable and discrete under clothing.

All you have to do is turn on the on/off button and adjust the intensity by pressing +/-.

But, this simple operation does not mean that this device is less effective or versatile:

You can choose from 6 automated massage programs (EMS) and 20 power intensities – for the exact right level of treatment you want.

It is very easy to use once you read the instructions about changing the settings.

cordless tens unit

The rechargeable Lithium battery (that comes with a USB cable) charges quickly and lasts for 10 hours of treatment.

And, it has an acupuncture setting that feels like needles! according to consumer reviews, this feature is wonderful.


  • Effective and strong – most people only need to reach level 2 of intensity to make the muscles contract and release
  • Stays on under the clothes
  • Charged battery lasts 10 hours
  • High ratings on Amazon
  • Unique acupuncture setting


  • Loses stickiness pretty quickly if not cared for properly
  • You have to turn it on and place it, and only then you can adjust the intensity, so you may need some help.

Available on Amazon ($29 with coupon under the price)

What is the Smallest TENS Unit? 

If the above TENS units are not small enough for you, I’ve found the smallest TENS device – so small you may forget you ever turned them on.

AccuRelief Mini TENS Unit

smallest wireless tens unit

  • Size – 6.6 x 1.3 x 0.4 inches

The AccuRelief mini TENS unit (which weighs only 0.3 ounces!) is pre-programmed with 2 phases of alternating therapy and has 15 levels of intensity that you can change with a press of a button.

It is highly discrete and you can wear it under your clothing. You’ll be surprised how well it works for a minor relief on the go.

How to Use a TENS Unit for Sciatica

1. Place the TENS electrodes on the skin near the area where you are experiencing pain. The electrodes should be placed on either side of the spine, near the lower back.

2. Turn on the TENS unit and adjust the settings to your desired level of intensity. You may need to experiment with different settings to find the one that works best for you.
3. Use the TENS unit for 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day as needed. You can use the TENS unit while sitting, standing, or lying down.

Here’s a video demonstration by Doctor Jo, using the iReliev (our top pick) for sciatica:  

( A TENS unit is one of the best back pain gifts for people you care about)

How Long Does Pain Relief Last?

Pain relief duration from a TENS unit can be different for each person.

Some people report that their pain returns as soon as they switch off the device, while others continue to feel pain-free for up to 24 hours.

2021 study suggests that the duration of pain relief increases after repeated TENS treatments.

However, this can also increase the chances of a person building up a tolerance to the treatment.

We recommend combining TENS therapy with heat therapy for a complete back pain relief natural treatment.

See the best portable heating pads you can wear and use on the go!

Can You Use a Wireless TENS Machine While Driving?

Generally, it is not recommended to use a wireless TENS unit while driving because it can distract you from focusing on the road.

The electrical stimulation can cause muscle contractions, which can affect your ability to control the car.

However, you can use a TENS machine while driving if you use it at a low-intensity level that won’t cause any contractions.

While using a TENS unit while you drive a car or a truck can relieve back pain and allow you to be more focused and alert on the road, there are safer ways – such as using a portable heating pad.

Can You Use a TENS & EMS Unit While Exercising?

It is generally safe to use a TENS and EMS unit while exercising, as long as the unit is used properly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Using a TENS/EMS unit during exercise can help with pain relief, muscle recovery, and improving muscle strength and tone.

However, excessive activity can damage the adhesive on the pads and they can fall off.

Is a Wireless TENS Machine Safe?

Wireless TENS machines are available without a prescription and are generally safe to use if the device is not faulty.

Consumer TENS units are too weak to be dangerous and the risk of a mild shock is extremely low.

However, there are a few things you should know before you start electrotherapy:

  1. Overdoing it can cause some skin irritation around the electrodes.
  2. Pregnant women and people with heart conditions should avoid using it.
  3. People with infusion pumps, pacemakers, defibrillators, or similar devices should not use a TENS unit.
  4. People with implanted medical devices containing metal should avoid TENS therapy.

Physical therapists Bob and Brad warn to avoid using TENS units if you have a pacemaker, as the electrical current may interfere with its operation.

They also emphasize that TENS units can be used on the muscles around the spine and neck, but not directly on the spine or neck.

 How Often Can You Use a TENS Unit in One Day?

Beginners can start by using a TENS unit one or two times for 15-minute – per day, and it is recommended to rate the pain reduction after each treatment.

However, studies have shown that repeated application of TENS at the same frequency, intensity, and duration daily can reduce effectiveness over time.

We recommend changing treatment time and intensity and altering with EMS modes to prevent your body from becoming used to the treatment and thus less responsive to it.

Take Back Control of Your Life

We understand how frustrating it can be to live with the constant discomfort. It’s easy to feel defeated, like your pain is controlling your life, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

We know you want to go about your day-to-day without pain holding you back.

Maybe you’ve been thinking, “Why bother trying another product? Nothing has worked so far.”

We get it. It can be discouraging to try so many remedies without relief.

But with the wireless TENS units we’ve recommended, you can finally experience pain relief on the go, at work, or while doing daily chores.

You can take control of your life again.

Whether you choose the Hollywog WiTouch Pro, the iReliev TENS + EMS wireless combo, or one of the other options on our list, you’re bound to find a device that will work for you.

With customizable treatment options, portability, and ease of use, you can finally find the relief you deserve.

To your health and happiness,

The Back-Pain-Relief-Products team


Vance, C. G., Dailey, D. L., Rakel, B. A., & Sluka, K. A. (2014). Using TENS for pain control: the state of the evidence. Pain management4(3), 197–209.

DeSantana, J. M., Walsh, D. M., Vance, C., Rakel, B. A., & Sluka, K. A. (2008). Effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for treatment of hyperalgesia and painCurrent rheumatology reports10(6), 492–499.

2 thoughts on “The 6 Best Wireless TENS Units for Back Pain”

  1. Terrible lumbar pain & neck pain (five disks in the neck a flat and pressing on spinal column) where muscle lockup and pain is unbearable. Also severe pain in the hips. Prevents me from exercising till the doc got me tens unit. Have two cable leads, four pads, at the highest level. Went from 15 min on a treadmill to 1 hour due to tens unit. Would like to wear it during other exercises but cables make it impossible. Will wireless such as Hollywog work? Is it able to do two locations? Will it charge with USB?

    Garry Bryant


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