truMedic PL-009 TENS Unit Review
The truMedic PL-009 TENS Unit is one of those TENS units which you are going to see over and over again, since the PL-009 model by truMedic looks exactly like the same product as the PL-009 by Prospera model. It goes by another name too, the truMedic PL-009 TENS Massager Unit. It is also called the truMedic PL-009 Electronic Pulse Massager. There is not difference on the exact product specifications except that the name of the device is renamed to be associated with the seller of the device.
Prospera might have been the original creator and designer of the electronic pulse massager model but it was manufactured in China. When the Chinese manufacturers sold the devices, there was at least 4 main distributors who took the exact same model and slapped their name to the electrical muscle stimulation device.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation or EMS devices work on actually different types of tissue than TENS Unit, but it seems that the people who are selling them have been using the term TENS Unit and EMS Electrotherapy Device interchangeably.
Let’s actually take a look and compare the Prospera PL-009 with the truMedic PL-009 to see if there is even any difference between the two. At least from looking at the pictures I can not see any type of difference.
Buy it from Amazon here – Current Price: $52
If we look back at all of the models that we have seen so far, we can say that at least 3 of the older models which have been classified as TENS Units have been the same model. We wrote about it in our first review on the PL-009 and the 2nd review where we compared the PL009 vs PL029, and a third review where we again compared the PL009 to the PL029, but mainly focused on why the Pl-009 which is the older model still might be the better choice to have.
Not just does the company Prospera sell the same product, but we also reviewed the same product sold by other companies. We wrote about them in the post review on the Sunpentown Electronic Pulse Massager, Sunpentown UC-570 Massager, and finally the MapLeaf Pulse Massager.
If we look at the specs on this model, the descriptions say the same thing as the product page from the Prospera PL009 Pulse Massager page.
They call it the most advanced TENS electrotherapy unit and I sort of agree with them that of all the TENS units that I’ve seen this is one of the better ones. It seems to be a very popular model of pulse massager for use after you’ve done the regular workout. The types of symptoms that the truMedic PL-009 is supposed to be able to treat include the following…
- It can treat muscle soreness
- When the muscles get stiff, the electrical pulsing helps relax stiff muscles
- It also seems to work on relieving chronic pain
- It is supposed to be able to stop stress, which I find to be a very big stretch. We know that getting a great massager often does help lower stress but to claim that the electrically stimulated massage is just as good a a professional, thousand hour trained professional is a very large claim.
The size of the truMedic massager is very small. It weighs only 5.3 ounces and has the dimensions of a regular sized TV remote controller. The main point is that it is very portable.
This model, unlike the Omron PM3030, does have a LCD Display. It tells you how much time is left in the massager session you selected. Note that the way this model of TENS Unit works is by 15 minute cycles. Each massage session only lasts 1 cycle, which is 15 minutes. If you are going to use the device,be aware that you will have to repeatedly be restarting it over again
From the picture of the truMedic PL009 TENS device to the right, we can see that there is just 3 massage types that are pre-programmed into the device. There is
- Beat – The beat is similar to the effect you would get when a professional massager is using their palm ends to rapidly hit the body in a specific area over and over again.
- Knead – The Kneading massage style is similar to where a specific region is being pushed and pulled in a rhythmic fashion but in an angle. The stroke is strong, but straight, not circular.
- Massage – The massager just sounds exactly as it sounds, which is a massage, but the type of effect it has on the underlying muscle is very specific. When you apply the electrodes and turn on the device, it feels like the region of application is being moved in a circular fashion.
Just like what we said about the Prospera model, there is also 5 automatic stimulation programs, which have the electrical intensity level and the pulsing electrical signal frequency set to a certain value for what that specific muscle group really needs.
Based on basic massager principles, not all muscle groups are the same. The type of massage you would want to have on your quadriceps would not be the same as the type of massage to get for your deltoids, or triceps. This is why the massager modes are specified for body regions.
There are 5 body muscle group regions to focus on. They are the…
- Sole (This is the bottom of the feet)
- Hands & Feet
From looking at the picture, we see that besides setting the massage mode (aka massager program) or the massage style, we also have control over the speed. Since we are talking about electrical current signals, the speed is actually the frequency. This means that we have control over 4 things, the massage stye, massage program, signal intensity, and signal speed.
The device which is a Type II Medical Device is said by the sellers of the pulse massager that it ISO-9001 certified and FDA Approved. This means that in terms of quality control, most of the devices manufacture are set above a certain standard and will not do much harm. There is a 90 day warranty on the device so theoretically you should be able to result the device for a full refund.
The good thing about this model is that the sellers at least warn you that some kinds of medical conditions would require that you not use the electro-medical device since it could cause more damage than good.
- Any acute disease
- Infectious disease
- Heart disease
- High fever
- Abnormal blood pressure
- Lack of skin sensation
- Any type of abnormal skin condition
This long list of medical issues makes it seems that no one will be able to just go buy the device over the counter or through an online retailer without at least spending money and the time to go to their family doctor and consult their opinion. However, I wanted to give my own medical opinion over this issue. I would think that there are 4 main medical disorders or medical conditions which would warrant anyone to ever consider stop using the device or get any type of professional medical advice or medical consulting. The things we should have to worry about is whether the application of the electrical pulses will disrupt any type of internal electrical medical devices. The obvious one are the pace makers. Pacemakers aka Artificial Cardiac Pacemaker is a type of medical device that uses electrical impulses to regulate the beating of the heart. If the electrical pulses are applied in the chest area too close to the heart, it might disrupt the normal beating rhythm of the heart, causing fatal consequences.
So what do other people who have bought it think of the truMedic PL-009 TENS Device?
There are currently a little less than 50 reviews on the truMedic massager on its Amazon Product Page and most of them have been positive. The average rating for it is 8/10. We can analyze what the people who left positive comments said about it but it won’t really help us make a better decision on what to buy. This is why when we want to see what other people have said, we want to look for all of the negative reviews about this model. What is interesting that about 1 out of every 5 people have given the device the lowest of rating scores, 1 out of 5 stars.
- One of the common complaints was that the electrical signal was weak. This could be just a single case but it seems to be reiterated by quite a few people. It could be that the battery was losing charge, the electrode connector was not properly connected, or they were not using the hydrogel property for good conduction between the electrode surface and the skin.
- The modes also seem to randomly jump around. This would mean that the main microprocessor circuit has a problem. This is a manufacturing problem. You want to return it for a replacement model.
- The amount of options for adjustments were limited. It is true that this PL-009 model does not have as many options as the newer model of pulse massager by Prospera like the PL029 but I feel the key is whether the massager works in relieving pain.
- There is no continuous mode. I personally have complained about this issue myself. The signals because they are pulsing, means that it comes and goes, like the slow beating of a fist by a professional masseuse. There is a 3 second pulse interval that is quite maddening which I am trying to get used to. Patience is a problem when using this device.
So the majority of people who have had a serious problem have stated over and over again that the signal that they felt was not strong at all. It was too weak. That is the main problem that people have had with this model of TENS device.
So would I recommend this model of TENS massage unit?
In terms of functionality, durability, and effectiveness I would highly recommend this model of pulse massager. However we have to always be considering the relative cost of this model, which is the exact same product as other pulse massager models sold by other companies. It is currently listed on Amazon for around $50. Compare this to the price for the Prospera PL-009, which is around $30 – $35 currently. The price different is around $20, which is 40% of the cost for the truMedic PL-009 Model. If the electronic pulse massager does have the quality control, then all of the models of the same product should work equally well. Then we should be out bargain shopping, looking for the seller which can give us the lowest price.
Comparing the prices of the models sold by Sunpentown, MapLeaf, truMedic, and Prospera, the cheapest ones are from either Prospera or Sunpentown. So I would recommend buying the PL-009 from Prospera which is 40% cheaper on average.
To see what the truMedic PL-009 TENS Unit looks like and how it works, watch the video below.