Does TENS for carpal tunnel work? Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects all people, but it is more common in manual workers. Occupations and sectors like an assembly line, construction, cleaning, agriculture, or baking are prone to developing CTS. In addition, it is also present in office workers doing typing jobs. A carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes numbness and prickling sensation in the hand and arm. In most patients, the pain may worsen over time. That is why early diagnosis and treatment are essential to treat pain. As such, non-surgical methods help improve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, you can manage carpal tunnel syndrome from home through electrotherapy like TENS.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition resulting from repetitive hand movement. The discomfort comes from compression on the median nerve as it runs through the carpal tunnel on the wrist. The median nerve is a major nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand. It controls the thumb and the first three fingers. In addition, it can significantly affect mobility and sensation. Numbness and sensory disturbances may radiate into the forearms, and swelling of the tendon sheaths may occur. Many people wear a splint to hold the wrist or take oral analgesics to improve carpal tunnel syndrome. Alternatively, using TENS for carpal tunnel can help ease hand and wrist pain.
Pain Relief through TENS
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a therapy using mild electrical currents to reduce pain symptoms. TENS for carpal tunnel works by transmitting the electrical currents through the skin to reach the sensory nerves. Once the electrical currents flood the nerve fibres, they stimulate the neural pathway of pain signals to close. As a result, the pain signals do not reach the brain. In addition, they induce the release of endorphins which act as the body’s natural pain relievers. Together, they reduce overall pain perception. In particular, the iTENS from iTENS Australia is a wearable tech device for managing acute and chronic pain. The iTENS has a set of wireless electrodes connected to gel pads to facilitate easy and convenient pain relief.
Risk factors of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A combination of factors causes carpal tunnel syndrome in most cases. Older people and women have a high chance of developing CTS. In addition, swelling can cause pressure on the median nerves, resulting in pain. The symptoms may begin gradually and without a specific injury. In some cases, pain may come and go at first. However, the pain becomes more frequent and prolonged as the condition worsens. Early on, using TENS for carpal tunnel syndrome can stop or slow down the progression. Unfortunately, if untreated, it can lead to severe nerve damage, requiring surgery. In addition, CTS is common to older people and those who work with their hands. In general, the risk factors for developing carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- Repetitive hand use
- Hand and wrist position
- Wrist fractures
- Health conditions – diabetes, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, renal failures
iTENS: Wireless TENS features
The iTENS offers revolutionary pain relief through wireless electrode pads. The iTENS can connect to a smartphone app via a Bluetooth connection. You can facilitate several treatments from the app, including TENS for carpal tunnel. For efficient pain relief, simply peel-and-stick the cover from the gel pads and place it on the pain site. Then, turn on the device and launch the app. In particular, the iTENS app features various built-in programs for different body pains or conditions. For example, you may choose the therapy for carpal tunnel to ease CTS symptoms. The iTENS programs have fixed parameters to give the most effective relief. So, you can manage pain safely and easily.
You can get fast and efficient relief using TENS for carpal tunnel. The wireless iTENS comes with small or large wing kit to fit in most body parts. In particular, the large wings are suitable for broad areas like the upper back and hips. Meanwhile, the small wings are ideal for joint areas like wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. The TENS unit placement for carpal tunnel will vary from person to person. In general, start by placing one electrode in the palm of the hand and one on the wrist. You may alter the pads placement or adjust the intensity setting until you feel optimal results. Lastly, the smartphone app can check the recommended pads placement for each condition.
Managing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are several things you can to manage pain from carpal tunnel syndrome at home. The combination of TENS for carpal tunnel and home remedies can be effectively prevent the worsening of the condition. Looking for the pressure source on the median nerve can prevent the pain. In addition, you may apply the following techniques below:
- Bracing or splinting – Wear a brace or splint at night to hold the wrist while sleeping or avoid bending. Keeping the wrist in a neutral position reduces pressure on the nerves.
- Relaxing the grip – Reducing force can lessen the pain, especially if your work involves using the keyboard or writing.
- Changing hand/wrist position – Change routine movement and avoid fully bending your wrist up or down. Keep your position as relaxed as possible.
- Stretching – Nerve gliding exercise can help the median nerve move more freely. Gently stretch the hands and wrists and alter activities from time to time. In addition, follow specific hand exercises recommended by your doctor or therapist.
- Apply an ice pack – If pain is caused by swelling around the median nerve, applying ice to the wrist for 10 to 15 minutes can reduce the swelling.
iTENS Australia: TENS for Carpal Tunnel
TENS for carpal tunnel is a non-invasive and drug-free alternative for oral medications. It is best to use TENS and other non-surgical treatments for mild symptoms or early diagnosis. In addition, using TENS does not produce adverse side reactions in the long-term. Therefore, it is safe to use TENS many times a day as needed. The wireless iTENS has slim, light, and flexible gel pads that are discreet when worn. In particular, the iTENS electrode pads let you move freely without the inconvenience of wires that standard TENS machines have.
The iTENS is an excellent pain management method for various acute and chronic conditions. TENS therapy can relieve pain from arthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, frozen shoulders, bursitis, and tendonitis. They are also suitable for relaxing sore muscles and damaged nerves from injuries and aid in faster rehabilitation. Furthermore, you can use TENS for carpal tunnel to reduce muscle spasms in the hands and wrist. Despite this, a TENS machine is not advisable in particular circumstances. For instance, do not use TENS if you are pregnant or have cancer, epilepsy, heart disease, or cardiac pacemaker in your body. You may purchase the iTENS directly at iTENS Australia online. For best results, consult your physician before using a TENS machine.