Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects the hands and wrists. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the wrist and into the hand, becomes compressed or pinched. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the fingers and hand, and can make it difficult to perform everyday activities.
One treatment option for CTS is the use of a tens unit, also known as a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit. Tens units work by delivering electrical impulses to the affected area, which can help to reduce pain and improve circulation.
When used for CTS, a tens unit is typically placed on the wrist or hand and connected to small electrode pads. The unit is then turned on, and electrical impulses are delivered to the affected area. These impulses can help to reduce pain and inflammation, and can also help to improve blood flow and promote healing.
Research has shown that tens units can be an effective treatment option for CTS. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation found that the use of a tens unit for CTS resulted in significant improvements in pain, hand function, and grip strength. Another study, published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science in 2017, found that the use of a tens unit combined with exercise therapy was more effective for treating CTS than exercise therapy alone.
While a tens unit can be an effective treatment option for CTS, it is important to use it properly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Tens units should not be used by individuals with pacemakers or other implanted medical devices, and should not be used on areas of the body with broken skin or open wounds.
In conclusion, carpal tunnel syndrome can be a painful and debilitating condition, but the use of a tens unit can provide relief for many individuals. By delivering electrical impulses to the affected area, tens units can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and improve circulation. If you are experiencing symptoms of CTS, talk to your healthcare provider about whether a tens unit might be a good treatment option for you.