How To Use a TENS Unit For Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful ailment of the hand caused by pressure on your median nerve as it runs through the carpal tunnel located in the wrist.

Symptoms include pins and needles, numbness and pain.  This is especially so at night.  Any swelling inside the wrist can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, generally this includes repetitive hand movements, arthritis and even pregnancy!

A TENS machine (transcutaneous electrical muscle stimulation) has been proven to ease the pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you have a Tens unit use the following settings to treat this pain. If you are looking to purchase a Tens unit I highly recommend you check out the iReliev Tens Unit.

  • Mode: N:Nomal
  • Pulse width: 250usec
  • Pulse rate: 10 Hz
  • Output: Adjust to the most comfortable muscle contraction intensity
  • Use this Setting for Pain Control:
  • Mode: M – modulation
  • Pulse Width: 60usec
  • Pulse Rate: 150 Hz
  • Output: Adjust to most comfortable sensory intensity

Treatment session length – Use for 30-60 minutes per session, at least 3 times per day.  Pay attention to follow all recommendations set out by your doctor.

How Can You Manage Carpal Tunnel Pain?

Since the pain is often caused by swelling around the median nerve, applying ice to the wrist can also help reduce the swelling.  Use ice for 10-15 minutes at a time when needed.  All of these are valid and useful treatments.

Manage Carpal Tunnel PainIf you are serious about really treating this condition, you should be sure to try TENS for carpal tunnel.  TENS works by stopping the pain signals from travelling to the brain and replacing them with pain-free signals.

Some TENS units also come with EMS which stands for electrical muscle stimulation which can help lessen swelling around the median nerve.  TENS is completely non-invasive and is very safe to use as often as required for your pain relief.

Why TENS is Effective for Carpal Tunnel

One of the reasons it’s so effective to use TENS for carpal tunnel syndrome is its adaptability. The pad placement and location can be adjusted to meet an individual’s needs, as can the intensity settings.

TENS unit pad placement for carpal tunnel will vary slightly from one person to another. However, the most effective introduction to this method to ease pain is to place one electrode pad in the palm of the hand and one on the wrist.

Then adjust the pads as needed and change the intensity setting until you find a TENS treatment pattern that works best for you.

What are TENS unit carpal tunnel gloves?

You can purchase special gloves that can be used as an addon to a Tens Unit to treat carpal tunnel pain.  An example of these gloves can be seen here.

These gloves are made up of the following:

  • TENS Silver Conductive Gloves are the perfect way to get the best results from your TENS machine.
  • The gloves offer all round stimulation, the ideal solution for pain relief, improved circulation and increased mobility.
  • Top quality silver thread conductive electrode garments for superior stimulation. The woven fabric is manufactured to meet all globally required medical standards.
  • Carpal tunnel gloves are excellent not just for the treatment of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, they are also help reduce pain with arthritis and post-operative swelling.
  • They provides electro-therapy relief for hands.
  • Plus, they can be used with all TENS or EMS machines

TENS Unit for Carpal Tunnel During Pregnancy

In pregnancy treating nerve pain is difficult at best.  Many of the medications are not suited and compatible with pregnancy, and simple pain relief is often out of the question.

Understanding how to relieve carpal tunnel during pregnancy becomes a massive priority for you if you’re suffering from this painful condition.

Using a Tens Unit is the perfect treatment for carpal tunnel during pregnancy as its proven to be safe and is also drug free.

Carpal tunnel syndrome essentially is a pinched nerve in the wrist, it is traditionally treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids, but NSAIDs are unsafe during pregnancy, and steroids are only safe for limited use during the third trimester

A study in The Journal of Research in Medical Sciences.  Again, this scenario suggests an advantage to the TENS treatment as being a viable alternative for pain relief in pregnancy.

TENS has been used by pregnant women without any disclosed side effects for either mother or baby for many years. In clinical practice, TENS is not the first treatment of choice for women presenting with carpal tunnel pain during pregnancy.

However, if the pain remains a significant factor, then the TENS treatment is preferable to the use of strong medication that could cross from the placenta to the foetus.

Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

You may also get some benefit from a few simple exercises. However, bear in mind that studies are mixed about how much they really help.  You will get the best results if you do them alongside other treatments as in the TENS machine.

When you do hand exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome, remember that this isn’t like other exercise workouts.  If you are hurting, you must take a break.  If you overdo it, you can definitely make your symptoms far worse.

Begin slowly and see how it goes. If you’re not sure if an exercise is correct for you, again, check with your doctor.

This exercise is super easy. It is called Shake It Out

It’s very useful at night, when your symptoms tend to be worse.  If you wake up with pain or numbness, you just shake your hands out to get some relief.

Another exercise is a called Fist to Stop Sign.  Make a fist, slide your fingers up until they point toward the ceiling, like you’re telling someone to stop. Repeat 5-10 times.

Thumb Touches

  • One at a time, touch the tip of each finger to the tip of your thumb so they make an O-shape.
  • Repeat a few times.

Fist to Fan

  • Make a fist.
  • Fan your fingers out — stretch them as far as you can.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

Also, basic wrist stretches can be very useful in alleviating pain.

  • Bend your hand toward you so your fingers point up toward the ceiling.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Return to a straight, neutral position.
  • Bend your hand away from you so your fingers point down toward the floor.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Return to a straight, neutral position.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Do this up to three times a day.

In Conclusion

While we have been identifying TENS therapy as an effective and non-invasive form of pain relief, the information contained in this article is for informational purposes only. We always recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional before proceeding with any self-treatment.