Disclaimer: This Omron Avail wireless TENS review is sponsored by Omron Healthcare. Although this review is sponsored, all opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the company. This post contains affiliate links.
Many of my fellow chronic pain sufferers use TENS units to relieve localized pain. I’ve never been a big fan of TENS because most of them come with a jumble of wires and electrodes that constantly become tangled like Christmas lights. I also don’t like the feeling of being tied (i.e. wired) to a device.
Omron’s new Avail TENS unit solves both of those issues because it’s completely wireless. No more annoying cords!
Avail actually comes with two TENS devices that can be used simultaneously on different parts of the body. Each includes a sticky pad to adhere the device to the site of your pain.
Avail is extremely easy to use. Each device is fully controlled from your iOS or Android smartphone using the free Omron app. Just open the app, apply the TENS to your pain site, then push the single button on the device to power it on.
The app automatically connects to Avail using bluetooth technology. From the app, select the location where you’ve attached the device – lower back, shoulder, knee, elbow or leg – and then choose between a TENS session or a microcurrent session. (I’ll explain the differences between TENS and microcurrent later on.)
If you choose the TENS option, there will be eight different modes to fully customize your session: steady, acupuncture-like, knead and tap, or pre-programmed sessions for the lower back, shoulder, joint, arm or leg. If you find a mode you love, Avail gives you the option of saving it to a favorites list so you can access it more quickly in the future.
The app also includes a diary section where you can track your pain levels over time. If you have questions about how to use the device or need to troubleshoot a problem, there’s a help section built into the app, too.
At any time during a session, you can check the app to see how much time is remaining. You can pause or quit a session from the app, if necessary. There’s also an option to increase or decrease the intensity of the TENS sensation.
When a session is about to end, the app sends a notification to your smartphone. Avail comes with a convenient case to store both devices and the sticky pads while not in use.
How TENS and microcurrent reduce pain…
Avail’s TENS and microcurrent options provide pain relief in different ways.
“A therapy regularly administered by physical therapists and chiropractors, TENS sends stimulating pulses across the surface of the skin and along the nerve strands,” reads an Omron press release. “The pulses help prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. Electrical stimulation can also trigger the body to release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and improve blood circulation.”
TENS is commonly used for acute and chronic pain, post-operative incisions and post-surgical pain, migraine/tension headaches, arthritis, tendonitis/bursitis and wound healing. Some doctors may advise against using TENS if you have a pacemaker or are in the first weeks of pregnancy.
In comparison, microcurrent uses a current similar to the body’s own natural current to restore cellular energy flow within the body’s tissues. The sensation from a microcurrent session is so faint that it’s rarely felt by the user.
The benefits of using microcurrent include increased protein synthesis, stimulation of the uptake of amino acids, increased ATP (i.e. energy) concentration, and greater tissue regeneration/recovery. Research studies have confirmed microcurrent may be helpful for tendonitis, menstrual pain, tennis elbow, bruxism (grinding teeth) and masseter (TMJ) pain, among others.
My Omron Avail TENS review…
I’ve been using Avail quite a lot the past few days as I struggle with a flareup of a herniated disc in my lower back. Since Avail is so easy to use, I will be gifting my old wired TENS unit to someone else who can use it. I love that Avail has only one button on each device – you can’t mess it up! – and that it’s completely controlled from the app. No more struggling to hit the right button or see a small screen!
I also love that I can stand up and move around while I’m using it without wires sticking out from under my clothing. Conceivably, I could use the Avail while out in public, and no one would ever know.
I’ve noticed the Avail devices have an extremely long battery life. I’ve been using one of the devices multiple times a day for more than a week and still haven’t had to recharge it yet. That may not sound like a big deal, but it’s one less thing on my to-do list.
And finally, I like that Avail provides drug-free pain relief. I don’t have to worry about annoying side effects!
As for Avail’s downsides, it is pricier than some other TENS devices on the market. There is also some expense associated with replacing the sticky pads as they wear out. The pads can be purchased on Omron’s website or Amazon.
If you’re looking to upgrade your current TENS device or invest in a high quality one for the first time, I think Avail is a smart choice. Amazon currently has it on sale for 10% off.