What’s the Difference Between a TENS Unit and the Marc Pro?

tens unitWe receive many questions about the Marc Pro and Marc Pro Plus devices on a daily basis. Some of the most popular questions that we receive include:

One additional question that many individuals ask us, from CrossFitters to runners and everyone in between, is: “What is the difference between a TENS unit and the Marc Pro?” The word “TENS” is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. TENS units are inexpensive medical devices that attempt to mask pain symptoms by interfering with nerve signals. (Yes, you read that correctly…”mask” pain.)

TENS units have no rehabilitative, recovery, or conditioning benefits. Marc Pro technology, on the other hand, works differently by activating a cascading series of physiological effects through a specific type of muscle contraction that leads to enhanced recovery and conditioning. Marc Pro’s unique waveform and long pulse duration creates a non-fatiguing muscle contraction, which is optimal for muscle recovery. Most muscle stimulators use technology that stems from devices used for muscle re-education, where the goal is to fatigue muscles that have atrophied. These devices have their purpose but when you are trying to recover, putting further stress on the muscles will reverse any recovery benefits. If strong enough, any electric signal can produce a muscle contraction, what’s important is the type of muscle contraction that is produced. In addition, the Marc Pro Plus can provide significant relief by actually shutting down pain, combined with recovery benefits to help problem areas actually recover and get better.

The wrong type of current or too much current can be painful or even harmful to the body. TENS units are typically inexpensive, and an individual can expect for pain to be dulled while using the unit. However, the results from using these devices are not long-lasting, as lasting relief is not typically experienced. In addition, a TENS unit is not designed to allow for conditioning or recovery benefits.

We are always busy. There are always a million things to do in a day, and the lists of things that need to get done seem to perpetually grow longer. Each day, the body is being pushed: recreationally, competitively, and even at work while sitting. The body and muscles rarely have a chance to fully recover. Whether you feel sore or not, there is a recovery deficit, which can lead to major issues. This recovery deficit hinders your performance, affects the way you feel, and greatly increases the chance of getting injured.

If you don’t fully recover, you don’t fully benefit. Strength gains come during the recovery process when muscles rebuild themselves. When you don’t allow them to fully recover, you are compromising your progression and performance. And whether at work or play, most injuries happen when your body is fatigued, as a result of overuse. The term “overuse” is just another way of saying under- recovered. The Marc Pro and Marc Pro Plus can help with recovery after each day of hard work or play.

The Marc Pro Takeaway

So what’s the most notable difference between the Marc Pro Plus and a TENS or the main moral of this story? Instead of masking pain, the Marc Pro technology works to clear waste from fatigued muscles and accelerate both the recovery and conditioning processes. Also, the Marc Pro Plus has the added benefit of being able to shut down pain signals for those who have pain beyond muscle soreness and fatigue. The same technology that gives Marc Pro an advantage over traditional muscle stimulators when it comes to recovery, also makes Marc Pro Plus so effective for pain relief. The unique waveform and long pulse duration allows the signal to stay in the tissue longer which provides results that are much more significant and lasting. The goal with Marc Pro Plus is not to mask pain but to achieve lasting relief after sessions.

Do you have a question about the Marc Pro or Marc Pro Plus? Let us know via Twitter (@themarcpro) or Instagram (@themarcpro). Your question could be the feature of our next Marc Pro blog!