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PEMF vs. TENs vs. Shockwave

When it comes to non-invasive treatments for pain relief, tissue repair, and overall wellness, several options are available. Among these, PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy, TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) units, and shockwave therapy are popular choices. Each of these therapies has its unique mechanisms, benefits, and applications. Let's explore how they compare:

PEMF Therapy

PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy involves the use of pulsing electromagnetic fields to stimulate cellular function. This therapy enhances the body's natural healing processes by increasing the energy production within cells. PEMF therapy is often used for pain relief, reducing inflammation, and promoting tissue regeneration.

How it works: PEMF devices emit electromagnetic waves that penetrate deep into the body, stimulating cell repair and improving circulation.

Benefits: This therapy can improve cellular health, enhance energy levels, and reduce pain and inflammation. It is particularly effective for chronic conditions, as consistent use over weeks or months can yield significant improvements.

Safety and comfort: PEMF therapy is generally well-tolerated and safe for most people. It doesn't involve direct electrical currents to the skin, making it a comfortable option for extended use.

TENs Unit

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) units are commonly used for pain relief by sending electrical impulses through the skin to stimulate nerves.

How it works: TENS units deliver low-voltage electrical currents to specific areas of the body via electrodes placed on the skin. These currents interfere with the transmission of pain signals to the brain and may stimulate the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.

Benefits: TENS units are portable, easy to use, and can provide immediate pain relief. They are often used for acute pain conditions, muscle soreness, and after injuries.

Safety and comfort: While generally safe, TENS units can cause discomfort or skin irritation at the electrode sites. It's essential to use them according to the manufacturer's instructions to avoid any potential adverse effects.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy uses acoustic waves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. This method is particularly effective for conditions involving connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.

How it works: Shockwave devices generate high-energy sound waves that are transmitted to the affected area. These waves stimulate healing by promoting blood flow, reducing inflammation, and breaking down calcified tissues.

Benefits: Shockwave therapy is effective for chronic pain conditions like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and calcific shoulder tendinopathy. It can accelerate the healing process and improve mobility.

Safety and comfort: While effective, shockwave therapy can be uncomfortable during treatment, as the high-energy waves can cause pain. However, treatments are usually short, and discomfort typically subsides after the session. It's generally safe when performed by a trained professional.

Comparing the Three Therapies

Mechanism of Action: PEMF therapy uses electromagnetic fields to stimulate cells, TENS units use electrical impulses to block pain signals, and shockwave therapy uses acoustic waves to promote tissue healing.

Depth of Treatment: PEMF therapy can penetrate deep into tissues, making it suitable for a wide range of conditions. TENS units primarily target nerves near the skin surface. Shockwave therapy focuses on deeper musculoskeletal issues.

Applications: PEMF is versatile for both chronic and acute conditions. TENS units are best for immediate pain relief. Shockwave therapy is ideal for specific chronic conditions affecting connective tissues.

Comfort and Safety: PEMF therapy is generally the most comfortable and has minimal side effects. TENS units can cause skin irritation, and shockwave therapy can be painful during treatment sessions.


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Jones Chiropractic is a self-pay clinic. We do not accept insurance, but we do accept all forms of payments including FSA/HSA payments at time of service.

Please Note: Some of our services and products have not undergone evaluation or approval by the FDA. It is always advised that you consult with a licensed healthcare provider, including our doctors, before considering any new treatment. Medical Disclaimer.

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