Can TENS Machines Help With Muscle Recovery Post Workout? [Updated for 2021]

Can TENS Machines Help With Muscle Recovery Post Workout? [Updated for 2021]
April 12, 2021



TENS & EMS help stimulate muscles to temporarily increase local circulation and help with muscle recovery.

For something that’s so important to our health, exercise can be a real pain; especially when you experience post-workout muscle soreness.

This discomfort is actually a very natural side effect of working out, no matter where you’re at on your fitness journey. In fact, post-workout muscle soreness is a sign that your body is working to get stronger. Regardless, that doesn’t make the soreness any less uncomfortable.

Luckily, there are ways to relieve this discomfort, and finding relief is important. Faster muscle recovery can make it a lot easier to stay motivated and keep at the physical activities you love! Read on to learn about how TENS machines can help temporarily relieve sore and achy muscles and help with muscle recovery. 



Why do muscles hurt after a workout?

This very common soreness in the muscles gradually sets-in between 24 and 48 hours after a workout session. Because of this, it’s known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS). It’s caused by resistance training, such as lifting weights and pushups, but also by activities like cycle training or running.

DOMS occurs due to the uncommon strain we put on our muscles when we exercise. This can cause very small, microscopic tears in the muscle fibres. These tears may result in increased inflammation in the affected muscles. In some cases, this tearing can lead to swelling. The combined effect of these bodily functions causes the soreness we feel, and this soreness subsides with muscle recovery. 

It’s important to understand that this soreness is very common and temporary. It’s also a sign that your muscles are working to get stronger. As the muscle repairs and rebuilds itself, it may be able to handle heavier loads and more resistance.




How a TENS machine can help with post-workout muscle recovery

Just because the muscle soreness is normal, does not make it any less uncomfortable to go through. Using a TENS machine like DR-HO’S Pain Therapy System 4-Pad after a workout can help to temporarily relieve the muscle soreness that comes with DOMS. The Pain Therapy System 4-Pad combines the benefits of TENS therapy and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS).



What's the difference between TENS and EMS?

While TENS uses a gentle electrical current to temporarily relieve pain, EMS contracts and expands the muscles to temporarily increase local circulation and improve muscle performance.

The muscle stimulation encourages blood and fresh oxygen to flow to the sore muscles after a workout. Additionally, it’s believed that massaging the muscles after a workout can reduce the production of proteins called cytokines, which play an important role in causing inflammation. The less inflammation there is in the muscles, the less painful they will become and the faster you'll find muscle recovery. 



Use a TENS machine before physical activity, too.

The Pain Therapy System 4-Pad doesn’t only help with the temporary relief of muscle soreness after a workout, it’s also a good idea to use the machine before you start exercising. The EMS features of the Pain Therapy System 4-Pad help to stimulate the muscles before a workout session. Using your device for as little as ten minutes before a workout can help to temporarily increase circulation by stimulating the nerves and muscles.

It’s important to note that TENS or EMS therapies should not stand in for stretching. You should always stretch out your body before a workout to avoid strain and injury!



Other ways to reduce post-workout pain and promote faster muscle recovery

There are other things you can do in addition to using a TENS machine to help with post-workout muscle recovery as DOMS sets in. Check out our list! 


Don’t let soreness keep you from reaching your fitness goals.

Post-workout pain can be tough, especially when you’re just starting out. It’s important to not get discouraged about muscle soreness and muscle recovery; it’s a key part of the process towards being more physically active.

Take it slow and build your routine gradually for the best results. And when the soreness hits, try a TENS machine and other methods mentioned above. Finally, if the pain you are experiencing feels worse than normal or you fear you’ve injured yourself, it’s important to consult your doctor right away. Now go onwards with your newfound knowledge towards a happier, healthier lifestyle! 



Learn more about TENS on the DR-HO'S Blog!