Review of the Omron MAX Power TENS Unit to Control Pain

If you are dealing with chronic or acute pain, you owe it to yourself to work tirelessly to find relief. The Omron MAX Power Relief TENS unit is a simple-to-use electrotherapy device that can provide soothing pain relief. The device offers a user-friendly interface and multiple settings to help you get the pain relief you are looking for.

Photo of the Omron Home TENS Unit
Omron / Used with permission

What Is TENS?

Transcutaneous electric neuromuscular stimulation (TENS) is a form of electrical stimulation used by physical therapists to help patients control chronic or acute pain. It works by using electrical signals that interact with your body's natural sensory nerve endings. The electrical signals block painful signals going from your body to your brain, replacing the pain signals with electrical signals. It also helps your pain by triggering natural endorphins to be released in the bloodstream. These endorphins help to decrease the pain that you are feeling.

Using TENS over injured body parts may also help decrease your pain by improving local blood flow. This increased circulation helps to bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to injured, painful tissues.


Right out of the box, the Omron TENS unit is simple to set up, and a quick start guide is included to get you up and running within minutes.

Included in the box are the Omron TENS unit, electrode cords, two standard long life pads, pad holder, a full instruction manual, and quick-start instructions. The unit is powered by 2 AAA batteries, which are also included. Load the batteries into the unit, attach the electrode cords to the device and the 2 standard long life pads, and you're ready to go.

As the tester, I placed the two long life pads on the muscles of his low back, one on each side of the spine. I relaxed in a chair and pressed the power button. The unit powered right up, and the low back program was selected. I was able to slowly increase the intensity of the electrical impulses until it felt strong but comfortable.

The electrical output of the Omron was adequate, and the unit did not need to be adjusted any more after the initial setup.

Once the 15 minutes were completed, I removed the pads, and they maintained their stickiness. (I used the unit on my knee and shoulder as well, and the electrodes continued to be sticky.) I stored the electrodes on the plastic storage cord wrap, and the device stored neatly in the carrying case, ready to go again whenever the need would arise.

The unit has specific programs for certain body parts including the low back, leg, foot, and arm. You can also select a specific type of electrical current including tap, rub, or knead to mimic a specific type of massage.


Any home TENS unit (or TENS unit used in the physical therapy clinic) has certain limitations, and the Omron is no exception. First, there are 6 pre-programmed body pain modes and three massage-like modes, but there is no way to customize any setting. You simply cannot make fine-tuning adjustments on the unit. Most of the settings should suit your needs, but if you wanted to modify the current, you are unable to.

Secondly, the intensity level maxes out at 15. This will be plenty for some, but if you are a person who is a bit larger with some extra subcutaneous tissue or if you require a little more power, you may not be able to achieve your desired intensity level to manage your pain.

Is TENS Right for You?

Although TENS is a proven way to manage both chronic and acute pain, it should not be the only treatment for your injuries. Managing conditions like shoulder pain, back pain, or hip and knee pain requires movement and exercise. The Omron TENS unit should be considered one piece of the puzzle to managing your condition.

Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Johnson MI, Jones G, Paley CA. The clinical efficacy of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for acute and chronic pain: a protocol for a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs). BMJ Open 2019;9:e029999. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029999

  3. Cleveland Clinic. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

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By Brett Sears, PT
Brett Sears, PT, MDT, is a physical therapist with over 20 years of experience in orthopedic and hospital-based therapy.