BioTENS 2 - Product Review of The Day
The BioTENS 2 is an amazing electrical therapy unit that will help relieve your pain without drugs or painkillers, but it will require some batteries.
Shop Orthopedics believes that the best way for a customer to choose a product is to give them as much information on it as possible. This is why we are taking the time to review as many of our products as we can, to help you choose the right one. Today, we are reviewing the BioTENS 2 unit. It's an electrical therapy unit with a ton of awesome features that we'll go into below.
First off is the basic design. The BioTENS 2 from American Imex is a small, light, and portable unit that comes in a nice portable black plastic case with a handle. On the inside is a foam insert that holds the BioTENS unit in place, even when the case might be jumbled around. Laying flat, the case measurements are roughly 3 inches tall, 10 inches long, and 8 inches wide. It fits neatly on a piece of A4 printer paper (8.5x11") and could totally slip away into a suitcase or backpack with ease. The total weight when packed away is a smidge under 3 pounds. When removed from the case, the unit itself is roughly 1.5 inches tall, 5 inches long, and 3 inches wide. It weighs about a quarter pound by itself. Portable!
Included in the package are the electrode leads and four electrodes, along with the BioTENS unit itself and a 9 volt battery. The unit is made of a textured, hard, beige plastic and feels very durable. You wouldn't want to drop it, but it feels well built enough that it could survive a short fall. The unit also has a nice flip cover to protect the knobs when they aren't being adjusted. This TENS unit has 3 modes. Each mode can be controlled through dual, separate channels. A brief explanation of the modes is below:
(if you want more information on the basics, or are asking yourself, "What is Pulse Rate? What is Pulse WIdth? What is TENS?" Check out our article on TENS Basics)
Burst Mode - In this mode, the unit will cycle through 2 bursts per second, with 9 pulses per burst, at 100hz. The pulse width is adjustable.
Modulation Mode - In this mode, the pulse width is automatically regulated to intervals of 6 seconds. The pulse width is modulated during this time from the set value to 35% less than the control setting value, then back to the set value. The rate, width, and intensity are fully adjustable.
Conventional Mode - In this mode you are free to adjust the pulse rate and width at will, to find the setting that works best for you.
The above information might feel like an overloard and seem very complex. The verbiage used definitely is, but when you sit down with the BioTENS it quickly becomes clear how to use it. You start by attaching the electrodes to your bare skin, wherever you are feeling pain or other symptoms. Then you simply attach the electrodes to the leads, plug the leads into the machine, and turn the machine on. We recommend you start at a lower level and work your way up to a comfortable setting where you can feel the electrodes stimulating your muscles. The feeling is very unique, but should be therapeutic and never painful. If you need replacement electrodes, you can order those from the Shop-Orthopedics page, just do a search for replacement electrodes.
A common place to attach the electrodes is the lower back/lumbar area, or mid back. Simply stick the electrodes on either side of the spine, on muscles that are achy or painful, and ramp the intensity up to a good and comfortable level. It helps to relax while the machine delivers therapeutic pulses or bursts to the affected area, so find a nice place to lay or sit during your mini therapy session. The manufacturer states that this can be used for as long as you might need it, but obviously if you are feeling pain or any kind of discomfort you should stop immediately.
The BioTENS 2, as with all TENS units, is extremely safe. You may not want to use it, however, if you have anything that it might interfere with (a pacemaker, for example). It is not recommended to use the unit while pregnant, or if you have epilepsy. This unit is also not recommended for use in sensitive areas, such as:
-On the eyes/face
-On the front of the neck (risk of acute hypotension
-Through the chest, with one electrode on the front of the chest, and one on the back
-Internally or directly on broken skin/wounds (though you can use it safely around these areas)
-Directly on the spine
When used correctly, TENS therapy is incredibly therapeutic. Though the device does use electricity to stimulate muscle and nerves, it is not at all painful. To maximize the therapy aspect, we slowly increased the intensity to until we found a good level. During usage, the BioTENS 2 did relieve minor back aches and sore muscles in a short period of time. The feeling is very unique, but again, not painful. If you crank the dial all the way to maximum, you might feel a small amount of discomfort, but nothing major. The BioTENS 2 definitely has usage for pain management, and could be especially helpful if you are interested in relieving chronic pains and aches without the use of pharmaceuticals or drugs.
Overall, this is a great little device. It's well built, and lasts long enough to manage pain in an effective manner. It's simple and efficient with no real moving parts or small pieces to lose. On the other side of the coin, the electrodes will need to be replaced after they lose their stickiness. They can be reused a good amount of times, and will work when they aren't sticky, but this is not as effective as a brand new electrode. In addition to the electrodes needing to be replaced, every so often you will need to buy a new 9 volt battery. These are becoming increasingly difficult to find as 9 volts aren't used as often as they once were. Not sure where to buy a tens unit? Click here.