Anyone who wants to recover faster after training, or struggles with muscle pain throughout the day should invest in a muscle stimulator. The quality products can make a big difference and even get rid of the pain completely where nothing else has worked. They can even be used to warm the muscles up before a workout and the likes of EMS machines have come a long way to ensure they are safe to use.
Whatever the type of machine used, the product needs to tick certain boxes, which is why we have created the following list of the best muscle stimulators. Each one has something different to offer but they all do an excellent job of providing different types of muscle therapy.
Quick Summary of Best Muscle Stimulators
Editor’s Choice: Belifu Dual Channel TENS EMS Unit 24 Modes Muscle Stimulator for Pain Relief Therapy
It is often used by those who suffer from arthritis, knee pain, neck pain, sports injuries, and more. There are 20 different levels of intensity to choose from and the ability to choose and amend the time period at a maximum of 60 minutes in one sitting. There are also multiple ways to charge it, using a USB, wall charger, or even a power bank. This is one of the easiest muscle stimulators available, which is part of what makes it one of the most popular.
- Comes with 10 reusable pads
- 24 different modes
- 20 levels of intensity
- Great value
- Easy to use
- Multiple uses
Best Accessories: TENS 7000 2nd Edition Digital TENS Unit with Accessories
It comes with a 1-year warranty and over a decade of experience behind their million-plus units sold. The convenient carry case is hard-wearing and protects the unit, pads, and wires so the user knows that wherever they go, this reliable and trusted muscle stimulator is going to offer some relief from muscle pain.
- 10 levels of intensity
- Includes a carry case
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- 5 therapy modes
- Needs batteries
Best Premium: Compex Edge 2.0 Muscle Stimulator with TENS Bundle Kit
The strength programs work on the fast-twitch to stimulate muscle fibers to help with explosive strength. The price is higher than a lot of the competition but the quality is easy to see. Not only does it have a rechargeable battery but it is also built to last, has a sturdy feel, and packs a punch when you need it to.
- 12 snap electrodes
- 4 programs including strength endurance
- Both TENS and EMS
- Rechargeable battery
- Could be a bit pricey for some
Best Budget Option: HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit
The belt clip makes it easy to keep out the way whilst using one of the 6 therapeutic modes that include kneading, tapping, cupping, acupuncture, and scraping. It comes with 3 x AAA batteries, which makes it portable and ideal for when you need to recover from a tough workout on the go.
- Comes with 8 pads
- 20 levels of intensity
- 15 different modes
- Good value
- Requires batteries to work
Most Convenient: TechCare Massager Tens Unit Muscle Stimulator
There are 24 modes to choose from making it easy to tailor the muscle relief to the pain being experienced and it has been found to reduce inflammation as well. The large icons. on the screen make it easy to select different modes and pads can be placed almost anywhere including the common areas that muscles tend to suffer such as the shoulders, neck, knees, lower back, calf, and more.
- Adjustable timer up to 60 minutes
- Two people can use different modes at the same time
- 24 modes
- Many of the settings are similar
Easiest Menu: HiDow TENS Unit XPD-12 Modes
Both a TENS and EMS machine, it can treat everything from inflamed discs and joints to neck pain. There are 8 massage modes to choose from when you have got home from a strenuous workout or day at work and they get to work within minutes, soothing muscles. It also comes with a limited 2-year warranty which is more generous than most. Chargeable via the included USB cable, this muscle stimulator comes with everything needed for drug-free pain relief.
- 20 different levels of strength
- 8 massage modes
- Includes a 2-year warranty
- Includes USB cable
- Could be too pricey for some
Muscle Stimulator Buyer’s Guide
Sometimes, stepping home from work is a relief after being on your feet all day, or even returning from the gym can make you realize that that sore neck isn’t getting any better. For small aches or serious muscle pain, a muscle stimulator can provide an easy solution from the comfort of home. Without the need for pain relief from drugs and no side effects, they are highly effective.
This is only when using a quality product as some brands are far better than others, when it comes to pain relief, there is little point taking chances. To help make this purchase easier, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
What To Look For In A Muscle Stimulator
A variable strength is important for pain relief as sometimes, only a little vibration is needed, whilst deeper pain requires increased strength. The better products offer multiple options here, with as many increments as possible between the weakest strength and strongest.
Again versatility is key and the more modes a muscle stimulator has, the better it is going to be for pain relief. There should be a multitude of massage options from kneading to scraping as well as other modes such as deep tissue and even muscle recovery modes. Some even include strength endurance that works the fast twitching fibers.
There are battery-operated muscle stimulators available and whilst these are easily portable, they do leave the user at the mercy of the battery life. This is less than ideal which is why it is best to purchase a product with a rechargeable lithium battery. As long as it has a long battery life then this should suffice, anything of around 20 hours continual use will be fine.
Otherwise, a product that can be powered via USB or mains should mean it can be used in most situations.
The more pads the better as this means the muscle stimulator can target different areas at the same time. Even if you are looking for pain relief on the back, it is better to have more pads to work in a larger area.
Not a lot of muscle stimulators offer this, but if a lot of people like to be able to use these devices at the same time as their partner or someone else, having an A/B mode is useful. This means the user can customize different modes to work at the same time so two people can benefit from the pain relief at once.
Because these devices are often simple, the screen should be easy to navigate from the first use. The better brands offer clear menus and adjustments that are easy to move between, and anything with an LCD screen tends to make life easier.
As useful as these products are, they are still susceptible to breaking. This is why it is important to protect the purchase with a warranty. Some brands are more generous than others but even a year can provide a little peace of mind.
A lot of products, particularly in the lower price range, are made from cheap materials. Some just don’t have a durable feel from the off which is why it is important to purchase from a reputable company. This can be countered with a sturdy carry case, but don’t rely on this alone.
Benefits Of Using A Muscle Stimulator
After the first use, many people find other ways of putting a muscle stimulator to work since there are usually a variety of different modes, but some of the most common benefits include treating the following:
- Pain Relief
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Joint Swelling
- Stress Relief
- Improve Blood Flow
- Enhanced Rehabilitation
Is A Muscle Stimulator Worth It?
Anyone who suffers from sore muscles or who wants to quicken the recovery process after exercise can benefit fro using a muscle stimulator. Sometimes described as a TENS machine, they help to work sore muscles and massage at different strengths to help get the user back on their feet.
Anyone who feels the strain of a workout or a long day of work on their shoulders or lower back or those with long-term injuries can benefit from using a muscle stimulator.
How Much Does A Muscle Stimulator Cost?
The good news is that pain relief doesn’t have to come at a high price. There are plenty of reliable machines available for around $30. These might not have as many modes adjustable strengths as the elite products, but they do a good job of alleviating pain or a lot of people. Otherwise, it is possible to spend $200 for a high-end muscle stimulator. Expect more options, a reliable product, and more strength.
How Does A Muscle Stimulator Work?
By emulating the effect of neuron signals they send signals to specific muscles that make them contract, hence speeding up the recovery process. A lot of people like them because they are easy to use, effective, and convenient. There aren’t other options that are drug-free and as effective that can be self-administered at any time.
What Is The Best Muscle Stimulator?
We considered a variety of products and found that the best in terms of performance and value was the Belifu Dual Channel TENS EMS Unit. With 24 different modes, there aren’t many brands offering as much for the buyer’s money, something that is evident in the generous 10 pads alone. There are 20 levels of intensity to choose from and it has a powerful maximum that others in the price range struggle to better.
The best elite muscle stimulator was the Compex Edge 2.0 Muscle Stimulator with TENS Bundle Kit with its strength endurance mode and 12 snap-on electrodes but it could be on the pricey side for some budgets.