Perfect PEMF

Perfect PEMF

Pemf Mats vs. Tens Units – Which is better?


People are often confused when someone mentions TENS or PEMF devices. Some think they are the same. But they are not. They are quite different. Each has its purposes and one does not replace the other.

What is a TENS Device?

TENS is a small, fairly inexpensive device used to block pain. It is great for treating short-term issues such as muscle spasms.  

What is a PEMF Device?

PEMF Device is a large device such as a mat or large coil. It is great for long-term treatment of issues such as back pain. Its main function is to condition the cells in the body so that the body can heal itself.

What is TENS Therapy? 

TENS therapy, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-voltage electrical currents to relieve pain. It works by delivering electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the skin, which stimulates the nerves and reduces pain signals to the brain. TENS therapy is believed to work in two ways: by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and by blocking the pain signals from reaching the brain. This therapy is commonly used to relieve chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lower back pain. It is a safe and drug-free alternative to pain medication, and its effectiveness varies from person to person. TENS devices are portable and can be used at home or under the guidance of a healthcare professional. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before using TENS therapy, as it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions or implanted devices. 

What is PEMF Therapy?

PEMF therapy stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy. It is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment method that utilizes electromagnetic fields to improve overall health and well-being. PEMF therapy works by delivering electromagnetic pulses to the body, which penetrate deep into the tissues and cells. These pulses stimulate cellular repair and regeneration processes, helping to reduce pain, and inflammation, and promote healing. PEMF therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, musculoskeletal injuries, arthritis, depression, migraines, and insomnia. It can also be used for general wellness and performance enhancement. PEMF devices can vary in size and intensity, allowing for personalized treatments based on individual needs. The therapy is painless and can be done in the comfort of one’s home or under professional supervision. Many people, I being one, have reported significant improvements in their overall health and quality of life with regular use of PEMF therapy. 

Why Are TENS and PEMF Often Confused?

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy are often confused due to their similar applications and benefits. Both treatments utilize electrical currents to provide pain relief and promote healing in the body. TENS therapy involves the use of a small device that delivers low-voltage electrical currents to the skin through electrodes. It helps to block pain signals from reaching the brain and stimulates the release of endorphins, providing temporary pain relief. On the other hand, PEMF therapy uses low-frequency electromagnetic fields to stimulate cells and promote tissue repair. It is commonly used to accelerate bone healing, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. While their primary goal is pain relief and healing, the main difference lies in the type of currents used. TENS therapy focuses on providing temporary pain relief by blocking pain signals, while PEMF therapy targets deeper issues by stimulating cell repair and regeneration. Despite the confusion, both TENS and PEMF offer effective pain management and have been widely adopted in the field of alternative medicine. 

What is the Difference Between PEMF and TENS

PEMF and TENS unit are both non-invasive therapies used to help relieve pain and promote healing. However, there are fundamental differences between the two. PEMF, or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy, uses electromagnetic fields to stimulate the body’s cells and promote healing. It works at the cellular level by improving circulation, reducing inflammation, and increasing the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), which is the body’s energy source. On the other hand, TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and uses electrical currents to alleviate pain. It works by sending low-voltage electrical currents to the nerves, which can disrupt and block pain signals from reaching the brain. While PEMF focuses on targeting the whole body and enhancing cellular function, TENS therapy targets specific areas affected by pain. Additionally, TENS machines often need to be manually controlled, whereas PEMF devices usually have pre-set programs for ease of use.

Overall, the main difference lies in the mechanisms of action and the level of specificity and control each therapy provides. 

The tens units don’t impact actual healing, they block pain receptor signals. It is a short-term pain relief solution. PEMF devices don’t simply manage the pain, it is a long-term pain solution. It helps the body with its natural healing ability.

Similarities Between PEMF And TENS

PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) are both non-invasive techniques commonly used for pain management and promoting healing. Despite their differences in terms of technology and application, there are several similarities between the two. Firstly, both PEMF and TENS devices use electrical currents to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. They both work by delivering low-level electrical impulses to the affected area, which can help reduce pain and inflammation. Secondly, both therapies can be used to relieve acute and chronic pain, such as back pain, joint pain, and muscle soreness. The electrical impulses from both PEMF and TENS machines can stimulate the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers, providing temporary relief from pain. Additionally, both therapies have minimal side effects and can be used safely alongside other forms of treatment. Overall, PEMF and TENS have many similarities in their use, making them valuable tools in pain management and promoting healing. 

What Conditions Should be Treated With TENS

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is commonly used to relieve various types of pain. It is particularly effective for conditions such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic low back pain. TENS has also been found to be beneficial in managing musculoskeletal pain, such as neck and shoulder pain, as well as post-operative pain. Additionally, TENS can provide relief for conditions involving nerve pain, including sciatica and diabetic neuropathy. It has been observed that TENS helps reduce pain intensity, improve physical functioning, and enhance quality of life for individuals suffering from these conditions. However, it is important to note that TENS may not be suitable for everyone or may need to be used with caution in certain situations.

I find it really helpful when I have a muscle spasm that is the cause of the pain in my neck or back. The electrical stimulation causes the muscle to relax and results in pain reduction.

If you have questions about using a tens unit, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure its safety and appropriateness for specific medical conditions. 

What Conditions Should be Treated With PEMF

 It is effective for treating a variety of conditions. One of the most common uses of PEMF is for pain relief. It can help reduce inflammation and promote healing in conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and back pain. PEMF is also used for promoting bone health and enhancing recovery after fractures or surgeries. It can stimulate bone growth and improve the overall strength of bones. Additionally, PEMF has been shown to be helpful for treating depression and anxiety. The electromagnetic fields of PEMF can stimulate the brain and promote the release of feel-good hormones, leading to improved mood and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, PEMF has been used for treating sleep disorders such as insomnia. It can help regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promote deep, restorative sleep. Overall, PEMF is a versatile therapy that can be beneficial for individuals with various conditions, ranging from pain and inflammation to mental health and sleep disorders. 

PEMF vs Tens Chart

                                  TENS                PEMF

manage pain                x                      x

repair damaged cells                              x

relieves pain quickly      x

stop muscle spams          x

requires direct skin contact x

enhances body’s natural healing x


Tens are used to treat pain symptoms by plock pain receptor signals. TENS doesn’t heal. PEMF on the other hand is less about treating symptoms and more about healing. PEMF therapy stimulates the cells and tissues in the body and promotes healing. We are seeing PEMF therapy for cancer patients and all kinds of conditions. 

Don’t get me wrong pemf therapy and tens therapy are both helpful and both should be considered. They are not equivalent. It is not pemf or tens. Each has its place. I use TENS for muscle injury pain and pemf when I want benefits beyond pain relief. Long-term pain relief and improved health.

I hope this article helps you understand the differences between pemf vs tens. 

Scroll to Top