Is A TENS Unit For Shoulder Pain Effective?

At a glance, shoulder pain affects an estimated 18-26% of the US population. It causes a significant socioeconomic burden and, in severe cases, can lead to 4-16 weeks of sickness absence from work. 

But these figures alone don’t offer the full picture of how debilitating and impactful shoulder pain can be on the life and productivity of individuals. So, it isn’t surprising that a growing number of people resort to at-home remedies such as TENS units to ease pain and regain their shoulder mobility. But is TENS all that it promises to be?

While studies have shown the efficiency of medical-grade electrical stimulation to ease pain, at-home TENS treatments might not be as safe or effective as you expect them to be. Let’s look at the best ways to use electroanalgesia to treat shoulder conditions and magnify your quality of life.

Shoulder Conditions That Cause Pain

Shoulder pain is an umbrella term for any pain, discomfort, and reduced mobility that affects the shoulder area. But with two joints, four tendons, eight muscles, and four ligaments intricately working together, the shoulder’s structure is prone to a range of different conditions. 

Most of these, especially the ones arising from inflammation and tissue damage, can be managed using professional electrical stimulation treatments, such as medical-grade TENS units.

Let’s look at the causes of shoulder pain below.



Rotator Cuff Tears

Rotator cuff injuries affect the group of muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder joint mobile. Although these injuries can affect anyone at any time, they are more common among aging adults and people regularly performing overhead movements. 

Rotator cuff tears happen due to overuse, trauma, excessive stress, or progressive tear and wear of the tendons and ligaments surrounding the joint. If left untreated, torn rotator cuffs can cause excruciating pain that worsens at night, reduced muscle strength, and hindered mobility.

Shoulder Bursitis

Bursitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the bursa in the shoulder, a sac-like layer responsible for easing the friction between bones and softer tissue (like tendons or ligaments) during movements. 

Bursas can become inflamed due to excessive stress or friction. If you suffer from shoulder bursitis, you might experience several symptoms that range in intensity, including swelling, tenderness, pain, and a “pinching” feeling when performing overhead movements. 

Bursitis can be infectious, acute, or chronic, and is more likely in high-risk individuals who have conditions like arthritis, diabetes, or thyroid disease.

Frozen Shoulder

If you’ve noticed a sensation of stiffness in the shoulder that is getting worse, you might be dealing with adhesive capsulitis – more commonly known as “frozen shoulder”. 

Adhesive capsulitis occurs when the connective tissue around the shoulder joint becomes tight, thick, or stiff, which happens when keeping the shoulder still for long periods, such as after surgery or fractures. Although symptoms can vary in intensity through the freezing, frozen, and thawing phases, adhesive capsulitis can last for up to 2-3 years.

Pinched Nerve

Clinically known as cervical radiculopathy, pinched nerves in the shoulder area occur when a nearby structure, such as bones, traps or presses on a nerve that connects the shoulder joint to the neck or upper spine. 

A pinched nerve can trigger a cascade of symptoms, including pain (which usually worsens when rotating the shoulder), reduced mobility, numbness of the hand and fingers, and “pins and needles” sensations.

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement occurs when a small portion of the rotator cuff, which is a band of muscle and soft tissue, gets pinched or catches on the nearby bone structure of the outer edge of the shoulder. 

The pinched area can become inflamed and irritated, causing pain on the outer or top side of the shoulder, nighttime aching, and weakness in your arm. Although shoulder impingement accounts for 7-34% of visits to primary care clinics for shoulder pain, it’s most common among athletes who often perform overhead rotational motions.



How Do TENS Units Work?

Since patient-wearable TENS units were introduced in the 1970s, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation has proven itself to be an efficient alternative to ease pain without non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), prescription medications, or surgery.

The Analgesic Effects Of TENS Units

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a type of non-invasive analgesic (pain-relieving) treatment that uses mild impulses of electrical current delivered using adhesive pads. Pulses of electricity through the TENS device “floods” the body’s nervous system, thus temporarily reducing the nerves’ ability to transmit pain signals to the brain. 

FDA-approved, medical-grade TENS are considered to be an effective electroanalgesic treatment – a method of pain management that leverages weak electrical current. 2015 studies have shown that high-frequency TENS can increase the concentration of endorphins and other pain-relieving hormones, which can have an analgesic effect.

At-Home TENS Units: What You Need To Know

Today, at-home TENS units are easily available over the counter, often at affordable prices. But while they are certainly a tempting alternative to other therapies, patients need to be aware of the risks and downsides of at-home TENS. 

These risks, which include interactions with other medical devices and allergic reactions, are even more likely when treating shoulder pain. This is because of the shoulder TENS placement, which is closer to areas such as the neck, head, lungs, and heart.

Does Insurance Cover TENS?

Not all TENS devices available on the market today are (or need to be) approved by the FDA, because they are not considered to be “of significant risk” to a patient’s health. What’s more, at-home TENS treatments can be performed by anyone, so are therefore not covered by medical insurance. 

Conversely, TENS treatments delivered by trained professionals using medical-grade devices are covered by insurance if the treatment is deemed “medically necessary”. In 2012, the CMS also provided patients enrolled in TENS-related clinical trials with Medicare coverage.

TENS Units And Shoulder Pain

If you have been struggling with debilitating pain or are dealing with the aftermath of a shoulder injury, you might wish to try electrotherapy, which offers benefits such as:

  • Temporarily interrupting the pain signals traveling from the shoulder to the brain
  • Boosting the production of feel-good and pain-relieving hormones such as endorphins
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Boosting blood and oxygen circulation
  • Relaxing hardened or tensed muscles

In particular, you might use electrical stimulation for rotator cuff tears to support the regeneration of tissue, ease inflammatory diseases such as bursitis and osteoarthritis, and subside neck and back pain while your body heals from an injury. Shoulder electrical stimulation can also be used as a postoperative analgesic treatment.



Is TENS Therapy Strong Enough To Alleviate Shoulder Pain?

As a form of electroanalgesia, TENS has been seen to be an effective, non-surgical, and non-invasive pain management method for shoulder pain and joint conditions. Unlike NSAIDs, opioids, and other prescription medications, electrical stimulation does not come with side effects such as dizziness, indigestion, drowsiness, or physical dependence.

But while this might be the right approach to support your shoulder’s healing process, not all TENS devices or treatments are created equal. In particular, at-home units are tuned down to be safer, and they come with significant limitations in terms of electrical power, impulse frequency, and wavelength, meaning they are not classifiable as true electroanalgesic treatments!

Is TENS Safe For Your Shoulder Pain?

At-home TENS machines for shoulder pain are generally considered safe, with limited side effects that include:

  • Potential skin allergic reactions to the adhesive pads
  • High sensitivity to the tingling sensation caused by the electrical impulses
  • Discomfort and irritation 

However, as seen above, simply buying an at-home TENS unit for shoulder pain won’t necessarily give you access to the broad range of benefits that electroanalgesia can offer. This means that you might be exposing yourself to the potential side effects of TENS without benefiting from the treatment!

How To Use A TENS Unit For Shoulder Pain

At-home tens units emit mild electrical impulses that are, in most cases, not dangerous or painful. But you’ll still need to learn the correct TENS placement for shoulder pain. 

Generally, the electrodes are placed on the bulk of the shoulder muscle and to the edge of the shoulder to avoid the bone. However, the TENS unit placement for shoulder pain varies depending on the type of condition being treated. For example, if you are looking to use a TENS unit for rotator cuff pain or injuries, one of the adhesive pads is placed on the front side of the shoulder, while the other one at the back. 

In any case, you should always start your treatment journey by consulting a professional and getting adequate training.

Who Should Avoid Using TENS For Shoulder Pain?

The settings of at-home TENS units will prevent you from accidentally delivering power at high frequencies or wavelengths. But, even then, some people should avoid using TENS devices without the supervision of an experienced professional. 

In particular, TENS should be avoided in the following cases:

  • Pregnant patients: When applied incorrectly, TENS can induce labor contractions. It’s unknown whether it can also impact the baby’s development and it is not recommended in early pregnancy. 
  • Patients wearing an implanted device: Studies have shown that TENS electrodes can interfere with the functioning of pacemakers and other implanted medical devices. 
  • People with undiagnosed pain or a history of cancer:If you are unsure what is causing pain or you have been diagnosed with cancer in the past five years, you should avoid using TENS.
  • Epileptic patients: If you have epilepsy, applying electrodes in the neck, head, or shoulder area might induce seizures
  • People with deep vein thrombosis or bleeding disorders: If you have a history of thrombosis, hemorrhagic disorders, or have recent or actively bleeding tissue, TENS can increase the risk of bleeding or dislodging a blood clot. 
  • People with an open wound near the shoulder: TENS should not be applied on open wounds, infected areas, irritated skin, or areas that have been treated with radiation.
  • Patients with heart disease: TENS might influence heartbeat, especially when placed in the shoulder or neck area.



A Better Non-Surgical And Non-Invasive Treatment For Shoulder Pain

As we have seen above, weak at-home TENS units aren’t just inefficient, but they can also be harmful if used incorrectly. 

Instead, to treat shoulder pain, you’ll want to rely on more powerful medical-grade and FDA-approved TENS machines, which deliver more precise high-frequency wavelengths to the affected area. But these units can only be used safely by highly-trained medical professionals, such as the team of specialists at Neuragenex.

Medical-Grade, FDA-Cleared Electroanalgesia For Shoulder Pain

At our clinics, we aim to treat shoulder conditions and relieve pain by leveraging powerful electroanalgesic treatments, which include (but are not limited to) medical-grade TENS. The stronger wavelength of our equipment, coupled with the skills of our doctors who administer the treatment, can offer longer-lasting results and treat shoulder pain without medications or surgery.

Treat Your Shoulder Pain Safely And Effectively

Professionally-delivered electroanalgesia is only one of the facets of a comprehensive and personalized non-invasive treatment for shoulder pain. At Neuragenex, we specialize in combining medical-grade TENS, electrical stimulation, lifestyle counseling, and IV therapy to treat discomfort and pain, boost mobility, and magnify the life of our patients.

TENS Unit For Neuropathy – Is It Your Best Treatment Option?

If you are one of the 20 million people in the US whose lives are deeply affected by neuropathy, the chances are that you have a constant thought: finding a treatment that alleviates the pain and frees you from medications.

But is TENS the best treatment option for neuropathy?

If you’ve decided to try neurofunctional pain management and electroanalgesia for neuropathy, you are on the right path. Electrical stimulation can improve blood flow, ease discomfort, and promote regeneration of nerve damage.

But, there’s a lot more that you need to know about TENS – let’s get started.

Potential Causes Of Neuropathic Pain

Deriving from the Greek words for “nerve” (neuron) and “condition” (pathos), neuropathy is a term used to describe the nerve damage that occurs in one or more parts of your nervous system. The term alone does not describe the underlying cause or symptom intensity of neuropathic pain, nor does it specify which part of the body is affected.

So, what causes neuropathy?

To understand this, it is crucial to understand that our body’s nervous system is divided into two parts:

  • The central nervous system – that is, the brain and the spinal cord
  • The peripheral nervous system (PNS) – that is, the nerves that are located outside of the brain and the spinal cord

The PNS is responsible for transmitting sensory information (such as pain or feeling cold) and motor signals to the brain. It also supports processes that we can’t consciously control (i.e., our heartbeat, sweating, digestion, etc).

What Does Neuropathy Feel like?

When nerves belonging to the PNS are damaged, the signals traveling from your extremities or organs are unable to reach the brain, or they are subjected to interference. 

Depending on what nerve (or nerves) is damaged, you’ll experience a range of symptoms:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Painful cramps
  • Tingling, prickling, burning, and numbness
  • Uncontrolled muscle twitching
  • Muscle weakness or shrinking
  • Loss of coordination
  • Inability to feel sensations of touch and vibrations
  • Extreme sensitivity

In extreme cases, you might also feel as if you are wearing a glove (if the sensory nerves are affected), experience paralysis (if the motor nerves are affected), or report symptoms such as heat intolerance, excessive sweating, drops in blood pressure, and loss of bladder control (if the autonomic nerves are affected).

Everyone can experience neuropathy at any stage of life. In 20-30% of cases, neuropathic pain has no known cause (idiopathic). Nonetheless, some factors put you at greater risk of developing this condition. Let’s look at them below:

Disease And Infection

Inadequately managed health conditions, some chronic diseases, and certain treatments can lead to nerve damage. Specifically, these include:

  • Diabetes: 2019 studies show that 6-51% of adults with diabetes also live with neuropathy, often due to poorly managed blood pressure. If left untreated, diabetic peripheral neuropathy can lead to foot ulcers and even limb amputation. 
  • Autoimmune diseases: Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and some chronic inflammatory diseases can lead to nerve damage. Some forms of neuropathy can also be hereditary. 
  • Tumors and chemotherapy: Whether cancerous or not, tumors can interfere with the PNS by pressing on and damaging nerves. Additionally, chemotherapy and other medications can damage nerves. Today, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) affects 19-85% of patients, making it one of the most common side effects of cancer treatments. 
  • Infections: Infections caused by viruses (such as HIV/AIDS) and bacteria can lead to nerve damage. A 2020 review shows that 30-60% of people with HIV globally are also diagnosed with neuropathy.
  • Some health events: Events such as physical trauma or injury can damage the PNS in one or more locations.


If you have been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, or you drink alcohol excessively for long periods, you might be at risk of neuropathy. That’s because the toxic effects of alcohol can damage the nerves’ protective sheath, called myelin, and contribute to nutritional deficiencies.

Estimations show that alcoholic neuropathy may affect 25% to 66% of those diagnosed with chronic alcohol use disorder.

Nutritional Deficiency

Certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to nerve damage. In particular, to lower your risk of developing or worsening neuropathy, you should supplement the following vitamins and minerals to avoid deficiencies:

  • Copper
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B6 (although high levels of B6 can also cause neuropathy)
  • Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
  • Vitamin E

Some substances, such as metformin, and toxins present in food, like mercury in fish, can damage nerves in PNS.



TENS Therapy And Neuropathic Pain

TENS – which stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – is a type of therapy that leverages low-voltage electric pulses to ease pain and discomfort. An at-home TENS unit is a small device that is attached to electrodes (adhesive pads) via thin wires.

When applied to the problem area, the pads deliver mild impulses of electrical current through the skin and into the nervous system. When this happens, the external impulses prevent pain signals from reaching the brain by “flooding” the nervous system. In turn, this action will stop you from feeling pain.

TENS also works by boosting the production of feel-good, pain-killing hormones, such as endorphins, and stimulating blood flow in the affected area.

Today, TENS units are commercially available, making electrical stimulation a convenient pain management method for people with arthritis, back pain, and other chronic conditions.

Although TENS is a relatively new treatment for neuropathic pain, evidence-based reviews published in 2020 show that this therapy can help alleviate pain in people with neuropathy deriving from sciatica, spinal cord injury, and postherpetic neuralgia (a consequence of shingles).

Is TENS Safe To Use For Neuropathic Pain?

Generally, TENS is considered to be safe, and it can be administered by anyone, regardless of training or experience. This level of safety comes from the fact that at-home TENS units only deliver extremely mild electrical pulses that can’t cause pain. Additionally, they offer easy-to-use settings that can be adjusted by users without a medical background.

Nonetheless, there are some precautions you should take:

  • The adhesive material used to make the electrodes sticky (propylene glycol) might cause allergic reactions and irritate the skin
  • Not all TENS devices are FDA approved
  • Avoid placing the electrodes in sensitive areas, such as on the head, abdomen, and genitals

Is TENS Effective For Treating Neuropathic Pain?

Although the efficacy of TENS as a pain management method is still being researched, recent studies have made some promising conclusions. 

In a 2013 review of eight studies, electrical stimulation seemed to have a beneficial effect on patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, when used in conjunction with other treatments. Ongoing clinical trials also aim to prove the efficacy of electrical stimulation to delay or prevent limb amputation in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which currently accounts for 50-75% of non-traumatic amputations.

Additionally, a 2017 assessment published by the Cochrane Library showed that electrotherapy might help those with nerve damage caused by carpal tunnel syndrome and shingles.

Although still sparse, the body of research around TENS is promising. Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that the beneficial effects of electrical stimulation demonstrated in the studies above were applied by medical-grade TENS devices and not at-home units. 

At-home devices are created to be harmless and come with significant limitations in terms of power and wavelength. Because of this, commercially-available TENS units can’t be classified as electroanalgesic treatment. 

On the other hand, when treating acute or chronic pain, patients require high-frequency pulses, which only medical-grade, FDA-approved machines can deliver. Because more powerful electrical pulses are just tolerable by the patient, this treatment can only be administered by a highly trained professional.

Drawbacks And Contraindications Of Using TENS Therapy

As seen above, at-home TENS units are generally considered safe – but are also less efficient than professionally-administered treatments. Because of this, you might be exposing yourself to unnecessary health risks when using an over-the-counter device.

Ultimately, just like any other treatment, TENS isn’t suitable for everyone, and being aware of the contradictions of this therapy can help you stay safe. Here’s what you need to know:

Interferes With Other Medical Devices

If you are wearing a medical device, the electrical impulses produced by TENS can interfere with the signals of your implant and lead to severe side effects. For example, if you have a pacemaker, unsupervised TENS can cause bradycardia or asystole (serious heart problems), and inhibit the functioning of your implanted device.

Irritates The Skin

As seen in a 2004 review, the acrylate in the conductive gel that coats the electrodes of a TENS unit might cause skin irritation. Although rare, contact dermatitis can worsen neuropathic pain and delay treatment progress.

Leads To Muscle Fatigue And Spasms

One of the greatest advantages of TENS is that it can be safely used without severe side effects. However, especially in the case of low-frequency electrical stimulation, you can experience muscle fatigue, spasms, and twitching due to overuse. Over time, TENS might also lead to the accumulation of waste material, which can damage the muscles in the affected area.

Affects Your Blood Pressure

The positive effects of TENS for neuropathy and nerve damage can be attributed to the improved blood flow in the problem area, which also boosts the circulation of beneficial fresh oxygen and nutrients. However, if you suffer from low blood pressure, you should be aware that TENS can decrease blood pressure even further, by as much as 6.3 mmHg.

Can Cause Facial Nerve Damage

Although some studies have found that TENS can have a positive effect on patients suffering from acute facial nerve paralysis, you should never place the TENS electrodes on certain parts of your body, including your face, genitals, and abdomen.



Your Non-Surgical And Non-Opioid Treatment For Neuropathy

If you have neuropathy, you know that this isn’t a simple condition to treat – or to understand.

However, thanks to today’s advances in regenerative medicine, new treatment options can help alleviate pain, strengthen the muscles, regenerate damaged nerves, and free you from unfamiliar and uncomfortable sensations.

At Neuragenex, we provide our patients with a more efficient alternative to TENS, which still leverages the principles behind electroanalgesia and electrical stimulation. But we also combine these therapies with a more innovative approach to neuropathic pain treatment.

Here are some of the neurofunctional pain management therapies we provide:

Electromagnetic Therapies For Neuropathic Pain Management

To treat neuropathic pain, it’s important to understand what happens at a cellular level. In turn, to understand these processes, it’s necessary to leave our world, which is dominated by standard physics laws, and enter the world of cells, atoms, and particles.

These behave according to the laws of quantum mechanics. New technologies, such as Quantum Resonance-Specific Induction (QRSI™), allow us to interact with pain-causing mechanisms at a cellular level. This technology creates electromagnetic energy fields and electric currents that amplify subatomic particle movements that increase the healing and regenerating power of cells.

Put simply, with these tools, the team at Nuragenex uses electromagnetic resonance (the electrical signaling between cells) to optimize energy levels at a cellular level. These energized cells contribute to healing damaged tissues.

Discover A Safe And Effective Treatment For Neuropathic Pain

Although neuropathy is certainly a common condition, no two patients have the same story, nor do they experience the same pain. That is why generalized TENS might not be the solution you’ve been looking for.

At Neuragenex, we can guide you through a personalized, holistic treatment journey to help you live a healthier, fuller, and pain-free life without medications or surgery.

How Effective Is A TENS Unit For Plantar Fasciitis?

If you have been struggling with foot pain, you are not alone. Plantar fasciitis affects over two million people in the US each year, and it is estimated that 1 in 10 adults will experience heel pain at some point in their lives. 

But this condition is as debilitating as it is common, and it’s important not to underestimate the impact that it can have on your life. If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can make even the simplest foot motion excruciatingly painful, affect your productivity, and impact your ability to enjoy a social life. 

If you are looking for a treatment strategy that can help you get back on your feet and regain control of your life, TENS can help – when done right. In this guide, you’ll find more about what electroanalgesia can do for your foot health and how to get started on your treatment journey. Let’s dive in!

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a strong band of connective tissue made of collagen fibers that connect the heel to the toes. The fascia plays a vital role in supporting the arch of the foot, enabling foot movements, and absorbing shock from walking or running.

Also known as plantar heel pain (PHP), plantar fasciitis is the medical term for a condition that causes inflammation and damage of the plantar fascia, leading to pain and reduced foot mobility. Accounting for over 600,000 visits to primary and specialist care clinics in the US alone, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot and heel pain.

Although most patients recover from plantar fasciitis within 3 to 12 months, it is important not to leave this condition unaddressed, as it can develop into plantar fasciopathy or the tissue can even degenerate.

What Does Plantar Fasciitis Feel Like? The Symptoms and Telltale Signs

If the first steps you take in the morning are accompanied by stabbing pain in the heel area, you probably have plantar fasciitis. Although this condition develops over time and the symptoms might vary in intensity, the inflammation in the plantar fascia usually causes foot pain and discomfort that worsens after periods of inactivity or after having spent a long time on your feet. 

If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can also lead to deformities such as heel spurs, which are visible on X-rays as spiky bone structures protruding from the bottom of the heel. Heel spurs can be painful or asymptomatic, and they can lead to chronic inflammation.

Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis

Since anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, the causes of this condition aren’t always immediately evident. However, the culprits are often excessive tension and stress on the plantar fascia, which can lead to small tears, irritation, and inflammation. 

Repeated stretching or forceful movements – such as running or jogging – that put excessive stress on the fascia might also contribute to inflammation. While this condition is more common among athletes and those who tend to spend a long time each day on their feet, it can also be a consequence of a sedentary lifestyle.

Risk Factors

Some lifestyle and medical factors might increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis:

  • Aging: Over time, the fascia becomes weaker and less elastic, making you more prone to plantar fasciitis after turning 40. 
  • Being obese or overweight: Carrying excessive weight adds extra stress to the fascia by means of increased mechanical loading. In turn, this can lead to higher levels of inflammation, which causes pain. Obesity also changes the gait and can throw your foot’s mechanics off balance. 
  • Inadequate footwear: The wrong shoes can alter your foot mechanics and damage the plantar fascia.
  • Performing certain sports: Activities such as football, soccer, and long-distance running can cause repeated stress to the fascia. Regularly walking or running on uneven surfaces might also contribute to the onset of this condition. 
  • Foot mechanics and conditions: If you suffer from flat feet or a high arch, or you have an abnormal gait, you might be more prone to plantar fasciitis.
  • Your occupation: If you tend to spend long periods on your feet while at work, the excessive stress can put you at greater risk of suffering from foot pain.


TENS Therapy And Plantar Fasciitis

If you have plantar fasciitis, every step you take may be excruciating, which can make something as easy as walking or climbing stairs unbearable. If you find yourself in this position, it is only natural to look for treatment options that do not include taking medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). 

And, that’s where transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) comes in. 

From the moment patient-wearable TENS units made their debut on the market in the mid-1970s, electrical stimulation has helped millions of people manage their pain and supported recovery without surgery or medications. 

But is buying an over-the-counter TENS unit enough to ease your plantar fasciitis? Here’s what you need to know.

TENS Therapy: An Overview

When administered by a healthcare professional using medical-grade devices, electrical stimulation is an efficient method of electroanalgesia – a pain management strategy that utilizes electrical impulses. 

These pulses of energy are delivered to the problem area using adhesive pads, called electrodes, which trigger two important pain-relieving effects:

  • They “flood” the nervous system with external impulses, thus preventing pain signals in the foot from reaching the brain. In turn, this stops you from feeling the pain caused by plantar fasciitis during treatment. 
  • They boost the production of feel-good hormones such as endorphins, which helps counteract painful sensations.

How TENS Eases Plantar Fasciitis

Using electrodes designed to treat foot pain, TENS machines deliver mild pulses of electricity through the sole. The current inhibits your body’s ability to transmit pain signals to the brain, which can alleviate discomfort. 

What’s more, TENS can support faster recovery by improving blood flow in the foot area and supporting the circulation of inflammation-fighting compounds such as white blood cells, nutrients, and oxygen.



Does Insurance Cover TENS Therapy?

If you are looking to try TENS therapy, you might be wondering whether this kind of treatment and TENS devices are covered by insurance. 

Although a lot depends on your specific situation, insurers don’t usually cover at-home TENS units – and here’s why: 

  • At-home TENS devices are usually tuned down to be used by everyone without causing damage
  • Because they are so weak, at-home TENS can’t be classed as true electroanalgesia therapy
  • Not all over-the-counter TENS units are FDA approved 

If you are looking to claim your TENS treatment on insurance, you will need to undergo a thorough examination to determine if the treatment is medically necessary. And, even in this case, the insurer will only cover adequate professional treatments administered by a specialist.

Is The Electrical Current Of TENS Enough For Plantar Fasciitis?

Choosing electroanalgesia to manage and treat foot and heel pain is certainly the right approach. However, to understand the efficacy of TENS for plantar fasciitis, it is important to make a distinction between professional (medical-grade) electrical stimulation and at-home TENS units. 

What makes at-home TENS units safe and suitable for everyone is the limited power and wavelength they emit. But these limitations also make them the least effective option to treat pain through electrical stimulation. This is especially true in the case of chronic or acute foot pain, which requires treatment using high-frequency electrical pulses. 

On the other hand, medical-grade devices offer the capabilities and accuracy needed to treat severe pain. However, these FDA-approved instruments can only be safely used by trained MDs, such as the team of specialists at Neuragenex.

When To Seek Alternative Options To The TENS Unit

Although over-the-counter TENS units are generally considered safe, you should not underestimate the importance of consulting a specialized healthcare professional before opting for this treatment. 

Indeed, using TENS if you have one or more of the conditions below can pose a significant risk to your health. You should look for an alternative, custom treatment plan if you:

  • Are pregnant: Electrical stimulation should be avoided in early pregnancy and only used under the supervision of a specialist in later stages. 
  • Have open wounds: TENS should not be used on open or infected wounds and irritated skin. 
  • Wear a medical device or metal implant: TENS can interfere with the normal functioning of medical devices, such as pacemakers and internal hearing aids.
  • Suffer from epilepsy:– If you have epilepsy, electrical stimulation might trigger seizures.
  • Have been diagnosed with neuropathy: If you suffer from nerve damage, TENS might be helpful, but only when delivered by a trained professional.
  • Have heart problems: If you suffer from heart conditions, TENS might negatively influence your heartbeat.

Just like any other treatment, TENS isn’t for everyone. If your foot pain is not responding to treatments, or you belong to one of the categories above, you should seek a safer and more effective personalized treatment plan.

How Neuragenex Approaches Plantar Fasciitis



Although electroanalgesia is the right approach to address plantar fasciitis and foot pain, professionally administered electrical stimulation is only one piece of the puzzle. At Neuragenex, we leverage a holistic neurofunctional pain management approach that is fully customized to each patient’s needs, goals, and medical history. 

We do so by combining innovative non-invasive, non-surgical, and drug-free treatments to ease foot pain, restore your health, and magnify your life. Discover our approach to food and heel pain management below.


Initially introduced by Greek scholars such as Plutarch and Socrates nearly 2500 years ago, electroanalgesia refers to a pain management approach that uses electrical stimulation to modulate pain. 

Electroanalgesic treatments leverage mild and non-painful electrical current to “close the nerve gates”, thus preventing pain signals from traveling to the brain and causing the sensation of pain. Electrical stimulation also triggers the release of feel-good agents, boosts blood flow, and relieves inflammation. 

Although based on the same principles, electroanalgesia is different from standard TENS treatments in that it is delivered over multiple targeted sessions to provide long-lasting relief from pain. Additionally, unlike at-home TENS units, electroanalgesia is an FDA-approved treatment that gives patients access to the benefits of high-pulse electrical current.

IV Therapy

The inflammation that contributes to plantar fasciitis can be caused by a lack of certain nutrients or excessive stress.. In this case, ad hoc IV therapies can replenish the levels of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, thus reducing inflammation, easing pain, and supporting blood flow.

Lifestyle Counseling

Repeated stress, improper posture, an abnormal gait, inadequate footwear, and obesity are only some of the lifestyle factors that lead to plantar fasciitis. With the help of our team of MDs at Neuragenex, you can uncover the underlying causes of heel pain and take the right steps to safeguard your foot health – now and in the future!

Treat Your Plantar Fasciitis Safely And Effectively

At best, at-home TENS units might be ineffective to treat plantar fasciitis. At worst, they can have a detrimental effect and even expose you to significant health risks. 

Fortunately, with advances in regenerative medicine and neurofunctional pain management, you can now access a custom electroanalgesia treatment plan that is non-invasive, non-surgical, and, more importantly, designed around your unique needs.

How Effective Is Using A TENS Unit For Knee Pain?

If you have knee pain, chances are that every aspect of your life is affected by your condition – and, you are certainly not alone. 

Over a quarter of the US population today struggles with the consequences of knee pain, like reduced range of motion, unmanageable care costs, inhibited sports performance, and declining productivity. 

If the prognosis is to live with chronic pain for years to come, it is only understandable to look for alternative treatments that don’t include popping pills or surgery. So, if you’ve come across at-home TENS for knee pain, you might be wondering whether this therapy is safe and efficient. 

In this guide, you’ll learn the ins and outs of electrical stimulation for knee pain and get guidance on how to choose the best neurofunctional pain management method for your needs. Let’s dive in!

How TENS Works To Help With Knee Pain

The management of pain through electrical stimulation is a field of study that goes back thousands of years. 

However, it was only with the introduction of patient-wearable TENS units in the 1970s that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation became a valid pain treatment option for millions of people worldwide. 

But is TENS as effective as it is promised to be? Here’s what you need to know about how TENS works to ease knee pain.

Common Causes Of Knee Pain

To understand how TENS for knee pain works, it’s important to clarify what the root causes of this condition are. Most knee conditions derive from damaged tissue in the joint area, often caused by excessive stress, overuse, direct trauma, degenerative diseases, and risk factors such as obesity and aging.

Common knee conditions that cause acute or chronic knee pain include:

  • Sprains and strains: Torn ligaments or tendons (such as the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL) in the knee joint area can affect the knee’s stability and cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. 
  • Inflammatory conditions: Conditions such as bursitis or tendonitis arise when components of the knee joint become irritated or inflamed due to overuse or improper knee mechanics. 
  • Arthritis: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease that wears down the cartilage that cushions joint movements and safeguards bones from friction. OA is among the most common causes of knee pain, affecting 14 million people in the US, and is a major cause of disability among older people.
  • Injuries and direct trauma: Fractured bones or ruptured tendons and ligaments can cause damage to hard and soft tissues in the knee area and cause severe pain.

How TENS Encourages The Body’s Own Pain Management Mechanisms

Electrical stimulation is considered to be an efficient treatment for knee pain that allows patients to manage their discomfort without surgery or medications. Beyond the analgesic (pain-relieving) effect of this therapy, electrical stimulation also supports the regeneration of tissue in the affected area by promoting blood flow and reducing inflammation

Thanks to the widespread availability of at-home TENS, people opt for this option to take advantage of the beneficial effects of electrical stimulation. TENS devices work by delivering mild pulses of electrical current to the affected area via electrodes (sticky pads). 

The electrical impulses act by triggering the body of pain-relieving agents such as endorphins, which can counteract the feeling of pain and fatigue you might feel due to your knee condition. 

But, even more importantly, it provides a concrete example of the “Gate Control Theory of Pain”: the electrical impulses “flood” the nervous system, thus closing the “gates” pain signals used to travel between the knee and the brain. In turn, this stops you from feeling pain during treatment.

When You Should Avoid TENS

Generally, this form of therapy is considered to be safe for at-home use. 

Nonetheless, there are some contraindications worth keeping in mind. Consult your doctor before using TENS if you have one or more of the following conditions:

  • You are pregnant (especially in the early stages of pregnancy) 
  • You wear a medical implant or metal device (i.e., pacemakers or internal hearing aids)
  • You have epilepsy
  • You have an open wound or irritated skin in the knee area
  • You suffer from heart and blood conditions

If your pain has not been properly diagnosed or you have a history of cancer in the past 5 years, you should also seek the advice of a healthcare specialist. 

What To Watch Out For When Resorting To At-Home TENS

At-home TENS units are often the go-to alternative for people attempting to benefit from electrical stimulation. But while these devices are readily available over the counter or online, it’s important to be aware of the fact that not all units are FDA-approved, safe, or strong enough to ease the pain. 

If you are in doubt or looking for a more personalized treatment for your knee pain, the Neuragenex team can help.

Why People Use A TENS Unit For Knee Pain

If you have heard that electrical stimulation might benefit your knee condition and support the healing of damaged tissue, you might be getting ready to try TENS. 

But what makes this type of therapy so popular? Let’s find out together. 


Around 750,000 knee surgeries and knee replacements are performed each year, and this number is expected to rise alongside life expectancy rates and the prevalence of obesity. 

That’s where the greatest advantage of TENS comes in. At-home TENS involves nothing more than placing electrodes on the knee area and choosing the right setting. In turn, this form of therapy allows you to manage pain in the long term, and without surgical procedures or pharmaceutical treatments.


Being non-invasive and generally safe, TENS can be self-administered within the comfort of your own home and at your convenience. 

What’s more, 2019 estimations show that pharmaceutical or surgical treatments for conditions such as knee osteoarthritis cost each patient between $12,400 and $16,000, making TENS a far more affordable alternative.



The Drawbacks Of Using TENS For Knee Pain

Ultimately, at-home TENS units are widely available, which gives patients the chance to try out electrical stimulation for pain management without significant financial or lifestyle commitments. 

But choosing commercially-available TENS devices over professionally-administered treatments comes with its fair share of drawbacks. Here’s what you should be aware of.

Current And Wavelength Are Not Strong Enough

The reason why over-the-counter TENS units are safe to use at home and without any training is that these devices are only designed to deliver mild electrical pulses.

But if these limitations make them harmless, they also make them ineffective to treat severe, acute, and chronic pain.

A 2007 review that compares Conventional (mild) TENS, Acupuncture-Like TENS, and Intense TENS shows that Intense TENS is best to treat small areas (like the knee) with high-frequency electrical pulses. 

While these pulses offer powerful analgesic effects, they are just tolerable by the patient. In turn, high-frequency TENS should only be administered by a specialized professional using medical-grade devices to avoid dangerous side effects.

Does Not Address All Sources Of Knee Pain

An evaluation conducted in 2000 shows that conventional TENS and Acupuncture-Like TENS are effective methods of pain management and modulation. Nonetheless, commercially-available units might not be powerful enough to address the underlying cause of knee pain. 

This means that with a TENS device, you might be able to feel a reduction of pain during and just after the treatment (up to 24 hours). However, if you are looking to support the active regeneration of tissue and kick-start the body’s healing process, at-home TENS might simply not be enough.

May Not Be Covered By Insurance

Because of the wavelength and power limitations of at-home TENS units, they cannot be classified as true electroanalgesia (the management of pain through electrical stimulation). What’s more, over-the-counter devices are created to be safely used by anyone, regardless of training or experience. 

In turn, health insurance companies won’t cover at-home TENS for knee pain. You might be able to obtain coverage if your doctor deems this procedure “medically necessary” or as a treatment for postoperative acute pain

Even if Medicare extends to TENS, coverage is only offered by professional treatments as part of a physician’s service or in conjunction with inpatient care.



A Better Treatment Alternative For Knee Pain

A review published in 2019 estimates that patients live an average of 30 years with knee disorders such as osteoarthritis. This makes it imperative to find a treatment option that isn’t just effective, but also non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical. 

Luckily, thanks to the advances in regenerative medicine, you no longer need to choose between depending on medications for the next three decades or getting surgery.

At Neuragenex, we provide holistic neurofunctional pain management therapies for knee pain that are designed around your needs and lifestyle goals. So, you can do much more than simply ease your pain. You can restore your knee health, return to saying “yes” to your favorite activities and social events, and go back to enjoying your daily life.

Here are the methods and approaches we use to help you magnify your life:

Professionally-Administered Electroanalgesia

As we have seen above, electrical stimulation can be an excellent addition to your pain management strategy. But at-home TENS units might not deliver the results you’ve been expecting. 

That’s because although based on the same principle, commercially-available TENS units are unable to deliver the benefits of professionally-administered electroanalgesia. 

At Neuragenex, we use medical-grade FDA-approved devices to administer electroanalgesic treatments, offering long-lasting results and supporting the regeneration of damaged tissue in the knee joint.

Viscosupplementation Therapy

If your knee condition has not been responding to other treatments, viscosupplementation therapy might be an option to explore. 

Through injections of hyaluronic acid, we can help you restore the functionalities of the synovial fluid – the knee joint fluid in charge of maintaining all movements fluid, lubricated, and free of friction.

Lifestyle Counseling

Lifestyle counseling is an important component of a comprehensive, ad hoc treatment journey. That’s because a lot of your knee pain might derive from lifestyle factors, such as being overweight, performing improper movements, overusing your knees, or leading a sedentary life.

Know Your Options. Treat Your Knee Pain

At Neuragenex, we strive to provide personalized pain management strategies that are safe, non-invasive, and effective. But our overarching goal is to help you restore your body’s capabilities, improve your life and health, and support long-lasting well-being – all without medications, surgery, or chiropractic care!

Using A TENS Unit For Carpal Tunnel – Is It The Best Option?

Affecting an estimated 4-10 million Americans, carpal tunnel syndrome is considered to be one of the most common nerve disorders in the U.S. But despite how widespread this condition is, the pain derived from carpal tunnel affects each person differently and has a unique impact on their lives. 

If you are among those experiencing debilitating hand and wrist discomfort, surgery (i.e., carpal tunnel release) might seem like the inevitable choice. Luckily, thanks to today’s advances in regenerative medicine and electroanalgesia, there are other non-surgical and non-invasive – but just as effective! – solutions worth considering, including transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). 

But is using a TENS unit really the best solution?

In this guide, you’ll learn about using a TENS unit for carpal tunnel and discover the more efficient natural treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome. Let’s dive right in!

How Does a TENS Unit For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Work?

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a pain-relieving treatment that delivers mild impulses of electricity delivered across (trans) the depth of the skin (cutis). 

TENS units have grown in popularity since their commercial introduction in the early 1970s. Users saw TENS as a new non-invasive, self-administered, accessible, and affordable analgesic (pain-relieving) treatment. 

For the millions of people affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, TENS has long been an effective way to manage pain and avoid surgery. Let’s look at what carpal tunnel syndrome is and cover the basics of using a TENS unit to treat this condition.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: An Overview

Our hands and wrists are at the forefront of any action we perform in our daily life. This is thanks to the complex infrastructure of ligaments, nerves, and muscles that make it all possible. 

At the core of these interconnected elements is the carpal tunnel, the passageway in the inner wrist that houses the median nerve. This nerve is responsible for controlling hand movement and transmitting signals from the hand to the brain, and vice-versa.

Over time, factors such as wrist injuries, aging, repetitive motions, arthritis, obesity, thyroid disorders, diabetes, and hormonal changes (i.e., during pregnancy or menopause) can increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. These factors can cause the carpal tunnel to become inflamed and swollen, thus compressing the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel.

As a result, you might begin to experience feelings of pain or discomfort (especially localized around the thumb or the first three fingers), tingling and numbness spreading from the wrist to the hand, and reduced grip and hand mobility.

Understanding How TENS Units Work

If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), you might be struggling to deal even with the simplest of tasks. In this case, it is understandable to start looking for the most efficient solutions for your symptoms. And, when looking for valid alternatives to surgical interventions, you might have come across TENS for carpal tunnel.

TENS treatments are delivered with a TENS unit, a battery-operated device with wires attached to electrodes (adhesive pads). These pads are then applied to the skin on the area affected by inflammation or pain (the wrist area, in this case) to deliver electrical impulses, which cause a double pain-relieving action:

  • The surge of electrical activity floods the nervous system, thus preventing pain signals from reaching the spinal cord and the brain
  • The electric pulses trigger the production of pain-relieving hormones such as endorphins 

TENS is an electroanalgesic treatment, or a therapy that uses electrical stimulation to modulate, control, and manage pain. 

In the video below, you can learn more about using a TENS unit: 

TENS For Carpal Tunnel: Is It An Effective Treatment Option?

While some patients report improvements and pain relief in the short term, the research surrounding TENS for carpal tunnel is still ongoing.

Although there is no “one-size-fits-all” formula when it comes to devising a treatment for CTS, you might find that a TENS-based treatment program can reduce pain and discomfort in the short term. 

While the electrical impulses transmitted by the TENS unit will not permanently cure the pain or the underlying syndrome, but they can temporarily hinder the pain receptors in the hand and wrist and prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. 

Although often subjective, the analgesic effects of TENS for carpal tunnel usually last for the duration of the treatment, but some people also experience a reduction in pain for up to 24 hours after switching off the TENS device. 

While the clinical effectiveness of a TENS unit for carpal tunnel is still being researched, this treatment has no serious side effects (when used correctly) and can be used in combination with other pain management alternatives.

What The Research Says About TENS And Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Given its accessibility, TENS has become one of the most popular go-to non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical solutions for CTS. Some patients vouch for its effectiveness, but what does science say? 

According to a 2014 randomized controlled trial published in Rheumatology International, TENS therapy is just as effective as splint therapy (wearing wrist splints as recommended by a healthcare professional) in the management of the symptoms of CTS. The same trial also showed that interferential current (IFC) therapy might be more effective than TENS treatments.

What’s more, another study published in 2010 in the International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, microamp TENS coupled with acupuncture appears to be a beneficial nonsurgical option for the management of CTS symptoms, alongside yoga, bracing, and hand therapy. 

Ongoing clinical trials have also shown that electrical stimulation (ES) can promote nerve regeneration in patients that have already undergone carpal tunnel release surgery for severe CTS. 

Despite the promising results, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials conducted in 2019 shows that the majority of the studies conducted so far on the effectiveness of TENS as a non-surgical treatment for CTS (and other types of chronic pain) have been inconclusive due to insufficient data.

The Importance Of Wavelength

For all electrical stimulation (e-stim) therapies, including TENS and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), the chosen pulse width, frequency, and intensity matters. These variables are described as following:

  • Frequency: the rate at which pulses of electricity are delivered to the skin. This frequency is measured in hertz (Hz). Higher frequencies are best for pain relieving. 
  • Intensity – Intensity refers to how intense the sensations caused by TENS are. Low-intensity TENS produce not painful sensations (known as paresthesia), vehicle higher intensity TENS produce sensations that are closer to the patient’s pain threshold. 
  • Pulse Width – This variable refers to how long each pulse of electricity lasts. Pulse width is measured in microseconds (μs).

Depending on the kind of pain or discomfort that is being treated, you might try one of three main TENS techniques:

  • Conventional TENS: Conventional TENS is a form of therapy that delivers high-frequency electrical pulses (50-100 Hz) within a small width (50-200μs) to the affected area. Unlike intense TENS, conventional TENS cause mild and not painful sensations.
  • Acupuncture-like TENS: Acupuncture-like TENS therapies use higher-intensity pulses, near the pain threshold. While these pulses feel stronger, they are low in frequency (2-4Hz), and longer in width (100-400μs). These pulses are delivered to acupuncture points to stimulate the sensory nerves under the skin.
  • Intense TENS: Intense e-stim therapies deliver electrical pulses at a high intensity and high frequency, which are just tolerable by the patient.

Although the best frequency for your needs varies, studies show that conventional TENS is the most suitable therapy for acute pain. In particular, frequencies between 50 and 150 Hz are best for acute pain as they activate the delta-opioid receptor (located in several areas of the brain), thus blocking the pain reception in the brain. 

On the other hand, lower frequencies between 2 and 10 Hz have been seen to activate the mu-opioid receptors, which trigger the release of pain-relieving endorphins. 

Safety Vs. Effectiveness

While the effectiveness of this treatment might still be disputed, there are no known major safety concerns about the use of a TENS unit for carpal tunnel (when used correctly), aside from potential skin irritation (due to the adhesive pads) and temporary discomfort. Additionally, if used for prolonged periods, low-frequency TENS may cause side effects such as muscle fatigue and muscle damage.

There are also some contraindications to TENS treatment. You should also avoid using TENS machines if you are pregnant, have a heart condition, or wear a pacemaker or any kind of internal electronic device. You should also avoid placing the electrodes on your head, neck, ears, chest, genitals, and eyes. 

Additionally, FDA has concerns about the unregulated market of home e-stim devices which have caused burns, skin irritation, and bruising to users.

Why Home TENS Units Are Not Effective Enough

If you are looking for an affordable, alternative, FDA-cleared, and natural alternative to injections, splints, and medications for your CTS, you might consider investing in an at-home TENS device. 

Although there are few risks and the treatment can be self-administered, a home TENS unit for carpal tunnel might not deliver the expected results. While the studies above showed some effect on pain and symptoms, the treatment was administered by experienced technicians using professional TENS units with much greater capabilities than over-the-counter TENS devices. Even then, most of the results were inconclusive!

There are more effective and efficient electrical stimulation treatments out there. Here’s why you should always work with a specialist who can administer professional electroanalgesic treatments:

Weak Electrical Current

Although you should ask a professional to show you how to use a home TENS unit, they are designed to be easy to use, even by those with little training. That is why most home TENS devices have pre-determined settings and frequency options. 

However, when it comes to treating acute hand or wrist pain – such as carpal tunnel syndrome – these units might not have the required power and frequency settings to relieve your discomfort. 

Oppositely, electroanalgesic treatments performed by a professional using an FDA-cleared device are able to deliver higher-pulse wavelengths. In turn, this boosts the treatment’s efficiency, delivers longer-lasting results, and guarantees higher levels of safety for patients. 

Lack Of Precision

At-home TENS treatments are much easier to administer on larger surfaces, such as the shoulder area. However, when it comes down to addressing your CTS, it is important to keep in mind that the carpal tunnel is no longer than 12.7 ± 2.5 mm and only around 19.2 mm wide. 

In turn, targeting this area can be challenging with electrical pulses, especially as you’ll need to place the electrodes in the right place and select an accurate electrical frequency and pulse width. 

With so many variables, the best option to see results is to work with a healthcare professional who specializes in delivering electroanalgesic treatments.

Why You Should Reconsider TENS Therapy For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As we have seen above, TENS therapy can be an efficient alternative to temporarily subside the pain and discomfort of CTS during flare-ups. And, in a post-operative scenario, it can even help with nerve regeneration. 

However, if your pain is recurring or chronic, doing TENS for carpal tunnel isn’t just inefficient – it can also be counterproductive! TENS does not cure the underlying condition and, if performed wrongly, it can lead to side effects such as burns or irritated skin. Even more importantly, if your pain is chronic, using a TENS unit for carpal tunnel multiple times a day just isn’t a long-term solution!

Medical-grade TENS therapy is certainly safer and more effective than using at-home devices. However, even in this case, you should bear in mind that, without a long-term strategy in place to restore the health of your carpal tunnel and median nerve, you might not be able to regain your hand’s functionalities and grip strength by counting on TENS alone!


The Superior Alternative Treatment To TENS

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, your condition will affect a lot more than just your hand and wrists. Because of the pain and reduced grip strength, you might be struggling to take part in the hobbies or sports you have always loved, or you might have noticed your professional performance declining as the pain gets worse. 

Because CTS can take over so many aspects of your life, simply addressing wrist pain with a TENS unit for carpal tunnel might not be enough. 

At Neuragenex, our neurofunctional approach takes into consideration these aspects and aims to address all the factors, symptoms, and underlying causes of your CTS, so that you can magnify your life and restore your hand’s full capabilities. We do so by creating a custom holistic treatment protocol that is natural, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, non-chiropractic, and non-surgical. 

Some of the therapies we use to address your CTS pain and restore your health include:

  • Electroanalgesia: Electroanalgesic treatments use electrical pulses to block the pain signals traveling from your hand, through the median nerve, to the brain (which is a concept known as Gate Control Hypothesis). Electrical pulses also reduce inflammation, stimulate the body’s healing process, and trigger the production of pain-relieving endorphins. 
  • IV Therapy: IV therapy is used to deliver nutrient-rich fluids intravenously. These nutrients aim to reduce inflammation, stimulate the body’s healing process, provide hydration, support proper circulation, and promote cell regeneration. 
  • Lifestyle Counseling: Lifestyle counseling can help you understand what causes CTS, how to prevent flare-ups and protect you from injury, and how to introduce changes in your life that will improve your overall health, well-being, and quality of life. 

At Neuragenex, the electrical stimulation we use is part of a broader neurofunctional pain management approach, which makes it more efficient to treat chronic pain. What’s more, thanks to our medical-grade devices and highly trained specialists, we can deliver electroanalgesic treatments that provide relief for longer. With regular sessions for 12 weeks, you’ll be able to feel relief for multiple hours or days after the treatment.

Get Effective Treatment For The Pain From Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you are tired of dealing with inefficient CTS treatments, or you wish to find a way around the side effects of pain medications, the team at Neuragenex can help. Our team of specialists can provide effective, safe, and non-surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, along with other common conditions.

Alternative Treatments To Knee Arthroplasty – Know Your Options Here

If you are considering knee surgery for the discomfort and disability caused by your knee pain, you are certainly not alone. 

Since the first knee replacement was performed in the late 1960s, knee arthroplasty has become a popular and accessible solution for conditions that cause debilitating joint pain and reduced range of motion. 

According to the 2021 American Joint Replacement Registry Annual Report, the number of joint replacement surgeries has increased by 18.3% since 2020. And, between 2012 and 2020, the number of primary knee surgeries performed in the U.S. surged to 1.2 million. 

But despite how popular these surgeries are, they are not always the best option for knee pain – nor the only one. By learning more about alternative treatment options, patients can prevent or delay knee arthroplasty and avoid the cascade of consequences, complications, and side effects of invasive surgical procedures. 

In this guide, you’ll learn more about the implications of arthroplasty and how non-surgical treatments – such as viscosupplementation and neurofunctional therapies – can help protect your knee health. Let’s get started. 

What Is Knee Arthroplasty?

Arthroplasty is a term derived from the Greek words for joint (“arthro”) and molding or grafting (“plastos”). It describes the surgical process that involves reshaping, reconstructing, or replacing one or more components of a joint. Knee arthroplasty is also commonly referred to as “knee replacement surgery”. 

Although orthopedic surgical techniques and tools have been developing significantly since the first arthroplasty was performed in 1968, knee replacement surgery is a complex and often invasive procedure that comes with significant side effects. 

Today, knee arthroplasty is mostly recommended for end-stage symptomatic conditions that have not responded well to pharmaceutical or physical therapies, such as advanced osteoarthritis that has caused structural damages to bones and soft tissues.

If you are in the process of considering knee replacement surgery to treat your knee pain, you are probably wondering what to expect from this procedure. Learn more about it below. 

What To Expect Before A Knee Arthroplasty

Before a knee arthroplasty, your surgeon will take you through the necessary steps to prepare you for the procedure, reduce the risk of complications such as periprosthetic joint infections, and ensure that you are fit for knee surgery. These include:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Electrocardiograms and X-rays
  • Pre-surgical physical examinations and physical therapy
  • Medication adjustments, such as painkillers
  • Lifestyle changes, such as ceasing smoking 
  • Dental exams to rule out infections and abscesses that could enter the bloodstream, settle onto the surgical areas, and increase the risk of post-surgery infections. 
  • Review of your medical history and other conditions

How A Knee Arthroplasty Is Performed

The way knee replacement surgeries are performed may vary depending on what area of the knee is affected. However, in general, your surgeon will start by administering a general or regional anesthetic. 

The surgeon will then make an incision in the knee area. The surgeon will insert specialized tools to remove any affected portion of soft and hard tissue (i.e. the cartilage and bones). Then, a metal or plastic implant (prosthesis) will be inserted into position and secured, often using medical cement. Lastly, the surgeon will close the incision and ensure the different parts of the implant can move properly. 

Aftercare And Results

Knee replacement surgery can last anywhere between 1 and 3 hours. The type of care and treatment you’ll need after the intervention largely depends on the extent of the surgery. 

Generally, you will be moved into the recovery room straight after the procedure, and a team of healthcare professionals will monitor for signs of complications. In some cases, you might be able to go home the same day (outpatient procedures), but some patients spend one night or more in the hospital after their surgery. 

Physical therapy usually begins around 48 hours after surgery, and full recovery is usually achieved within 6-12 weeks. In terms of results, knee replacement surgeries can lead to a decrease in knee pain, improved range of motion, and reduced need for pain medications. According to a 2019 study published by the Lancet, 82% of knee surgeries last for up to 25 years. 

There are two main types of knee replacement surgeries: total knee arthroplasty and partial knee arthroplasty. Let’s look at these surgeries in more detail below. 

Total Knee Arthroplasty

Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) surgery is necessary when the entire knee joint needs to be replaced. This happens if all three components of the knee are affected by osteoarthritis or injury and require surgical intervention.

These are:

  • The medial compartment (the inner side of the knee)
  • The lateral compartment (the outer side of the knee)
  • The patellofemoral or anterior compartment (the front of the knee (under the kneecap))

Total knee surgery usually resurfaces all three components of the knee. The surgery may also involve replacing or removing the ligaments between the bones (such as the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments).

Partial Knee Arthroplasty

A partial knee arthroplasty – also called a unicompartmental knee replacement – is less invasive than a total knee replacement. The aim is to maintain most of the original structure of the knee, and only replace the affected compartment of the knee. This might be the case for patients with knee osteoarthritis, where the arthritis has only affected one compartment in the knee, such as the medial compartment. 

Knee Conditions That Might Require Knee Arthroplasty 

Given the impact that a knee replacement can have on a patient’s health and body mechanics, surgery is usually only a last resort after other conservative treatments have been unsuccessful. Surgery is usually only recommended in the case of traumatic injuries and end-stage degenerative diseases, often after other treatment options such as physical therapy and medications have failed. 

In particular, knee arthroplasty might be suggested by a healthcare provider to treat the following conditions of the knee:

  • Debilitating Osteoarthritis (OA): OA is an inflammatory, degenerative joint disease that leads to the breakdown of the soft tissue (cartilage) in the knee joint. Mostly caused by excessive or repetitive stress on the joint, aging, genetics, bone deformities, and joint injuries, OA can end up degrading the soft cushion that keeps the joint movements lubricated. In turn, this can lead to pain, bone damage, improper knee mechanics, and disability. Currently, nearly 14% of knee replacements are administered to treat OA
  • Inflammatory Arthritis: Arthritis is the overarching term for several inflammatory conditions that affect the joints. The excessive inflammation caused by the high levels of uric acid in the body (in the case of gout) or by the improper response of the immune system (in the case of rheumatoid arthritis) can irritate, inflame, and degrade the cartilage, thus leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling. 
  • Arthritis Due To Trauma: Traumatic injuries to the knee can damage the bones and other structures in the knee joint (such as the ligaments and tendons). When this happens, areas of the knee that are normally unaffected by movement become damaged by friction or excessive loading. 

In most cases, knee replacement surgeries are recommended to ease debilitating or disabling pain, swelling, and stiffness deriving from the conditions above. 

Risk And Complications Of Arthroplasty

Although knee replacement surgeries are generally considered to be highly successful procedures, it is important for patients not to take the decision of undergoing surgery lightly. Even in the best-case scenario, these surgical procedures involve months of rehabilitation and physical therapy before a patient can return to normal activities. 

Additionally, healthcare professionals need to inform their patients regarding the risks and complications of knee replacement surgeries, which can also lead to an increased need for revision surgeries. Let’s look at the most common risks of knee arthroplasty below:

Periprosthetic Joint Infection

Although only around 1% of patients undergoing arthroplasty will develop an infection, this is one of the most common complications of such surgical procedures. Generally, infections are caused by bacteria and affect the wound caused by the surgical incision. 

However, in some cases, bacterial infection can affect the periprosthetic joint itself (the area of the joint that has been replaced with plastic and metal parts). Although this can happen at any time after the surgery, it is more likely in the first two years after surgery, which is when up to 70% of infections occur.

You might be at greater risk of developing an infection after surgery if you have immune deficiencies, diabetes, circulatory problems, or if you are obese. 

Aseptic Loosening

Aseptic loosening is another common surgical complication of knee replacement surgery. This occurs when the prosthesis begins to loosen and fails. This is often caused by improper initial implantation of the periprosthetic joint components, inflammation, or osteolysis (degeneration of the bone tissue attached to the prosthesis).

Aseptic loosening is more likely in patients who had to undergo a revision surgery because they experienced periprosthetic infection after their primary knee arthroplasty. In particular, among these patients, the prevalence of prosthetic loosening is as high as 22% after 7 years of the surgery


Metallosis is an uncommon complication of joint replacement surgery, but it is more likely to happen in arthroplasties of the knee, hip, or other high-wear joints. This condition causes an abnormal buildup of metallic particles and debris around the periprosthetic implant and surrounding joints. 

A BMJ case study reported that around 7 out of 30 patients who underwent a TKA involving metal-backed patellar components developed metallosis.

Instability And Dislocation

Dislocation of the periprosthetic knee can happen in a similar way to natural knee dislocations, including trauma and overextension. However, there are additional factors that increase the risk of dislocation. 

These factors include implant malpositioning, inappropriate selection of the implant, deformity, and hardware malfunction, such as the breakdown of the polyethylene (plastic) lining between the prosthetic parts. 

TKA dislocations account for 0.02-0.2% of orthopedic injuries among all patients, and 0.15-0.5% of injuries in people with arthroplasty

Beyond dislocation, less severe instability issues in TKA patients can happen due to mechanical malfunction affecting the periprosthetic knee.

Periprosthetic Fracture

As the population continues to age and the number of knee replacement surgeries performed each year increases, the prevalence of periprosthetic fractures is also rising. This complication can happen any time after the surgery and involves a fracture in one or more bones around the area where the prosthesis was implanted. 

Periprosthetic fractures almost always require surgery. Currently, this condition is estimated to affect between 0.3% and 5.5% of TKA patients

Patellofemoral Complications

The patellofemoral joint is located in front of the knee. Because of this joint’s location, it is connected to some of the components of the knee joint including the patella (kneecap). After a total knee arthroplasty, it is not uncommon for patients to experience complications such as patellofemoral pain. 

A 1995 study shows that, at the time, patellofemoral complications were present in 12.8% of patients who had undergone TKA. Additionally, the same study mentions that the prevalence of this complication is higher among older and overweight patients. 

Alternative Treatments Offered By Neuragenex

For those battling end-stage symptomatic conditions of the knee – including osteoarthritis – surgery might seem like the only and inevitable option. And, for some individuals, it is. 

However, for those patients looking to prevent or delay knee replacement surgeries, it is important to learn about the alternative treatment options that can help, such as the ones offered by Neuragenex

At Neuragenex, our team of healthcare professionals and researchers have developed a customized treatment protocol that can help ease knee pain, support tissue regeneration, and lower the risk of surgery. These treatments are non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical, and are backed by science. 

Below are the three pillars of the treatment protocol for knee pain offered at Neuragenex:


For patients with knee pain that has not responded to exercise and physical therapy, it is important to look for non-opioid, long-term solutions such as TriVisc. 

TriVisc injections work by delivering hyaluronic acid (HA) into the joint area. Here, the HA will form a gel-like substance called hyaluronate. This substance is naturally produced by the body and helps regulate how the joint tissue responds to injury. It also plays a vital role in keeping the joints healthy, lubricated, and safe from shock and friction.

Over time, the supply of HA in the body declines, often due to age and factors like smoking. Thanks to TriVisc injections, Neuragenex can help replenish the supply of HA in the joint, thus easing discomfort, decreasing inflammation (such as in the case of arthritis and osteoarthritis), keeping the joint lubricated, and providing long-lasting comfort. 


Visco, short for viscosupplementation, is a treatment that involves injecting hyaluronic acid into diarthrodial joints. Diarthrodial joints – which are freely movable joints such as the knee – are joints that rely on two components to keep motions smooth and lubricated. These two components are:

  • A thin layer of cartilage around the connected bones
  • A synovial membrane that encapsulates the joint and is filled with synovial fluid (a thick fluid that reduces friction between the joint’s components during movement).

When this system wears down over time, the joint’s components and the surrounding bones might be exposed to damage caused by shock and friction. Viscosupplementation therapies aim to restore the synovial fluid with hyaluronic acid. 

This can have a powerful lubricative and analgesic effect, reducing inflammation, easing swelling, and relieving joint pain. According to 2015 studies, viscosupplementation can delay the need for total replacement surgery by 3 years or more. 

Neurofunctional Pain Management

The proprietary Neurofunctional Pain Management protocol designed by Neuragenex helps ease pain naturally and support the regeneration of damaged tissue when combined with the therapies above. 

At Neuragenex, we use hydration therapies and high-pulse electrical stimulation (electroanalgesia) to stimulate the production of endorphins, depolarize pain neurons, and deliver long-lasting pain relief. What’s more, thanks to Neurassage – our patented massage therapy – and lifestyle counseling, we are able to help patients regain control of their lives and ease pain without opioids or surgery. 

Start Living A Pain-Free Life. Consult With Us Today.

At Neuragenex, our goal is to help patients do much more than simply reduce their knee pain. We aim to help individuals magnify their lives, enjoy a lifestyle free of medications, and delay or prevent the need for surgery.