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. 

Interferential Current Therapy (ICT): Does It Work?

Interferential Current Therapy (ICT) is a non-invasive therapy that uses electrical muscle stimulation to relieve pain and enhance healing. It is used for a variety of conditions but especially for chronic pain and post-surgical pain. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about ICT and whether it could be an effective treatment for you.

What Is ICT?

Interferential current therapy is a treatment modality where two medium-frequency currents are directed into damaged tissue. The frequencies are set up so that the paths of the currents cross and literally “interfere” with each other. 

Since the body essentially functions using a series of electrical signals across the cells, electrical stimulation can boost the healing response of the body. ICT can promote healing by increasing the hormones and chemicals that facilitate healing. 

ICT can also block pain signals as electrical stimulation can influence the nerves. This is one mechanism by which it can relieve pain, reduce swelling or edema of the damaged tissue, and promote healing of injured muscles. 

How does ICT act? ICT gets delivered via electrodes. While the physics may be a bit complicated, here’s an example. If one electrode delivers at 4000 Hz and its companion at 3900 Hz, the resultant beat frequency would be 100 Hz. 

Usually, the frequency required to contract muscles is between 1 and 100 Hz. Different frequencies produce different contraction responses. A larger frequency at 100 Hz can stimulate the pain gates and close them to painful impulses. 

Without pain, the chemicals that respond to it and cause edema are reduced. This reduces local swelling within damaged tissues and promotes the dilation of blood vessels. The duration of each session with interferential current is somewhere between 10-20 minutes.

Here are the different frequencies used to achieve various effects:

  • 100-150 Hz constant or 90-100 Hz rhythmic frequency is used for pain relief
  • 0-10 Hz rhythmic or 10- 50 Hz rhythmic frequency is used for muscle stimulation
  • 0-100 Hz rhythmic frequency is used for vasodilation as it relaxes the walls of the blood vessels and improves circulation

Earlier models used two electrodes. Modern units have four electrodes that can deliver a rapid series of currents to achieve the same effect in a single sweep. They usually offer frequencies of 1-150 Hz, with a choice of up to 250 Hz or more in others. 

Understanding How ICT Works To Relieve Pain 

ICT is applied with the individual in a comfortable position. Before starting, the skin is cleaned and prepped. Vacuum electrodes or pad electrodes are then placed on the area that is being treated. Two pairs of electrodes are positioned so that the crossing point of the two currents is over the treatment site. Below is a list of the estimated frequency for various tissues:

  • Smooth Muscle: 0-10 Hz
  • Sympathetic Nerves: 1-5 Hz
  • Parasympathetic Nerves: 10-150 Hz
  • Motor Nerves: 10-50 Hz
  • Sensory Nerves: 90-100 Hz
  • Nociceptive Or Pain Fibers: 90-150 Hz

ICT works in four ways. They are listed below:

  • Pain Relief: By stimulating the pain gates at frequencies of 90-150 Hz, the pain sensations are blocked or hidden. At lower frequencies, the opioid receptors can also be activated. Once activated, a person becomes numb to the pain as they cannot perceive the pain. 

Both these pathways can provide significant pain relief. ICT can be used for joint pain, back pain, sciatica, and radicular pain. 

  • Muscle Stimulation: Motor nerves in the muscles can be stimulated at various frequencies. Depending on the desired effect, the stimulation can be changed. At 1 Hz, muscle twitches are possible and tetany or contraction of the muscles can be achieved at 50 Hz. 

However, if you do a sweep at 10-25 Hz, it is possible to increase blood flow, reduce edema, and stimulate the muscles. 

  • Increased Blood Flow: The effect of blood vessel dilation is most likely achieved with one of two mechanisms: muscle contraction or the effect on the sympathetic nerves. 

The first mechanism is the effect of muscle contraction, where ICT contracts the muscles which cause the blood supply to increase in response to the metabolic demand of the muscle. The other mechanism is the effect on the sympathetic nerves which causes the vessels to dilate. 

The role of the sympathetic nervous system is to increase blood supply via vasodilation. ICT stimulates the sympathetic nerves, increasing blood flow. At present, the 10-20 or 10-25Hz frequency sweep has the desired effect of increasing blood supply. 

  • Reduction Of Edema: By blocking pain sensation, the inflammatory chemicals that increase with pain can be suppressed. These chemicals are less painful, so the edema or swelling due to inflammation is reduced. ICT also promotes the resorption of edema fluid, although the exact mechanism is not clear. 
  • Interferential Current Vs. TENS

Interferential current is different from TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Firstly, interferential current modulates at a much higher frequency at about 4000 Hz compared to TENS at 125 Hz. 

At higher frequencies, the resistance of the skin decreases, so there is a better penetration depth and larger volume of tissue treated. As a result, interferential current therapy can relieve deep seated pain within the tissues as well. ICT also improves circulation which facilitates healing, something that is not possible with TENS.

Clinical Conditions That Can Be Treated With ICT 

ICT can be used for various clinical conditions that cause chronic pain. Here are some of the clinical conditions in different areas of the body that can be targeted with interferential current therapy:


ICT can be used in the neck to treat conditions such as cervical spondylosis, disc herniation, and spinal canal stenosis. All of these conditions can cause severe and chronic pain that is often not relieved with analgesic medications. ICT can suppress pain and block nerve conduction so the perception of pain in the neck is less. 


Disc herniation and spinal canal stenosis are chronic conditions that affect the spine and the back, leading to back pain. Chronic lower back pain that arises due to a nerve impingement, degenerative disc disease, or a herniated disc can also be treated with ICT. 


Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are conditions that can affect the knee. Interferential current therapy can be used to treat the pain and also reduce the edema surrounding the affected knee joint. 


Conditions such as a frozen shoulder can be treated with multiple sessions of ICT. If there is an injury to a muscle or ligament in the shoulder, ICT can also effectively treat these conditions as well. 


Pain from nerve conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, neuralgia, or post-herpetic lesions, can also be treated with interferential current therapy. 

Potential Side Effects Of ICT 

While ICT is effective, there are some potential side effects, especially if an individual is new to interferential current therapy. Not everyone may experience these side effects but they are a possibility. Some of the side effects of ICT are listed below: 

  • Skin irritation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Decreased concentration
  • Drowsiness
  • Altered heart rate

When Is ICT Not Recommended?

Interferential current therapy is mostly safe and without any major side effects. However, there are certain individuals for whom it is not recommended: 

  • ICT is not recommended for pregnant women as the electrical current may harm the baby.
  • ICT is contraindicated for children, especially in areas of epiphyseal growth.
  • ICT may not be used on individuals with an implanted medical device like a pacemaker as it can cause cardiac arrhythmia.
  • ICT may not be used on those with severe dermatitis or where the skin barrier has been broken as this can cause a burn or infection.
  • ICT therapy may not be used on individuals with a bleeding condition or those on blood thinners.
  • ICT may not be recommended for cancer patients.
  • ICT is not recommended for those with epilepsy as it could trigger a seizure.

Neuragenex Can Help You Live A Pain-Free Life

You don’t have to put up with pain – it is possible to live a pain-free life. Neuragenex offers ICT as a non-pharmaceutical, non-opioid, non-drug, nonsurgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic treatment for pain. 

If your doctor has not offered interferential current therapy for your pain, then it may be time to ask about your treatment options. 

Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

As I start out most articles on osteoarthritis, (OA) affects almost 33 million adults in the United States alone and more people are diagnosed daily across the nation with this chronic condition. Like peripheral neuropathy, osteoarthritis is a condition that often manifests in the knees, fingers, and toes of patients who have been diagnosed with it. However, patients who suffer from OA can expect to experience its symptoms in most joints throughout the body. The symptoms of OA, when compared to peripheral neuropathy, are not entirely the same and patients who are familiar with the nonsurgical treatments for peripheral neuropathy often look elsewhere to treat the conditions of OA. While peripheral neuropathy causes tingling, burning, and numbness in the extremities, OA manifests itself with symptoms of bone spurs, stiffness, and pain specifically targeting the joints. It’s also common for patients to have both neuropathy and OA simultaneously, and that is even harder to manage. While there are varying treatment options for both of these conditions, both surgical and nonsurgical, the options differ between the two so much that patients suffering from both may wish to look for one solution that will treat the pain they experience on a daily basis. This means a one-size-fits-all approach to the pain is often the objective because there’s not much else that can be done.

We have discussed in previous articles the conditions and nonsurgical treatment options available to patients with peripheral neuropathy and how Neuragenex is creating and pioneering the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management with its proprietary Neuralgesia treatment protocol. Neuralgesia is a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy to produce an enhanced pain relief effect that can last for months after a course of treatment. Neuralgesia is a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic treatment program that produces an enduring pain relief effect for those suffering from chronic neuropathy or osteoarthritis pain. Neuralgesia is a next generation pain management treatment option when weighed against other conventional options. The question that will be weighed in this article is the efficacy of Neuragenex treatment options for OA when weighed against more conventional nonsurgical treatments. Patients who choose not to rely on pharmaceuticals, perhaps fearing the risk of dependency or addiction, and patients who are wary of seeking surgical treatment to alleviate chronic pain should first look to Neuragenex technology for a solution to their pain. After all, wouldn’t anyone want to try the least invasive option first and move on to surgeries and medications as a secondary effort or last resort?


Available Conventional Treatments


Those who have suffered from OA for years will often consider more drastic and surgical solutions to the pain of this diagnosis without considering nonsurgical options. One of the most prominent surgical solutions for OA was discovered in the 1950’s and 60’s by Dr. John Charnley who successfully treated the condition by an invasive procedure called arthroplasty. The procedure was widely successful and continues to be the preferred method for surgical treatment of osteoarthritis. However, surgical options such as arthroplasty are not considered for patients who have had success maintaining their OA pain through non-surgical treatment.

Surgical Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

In a medical assessment and survey of advancements in treating OA, Professor K.D. Brandt of the Indiana University School of Medicine found that “[r]ecommendation of total joint arthroplasty for the patient with OA, however, is tantamount to an acknowledgement of the failure of medical management. The surgical procedure is often performed after the patient has experienced years, or even decades, of pain and disability” (2004). Patients who have sought treatment for their OA who are familiar with the medical management comment referred to by Professor Brandt may not have even considered that arthroplasty is only considered for patients who have suffered from its symptoms for years and even decades. This means that even patients who would choose to undergo drastic surgery to relieve their pain, may not have the same recommendation from their doctor before years or even decades of living with debilitating pain. While this news may not be surprising to some who have sought immediate and lasting relief for their pain, it is no less of a disappointment. Still, there are those who are wary of surgical procedures to cure their OA and have lasting relief from pain and understandably so. Elective, non-emergency surgery is a heavy decision that would weigh on the mind of any patient. Naturally, most patients will seek more mild solutions that will not require surgery– solutions that will help them manage the pain.

Non-surgical Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

When we speak of nonsurgical options for treatment, we must consider that these treatments are not always recommended or even effective for many patients who suffer from the pain of any condition. However, for OA, seeing how it has affected and continues to affect millions of adults in the United States alone, there has been extensive research done in search of a treatment or a cure that does not involve extensive and invasive surgery. Unlike cases of peripheral neuropathy, which increase daily with cases of diabetes around the world, cases of OA have remained steady among American adults and have remained static since the 1950’s, increasing with the constantly increasing age of the high-volume aging population, with the prevalence largely remaining the same. We must qualify that although cases of OA have remained steady by prevalence, this does not mean total cases haven’t been increasing. Prevalence refers to the percentage of the demographic with this issue and as greater percentage of the population age we see more cases across the board. This has contributed to a steady and persistent level of research into a treatment for the condition and this should be welcome relief for anyone seeking said treatment. Unfortunately, research from several in the medical community conclude that effective treatment for osteoarthritis is elusive and often lacks the efficacy desired by both patients and their doctors.

With the need for effective nonsurgical treatment of osteoarthritis being sought by patients, even professionals in the medical community like Professor Brandt are frustrated at the lack of effective options available to their patients. Professor Brandt, after surveying through the available options, their limited benefits, and many side-effects, states that “. . . we surely need better and safer drugs to treat OA symptoms” (2004). The last thing patients of OA want to hear is that the symptoms they are attempting to treat with better and safer drugs are met with sometimes worsening side-effects.

Throughout the survey of treatments, Professor Brandt also concludes that some drugs had little to no effect in a clinical trial when compared to the effects of a placebo. It is perhaps most dissapointing to hear this statement which sums up the entirety of Professor Brandt’s concern: “Despite enormous increases in our understanding of pain mechanisms and of the metabolism, biochemistry, and molecular biology of articular cartilage . . . our track record for the development of more efficacious drug treatment for OA is discouraging”. This is not to say that treatments do not exist for osteoarthritis; in fact, there are several. The issue, which Professor Brandt brings succinctly to the forefront, is the issue of efficacy.

The most popular nonsurgical treatment for OA is the use of nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals are diet supplements that claim to improve the medical condition, quality of life, or life expectancy and health of an individual when used in tandem with healthy foods. The general assumption of nutraceutical efficacy works in tandem with the patient’s willingness to live a healthy lifestyle. The specific nutraceuticals that treat OA include glucosamine and chondroitin methylsulfonylmethane. The efficacy of these treatments has been debated among peers in the medical community for decades. Notwithstanding, Dr. Begum Yurdakok Dikmen, a Turkish physician counters that nutraceuticals have been introduced as a form of treatment over the centuries and that many suffering from osteoarthritis look to them for a solution.

In a study on nutraceuticals done in 2016, Dr. Dikmen grappled with the fact that “[r]egulations regarding the quality and safety of nutraceuticals are still being debated . . .” (2016). This is in part due to the medical community’s skepticism of nutraceuticals being seen as an alternative medicinal treatment for OA. However, Dikmen states that nutraceuticals are still being considered by governmental bodies that will continue to “. . . develop strategies together with the public to enlighten the benefits supported by solid scientific evidence”. Understandably, skepticism continues to be a persistent hindrance for the use of nutraceuticals in the treatment of osteoarthritis. This skepticism lies not only in physicians with patients who suffer from osteoarthritis but in the patients themselves. Many would rather consider a lasting treatment that they know will work for them before ingesting a nutraceutical with which they are unfamiliar.

A study conducted by Marco AntônioPercope de Andrade M.DPh.D. concluded that glucosamine hydrochloride, a nutraceutical, “ . . . had no effect on pain management” when it came to treating osteoarthritis (2015). Dr. de Andrade confirmed that results from more familiar sources for nutraceuticals such as avocado and soybeans were less conclusive and “. . . may have positive effects on knee and hip OA, but long-term results could not be confirmed”. These conclusions on the benefits of nutraceuticals are both disappointing and frustrating especially for those who are seeking relief from the pain. While some patients who suffer from OA may feel a small amount of relief from the pain when using nutraceuticals, lasting relief will not be found. There are perhaps more nonsurgical options that will help– options that are made available through Neuragenex.


Neuragenex’s Neurofunctional Pain Management Protocol


In the year 2000, a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of another nonsurgical treatment known as hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation was conducted. While the clinical trials of viscosupplementation were in their infancy, Dr. John Watterson found that “. . . the lack of systemic side effects and the potential lasting effects make it an appealing option” (2000). The process of viscosupplementation is best described as a loosening and relaxing of the joints that feel stiff and rusted over. This nonsurgical option uses a safe compound called hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid has been USDA approved for decades and Dr. Watterson attests to this benefit by stating that “[t]he US Food and Drug Administration approval of hyaluronic acid as a device has avoided the need for meeting the more stringent criteria for approval as a drug”. Decades later, the use of hyaluronic acid in viscosupplementation has remained an effective and affordable solution to treat osteoarthritis. Neuragenex incorporates hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation treatment for osteoarthritis in conjunction with its pain-relieving Neuralgesia protocol. While viscosupplementation ads a fluid cushion to the joint and relieves and loosens the joints affected by OA, Neuralgesia treatments further reduce the pain through high pulse electrical stimulation of the damaged tissues in combination with specialized hydration therapy. Many patients experiencing the symptoms of OA report relief after only one session with Neuragenex. Patients routinely experience greater mobility, strength, and improvement of the motor skills they used to enjoy to complete their daily tasks.

Thousands of patients experience relief from pain and treatment is simple. Patients who suffer from chronic pain, such as neuropathy and osteoarthritis, report relief after starting our treatment sessions. Neuragenex believes that the least invasive options should be the first options. Our proprietary Neurofunctional Pain Management program is designed to be the safest and least invasive option for chronic pain, while fully understanding that no one therapy works 100% of time and there is a need for all the conventional treatments out there, we simply believe in starting with the least invasive options first. Our mission is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify quality of life without drugs, surgery, or invasive procedures. Our vision is to be the first thought, first choice, and first step in the journey of chronic pain management.

Nonsurgical Shoulder Pain Treatment

Statistics show that shoulder pain will affect more than 25% of adults at some point during their lives. In some cases, shoulder pain can be a temporary issue that causes mild discomfort; however, most shoulder problems are chronic and related to conditions such as arthritis, ligament and tendon tears, pinched nerves, and inflammation. 

When it comes down to ease chronic pain, patients tend to be offered two undesirable treatment options: pain medications or surgery. 

Fortunately, there are other non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical, and non-invasive treatment options worth exploring. Below, we’ll look at the nonsurgical treatments available today and learn how Neuragenex’s Neurofunctional Pain Management program can help.

What Is Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is one of those problems that you can’t ignore for long. It affects everything you do and even just walking around can trigger waves of pain down your arm and chest and up your neck. Large joints are often the most noticeable joint pain problems and are one of those crucial joints that we use every day for basic quality-of-life activities. Because of the natural anatomical reliance on our hands, anything that impairs our abilities has a significant impact on our quality of life. If the joints in our hips are not functioning properly, the gait and balance of our walk will be affected. In the same way, if the shoulder joints experience pain, the consequences of this pain will extend to our hands and ultimately our quality of life in general. 

Healthy shoulder joints provide for a highly flexible range of motion, permitting the movement of our arms by nearly three-hundred and sixty degrees, depending on shoulder joint health and practiced flexibility. The rotation and flexibility of our arms depend on our body’s aptly named rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles and tendons that keeps our shoulders in their sockets. As we get older and acquire more risk factors for chronic shoulder pain, the range of motion in our shoulders decreases drastically.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

The most common cause of shoulder pain can be tied back to the inflammation of the rotator cuff as it presses against the bones of the shoulder. In an equal yet distinct way, bone spurs (which occur largely in the elderly) can grow on the shoulder bones and press against the rotator cuff. Other causes of shoulder pain include arthritis, dislocation, overuse, and even bad posture.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options For Shoulder Pain

When it comes down to finding the right treatment option for shoulder pain, a lot depends on the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if the pain and discomfort are caused by arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, a healthcare provider will work to manage the body’s inflammatory response to reduce swelling, stiffness, and discomfort. 

On the other hand, if shoulder pain is caused by mechanical issues such as bone spurs or impingements, physical therapy might be the recommended non-surgical line of treatment. 

Given that some conditions causing shoulder pain and reduced range of motion can last for 3 years or longer, it is important to seek an accurate diagnosis and a pain management option that is sustainable in the long term. Let’s look at some options below.

Ice Packs And Warm Compresses

Using heat or ice to ease shoulder pain is one of the most common natural remedies out there, and it is one of the steps of R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Rest) therapies. 

When choosing to use either cold or warm compresses, there’s a rule of thumb worth keeping in mind:

  • Heat – Heat stimulates blood flow in the injured area, which delivers nutrients and oxygen needed for healing. Warm compresses should be used to ease stiffness, relax tight muscles, and improve the range of motion of aching joints. 
  • Ice – Ice packs slow down the blood flow to the injured area, which relieves the swelling and build-up of fluids that often follow inflammation.

Generally, heat should be used for lingering injuries and chronic pain, while cold compresses can be used to ease the inflammation arising from a new injury and prevent pain flare-ups after exercise. 

When addressing shoulder pain, cold therapies are best for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis. On the other hand, heat is best to relieve the pain of injuries such as muscle strains and sprains once the initial inflammation has resolved.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often prescribed to manage chronic pain.  Today, nearly 30 million Americans take these medications regularly to treat their conditions. 

NSAIDs work by blocking an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX), which is responsible for the production of prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are chemicals in charge of triggering the body’s inflammatory response to injury. By blocking the production of these chemicals, NSAIDs can prevent the symptoms associated with inflammation, such as pain, swelling, build-up of fluids, stiffness, or fever. 

Some common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs include ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib, and high-dose aspirin. In the case of shoulder pain, NSAIDs may be used in the short term to ease the discomfort and swelling arising after an injury. However, they should not be taken within 48 hours of the trauma to avoid interfering with the natural healing process of the body.

Corticosteroid Injection

Steroids are the man-made version of a chemical already present in the human body, which is capable of reducing inflammation, swelling, and redness. Corticosteroid injections contain slow-release crystals of steroids, which might have a longer-lasting pain-relieving effect on shoulder injuries.

Drawbacks Of Nonsurgical Treatments

Although the therapies above are available and come with minimal side effects, it is important for patients to understand the risks they are exposing themselves to when selecting the wrong line of treatment. 

Below, we’ll look at the drawbacks of the nonsurgical treatment options seen above to help you make the best treatment choice for your shoulder pain.

  1. Ice Packs And Warm Compresses

Ice packs and warm compresses are typically safe to use at home, even without much experience. However, there are some risks worth keeping in mind before proceeding with this treatment:

  • Regulate the temperature of the compresses to avoid burning the skin or exposing it to extreme cold
  • Avoid applying ice packs and heat directly onto the skin
  • Only use heat and cold compresses for 20 minutes at a time
  • If you have an infection, warm compresses might increase the risk of the infection spreading
  • Applying ice packs for too long can cause nerve damage

If your swelling increases or you suffer from cardiovascular diseases, make sure to speak to your doctor before applying cold and warm compresses to your shoulder.


NSAIDs are predominantly safe and therefore readily available to most of the population and while these drugs can provide temporary relief, other effects should be considered by patients. While NSAIDs are not directly addictive to patients who take them to deal with shoulder pain, the risk of dependency cannot be dismissed. 

By their very nature, NSAIDs have a temporary effect, just like putting ice on pain. The effects of NSAIDs, while often effective at treating pain, are ephemeral and do not last long enough for patients to experience relief over a long period of time. Anyone who has experienced the effects of shoulder pain for long periods of time will know that NSAIDs are not going to be a lasting treatment for their pain. 

However, when used in conjunction with other treatment methods, NSAIDs may provide relief long enough for patients to work through those treatment methods, some of which will be mentioned later on.

For many patients, the minor efficacy of NSAIDs can cause dependency and even overdose. We must make it clear that we use the term ‘overdose’ not only to signify death or even comatose but more often the overuse of medication resulting in an adverse effect. Some patients make the mistake of assuming a technical overdose always results in death or comatose, but we aim to make it clear that an overdose by definition can also refer to milder, albeit negative, side effects. With that in mind, the mild nature of NSAIDs often leads to patients desiring heavier doses outside of the recommendation, which is a dangerous step that should not be considered when treating shoulder pain.

3. Corticosteroid Injection 

In addition to the use of NSAIDs and regular application of ice to diminish swelling in the rotator cuff, doctors may rely on the use of a treatment called corticosteroid injection. The primary purpose of corticosteroid injection, much like the use of NSAIDs and ice, is to reduce inflammation. 

However, unlike NSAIDs and the application of ice, the intention of corticosteroids is to provide lasting anti-inflammatory effects. One could see the benefits of these injections, especially due to their lasting efficacy. One other benefit of corticosteroids is that they closely resemble a natural hormone produced in our bodies called cortisol. 

Furthermore, we must not view the injections of corticosteroids as a natural remedy, even if they do resemble something that is naturally produced in our bodies. In reality, corticosteroids are more often referred to by their condensed term, steroids,which are already surrounded by controversy. 

It is widely known that steroids have a litany of side effects and are often viewed, perhaps with prejudice,as drugs that should not be considered to treat minor conditions. Needless to say, steroids are a divisive method for treatment. Many patients who have used steroids for treatment, including treatment for shoulder pain, will either experience the numerous side effects or appreciate how the treatment with corticosteroids makes them feel. 

Regardless of the opinion of patients and their experience with steroid treatment, side effects are undeniable and sometimes deadly. In a 2019 study conducted by doctors Dara Grennan and Sheila Wang, it was confirmed that steroids “. . . reduce the ability of the immune system to function (immunosuppression). 

Patients taking steroids are not only more susceptible to infections but more likely to have severe or unusual infections”.  These medical professionals continue to explain the severe side effects of steroids by comparing them to the aforementioned cortisol, your body’s primary and natural stress hormone. 

Grennan and Wang conclude that “. . . because steroids are so similar to cortisol, prolonged use of systemic steroids at higher doses can cause the adrenal glands to stop making cortisol. If the systemic steroid is stopped suddenly, this adrenal suppression and the resulting lack of steroid can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as dangerously low blood pressure.” 

Although steroids can act as a powerful anti-inflammatory treatment for shoulder pain and many patients enjoy how they feel while corticosteroids are active, patients with shoulder pain must carefully consider these treatment options concerning their condition.

Neuragenex: Neurofunctional Pain Management

Regardless of the cause of shoulder pain, a patient’s primary concern is their ability to perform daily tasks without pain. Any painful condition associated with the peripheral nervous system can be effectively treated and when it comes to shoulder pain, treatment options with Neuragenex should be your first consideration. 

Along with a solution to many other painful conditions, Neuragenex offers a solution to most shoulder pain issues. Because many conditions are a result of pain neuron agitation and constant pain reporting to the CNS, combined with persistent inflammation, Neuragenex’s proprietary treatment protocols and development of Neurofunctional Pain Management are the ideal starting point for pain relief. Neuragenex developed Neurofunctional Pain Management as a means to offer a safe and healthy pain management option. The proprietary protocol is called Neuralgesia and is a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapy that work together to produce an enduring pain relief effect that also improves health for the patients. 

Patients often report pain relief after the first treatment and many patients can get out of pain for the first time in years. One of the surprising effects of Neurofunctional Pain Management is the mental relief that patients feel knowing that they can get pain relief without drugs, surgery, or invasive procedures and implants, all while improving their health and quality of life. in their shoulders and less pain from many other conditions.

Live A Pain-free Life With Neuragenex

The mission of Neuragenex is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify the quality of life without drugs, surgery, or invasive procedures. Neuragenex is aiming to be the first thought, the first choice, and the first step in the journey of chronic pain management for millions of patients across the nation.

Non-Pharmaceutical Non-Surgical Non-Invasive Treatment Options for TMJ Pain

We’ve covered a variety of conditions as well as their various nonsurgical treatments, highlighting the pros and cons of each in comparison to treatment with Neuragenex. It is with certainty that we hold the treatments provided by Neuragenex head-and-shoulders above the rest because of their non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical, non-invasive, and non-chiropractic application and lasting effects. That being said, patients weighing treatment options between Neuragenex and other nonsurgical methods, may wonder if Neuragenex is the right fit for them. 

It should be understood that because treatments with Neuragenex directly target pain neurons and pain reporting system, with their high pulse electrical stimulation protocol called Neuralgesia, any musculoskeletal pain condition can and should be considered treatable using the proprietary Neuralgesia protocol by Neuragenex. Patients suffering from these conditions chronic pain conditions often have no safe and effective or long lasting option for treatment. These conditions, several of which have been discussed in previous articles, affect the lives of tens of millions of Americans every day. The prevailing preference of all patients is that they are able to find a treatment that does not produce unfavorable side effects and has lasting results, and avoid the endless medications, surgeries, invasive injections and implants, and endless chiropractic sessions that may or may not bring relief or with questionable successful results. No matter the condition, its duration, or predisposition to cause chronic pain, Neuragenex has a solution. 

With the subject matter of unique pain conditions in mind, we must now turn to a condition whose obscurity and lack of familiarity may preclude some from seeking treatment at all, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. The two temporomandibular joints connect your jaw to the base of your skull, and you can think of them as the hinges that allow you to open your mouth when speaking or eating. Needless to say, the joints are crucial elements of everyday life. Patients who experience TMJ pain may even experience malnutrition, due to pain from chewing essential foods. The direct cause of TMJ pain is not easily determined and it can be due to multiple factors including injury, arthritis, or even the habitual grinding of teeth. The most common causation for TMJ pain is the arthritis that wears down the disk that lies between the TMJ and the base of your skull. Normally this disk would absorb the impact or shock from the chewing and sliding of the jaw. Much like the disks that lie between the vertebrae in our spines, the disks in our TMJ will wear out over time and due to the risk factors discussed. Regardless of the cause of TMJ pain, the hassle of living with this condition cannot be understated. 

Patients, when asked to explain their experiences with TMJ pain, will often cite their acquaintance with one or both joints increasing in pain. Patients, over time and without treatment, explain how the pain increases to the point where they will not or cannot open their mouths due to the locking of these joints. One unfamiliar with the condition of TMJ pain can only imagine the issues this would cause for patients who wish to eat, drink, and clearly communicate. However, TMJ pain, while painful and frustrating, is not unfamiliar or elusive to the medical community. And fortunately, nonsurgical treatments exist for the condition. However, the most important thing that must be considered by patients seeking treatment for any painful condition is that they consider the ramifications associated with each treatment option, both positive and negative.


Nonsurgical Treatment Options

In order to determine and fairly explicate nonsurgical treatment methods for TMJ pain, we must understand and recall the condition’s distinctive nature. A less understood condition such as TMJ pain will undoubtedly have its unique treatments and essential protocols for the application of those treatments. In a 2019 study published in AIMS Public Health, Doctor Ehsan Shoohanizad and peers determined that the “TMJ has unique features that distinguishes it from other human body joints. Cases of TMJ injury and TMD [temporomandibular disorders] require specific treatments. Therefore, early diagnosis of TMD is essential” (2019). Knowing that the early diagnosis of TMJ pain– or “TMD” as it is referred to here– is essential to treatment, we must understand that many go untreated because they may not know there is an available treatment for such an obscure condition. Patients experiencing TMJ pain may not even know they have a problem, much less options to solve that problem. And because of the ignorance surrounding the condition, many do not gain the treatment they need in time for full and lasting recovery. 

Shoohanizad, after pressing the importance of early diagnosis, lists the most notable treatment methods including, “. . . oral steroids, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, methotrexate 75 mg, and combination therapy with methotrexate”. However, these treatments, being the most widely accepted and understood by the medical community, are not without their side effects. 

We must make it clear that our intention is not to disparage the opinions of the medical community. Rather, our goal is to review treatments with objective reasoning through careful analysis of the efficacy, side effects, and lasting results of each recommended treatment and weigh our analysis of these treatments in contrast with the efficacy, side effects, and lasting results of treatment with Neuragenex. With these parameters in mind, we hope to provide those seeking treatment for pain– particularly TMJ pain– an informed perspective which they can then use to find effective treatment. 

The first treatment for TMJ pain cited by Shoohanizad is the use of oral steroids. It is widely known that steroids have a litany of side effects and are often viewed, perhaps with prejudice, as drugs that should not be considered to treat minor conditions. Needless to say, steroids are a divisive method for treatment. Many patients who have used steroids for treatment, including treatment for TMJ pain, will either experience the numerous side effects, but still appreciate how the treatment with steroids makes them feel, since pain relief is the primary objective of these treatment protocols. Regardless of the opinion of patients and their experience with steroid treatment, side effects are undeniable and sometimes deadly. In a 2019 study conducted by doctors Dara Grennan and Sheila Wang, it was confirmed that steroids “. . . reduce the ability of the immune system to function (immunosuppression). Patients taking steroids are not only more susceptible to infections but more likely to have severe or unusual infections”.  These medical professionals continue to explain the severe side effects of steroids by comparing them to cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone. Grennan and Wang conclude that, “. . . because steroids are so similar to cortisol, prolonged use of systemic steroids at higher doses can cause the adrenal glands to stop making cortisol. If the systemic steroid is stopped suddenly, this adrenal suppression and resulting lack of steroid can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as dangerously low blood pressure”. Although steroids can act as a powerful anti-inflammatory treatment for TMJ pain and many patients enjoy how they feel while on steroids, patients of TMJ pain must carefully consider these treatment options in relation to their condition.

Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including methotrexate, are a specific type of drug that purposely target the conditions that result from arthritis. TMJ pain, commonly a result of arthritis, would likely be a condition that DMARDs seek to ameliorate. DMARDs not only include methotrexate, but drugs like hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, and leflunomide. In a 2018 study conducted by doctors Benjamin Onecia and his associates, it was concluded that DMARDs, while often effective at treating conditions related to arthritis, have a shocking number of side effects. The study concluded that side effects of DMARDs include, “[g]astrointestinal distress (nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea), rash/allergic reaction, bone marrow suppression, hepatotoxicity, and higher incidence of common and sometimes serious infections are common adverse effects of all these agents. Both methotrexate and leflunomide can cause alopecia. Other adverse effects unique to methotrexate include interstitial lung disease, folic acid deficiency, and liver cirrhosis. Leflunomide can cause hypertension, peripheral neuropathy, and weight loss. Sulfasalazine has a very high risk of gastrointestinal distress” (2018). With the wide array and variety of side effects plaguing the otherwise effective treatment for TMJ pain, most patients will likely seek an alternative. The survey continues to list several other side effects of DMARDs, the most concerning of which is, “. . .  an increased risk of common and serious infections, including bacterial, fungal, and viral infections”. And so, we are left with many of the same concerns we had with steroids as an effective treatment. The side effects of these treatments for TMJ pain are simply too numerous and too serious to consider. 

Finally, the third treatment for TMJ pain mentioned by Shoohanizad is the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. We have spoken at length about the effects, both positive and negative, of NSAIDs when used as a treatment for any pain. In our studies, particularly in relation to the use of NSAIDs as a supplement to other forms of treatment, we found that there are (again) several side effects that should be considered and understood by patients. We will, however, consider some of the pros related to NSAID treatment. 

NSAIDs are predominantly safe and therefore readily available to most of the population and while these drugs can provide temporary relief, there are other effects that should be considered by patients. While not directly addictive to patients who take NSAIDs to deal with pain, the risk of dependency cannot be dismissed. NSAIDs, by their very nature, have a temporary effect. The effects of NSAIDs, while often effective at treating pain, are short lived and do not last long enough for patients to experience relief over a long period of time. One who experiences the effects of TMJ pain for long periods of time will know that NSAIDs are not going to be a lasting treatment for their pain. However, when used in conjunction with other treatment methods, NSAIDs may provide relief long enough for patients to work through those treatment methods. 

For many patients, the minor efficacy of NSAIDs can cause dependency and even overdose. The mild nature of NSAIDs often leads to patients desiring heavier doses outside of the recommendation which is a dangerous step that should not be considered when treating TMJ pain. It must be communicated to those seeking effective treatment that NSAIDs, like all drugs, are not without their side-effects. In a study done in February of 2020, doctors V.K. Sharma and associates concluded that, “[a]lthough NSAIDs are among the most commonly utilized drugs, their use is associated with a broad spectrum of side effects, which may include gastrointestinal and cardiovascular toxicity” (2020). While patients may experience the effects of NSAIDs, both positive and negative, they may also question the efficacy of treatment options that they supplement.


Solutions with Neuragenex

Any musculoskeletal pain condition may be effectively treated with our proprietary Neuralgesia treatment protocol, and when it comes to TMJ pain, treatment options with Neuragenex should be your first consideration. 

Along with a solution to many other painful conditions, Neuragenex offers a solution to the pain associated with TMJ pain. Because many chronic pain conditions are a result of the persistent pain neuron firing and nerve function, Neuragenex’s method for diminishing this pain is based on multiple physiologic effects that combine to produce enduring pain relieve. Neuragenex uses a proprietary treatment protocols called Neuralgesia, which is a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation, called electroanalgesia, to send consistent high energy pulses of electrical current deep into the tissue to activate and heal damages tissues, and to depolarize pain neurons, as previously mentioned, and creates a persistent sustained depolarization effect on the pain neurons, which creates a long-term pain relief. Reduced pain signaling results in reduces inflammation response, which results in better fluid dynamics through the affected area, meaning better blood flow and lymphatic flow to provide nutrients and remove waste more effectively from the damaged tissues, which in turn allows the tissues to health as best they can during this reduced pain period. Neuralgesia also involved the addition of specialized hydration therapy with a unique mixture of vitamins and minerals delivered via IV therapy to add fluid volume to the body and help the hydration effect that is needed to relieve the damaged tissues and help reduce pain. These two elements combined create the long-term pain relief that is associated with Neuralgesia therapy and is the hallmark of Neuragenex. 

Many patients report pain relief after only one treatment session, and relief may continue to last for months if a patient completes the entire treatment program. TMJ pain and many other chronic pain conditions are treated with the Neuralgesia treatment protocol created exclusively by Neuragenex. The mission statement for Neuragenex is to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify quality of life without medications, surgery, or invasive procedures. Our vision is to be the first thought, first choice, and first step in the journey of chronic pain treatment.


Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Low Back Pain

Introduction: Low Back Pain

Low back pain is extremely common in the United States and manifests across a wide range of people in a wide range of scenarios. A common demographic of low back pain are patients who are obese or have suffered injury throughout their lifetime. However, low back pain can be a result of many different conditions including injury. While most pain experienced is mild and manageable, many patients experience pain that is debilitating and prevents them from completing any normal, day-to-day activities. Although there are several different causes for low back pain, patients should understand that the pain is manageable through various treatment options. While the most common treatment methods are sought out at home, some may consider surgical options such as implants and surgery procedures. For patients who seek a nonsurgical treatment for lower back pain, options should be thoroughly examined for the following: efficacy, side-effects, and lasting results. 

Misconceptions and Real Causes of Lower Back Pain

When faced with the effects of lower back pain, patients will often resort to constant rubbing and massaging the lower back without realizing that their pain is likely the result of nerves firing and not muscles being overworked. People often assume the pain is a result of muscle fatigue because the affected area is often the same area they would feel pain in after heavy-lifting. It would come to no surprise that patients experience frustration after massaging the affected area to no relief. The first thing that patients with lower back pain need to understand is that most lower back pain is a result of the nerves in their lower back being compressed or impinged which makes them agitated and report pain. The first step in seeking effective treatment is learning what is wrong with our bodies. Once we know and understand what our bodies are communicating to us, we can assess the situation, seek effective treatment, and overcome our obstacles quickly. 


The Most Common Causes

Some of the most common causes for lower back pain might not be readily apparent to patients and may take a proper diagnosis from a medical professional before starting the recommended treatment. As mentioned previously, most people will experience lower back pain in their lives and it will likely become an issue for which most would seek medical attention. The types of patients who seek medical attention for lower back pain will often be divided into subsets before doctors recommend them for a particular treatment. So, like medical professionals, when considering the causes of lower back pain, we must also consider these various subsets of patients who are categorized by the conditions they face that would be considered risk factors. 

The first, most prominent qualifier for the cause of lower back pain is age. Lower back pain is most common with patients who are over the age of thirty. This is not to say that patients under thirty cannot or will not experience back pain, but it is more likely that a patient who is experiencing back pain will be over the age of thirty. Unfortunately, age is a risk factor for most conditions including lower back pain and this is due to the wearing down of disks that sit along the vertebrae of the human spine. Over time, these soft and flexible disks that can absorb the impact and stretching required from physical activity, become more brittle and unable to support the weight placed upon the vertebrae of the spine.

The issue of accomplishing physical tasks is further exacerbated by the weight of an individual. The extra and unnecessary weight of an individual will strongly contribute to the pain experienced in the lower back. Because we ask our spine to handle hundreds of tasks which can often be strenuous every day, adding extra weight to the spine would further increase the pain experienced by patients with lower back pain. Weight is often a result of an individual’s occupation or lifestyle. Unfortunately, those who live or work in an environment that is more sedentary and requires the patient to sit for several hours at a time have a much higher chance of being overweight and experiencing greater low back pain. Patients who live or work in such environments may be surprised to learn that their environment can cause lower back pain because it is not requiring them to do any strenuous exercise or activities. Contributing factors for low back pain, while surprising, are no less serious and vary from the aforementioned qualifiers to osteoarthritis and even depression or anxiety. 

With these conditions and qualifiers in mind as causes for low back pain, we must also consider a condition that is directly tied to the nerves along the lower back, sciatica. Sciatica is a condition that results from the pinching of the sciatic nerve, may also be directly tied to the disks along the vertebrae that compress the nerve. So, if the nerve is compressed by the disks, the disks along the spine are also wearing out over time, and a patient suffers from any of the former qualifiers, one can begin to understand that low back pain is a condition that is complex and multifaceted. 

At the outset in search of treatment, patients who understand that their low back pain is likely a result of more than one contributing factor. Because of the compounding of conditions that contribute to low back pain, patients will often feel discouraged and assume that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to their back pain. While most patients may know of temporary pain-relievers, all would rather have effective, safe, and lasting treatment without risking surgery. 


Nonsurgical Treatment Options

The most common and available relief for lower back pain includes the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These over-the-counter drugs are largely considered safe for temporary pain relief and therefore readily available to most of the population. Some of the more recognizable NSAIDs are Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or Aspirin. And while these drugs can provide temporary relief, there are other effects that should be considered by patients. While not directly addictive to patients who take NSAIDs to deal with pain, the risk of dependency cannot be dismissed. NSAIDs, by their very nature, are supposed to have a temporary effect. The effects of NSAIDs, while often effective at treating pain, are ephemeral and do not last long enough for patients to experience relief over a long period of time. One who experiences the effects of low back pain for long periods of time will know that NSAIDs are not going to be a lasting treatment. While some treatments act like stitches that clean and suture the wound, NSAIDs could be compared to a bandaid that must be replaced every eight-to-ten hours after application. For many patients, the minor efficacy of NSAIDs can cause a type of dependency and even overdose, not to mention the internal destruction on your body that occurs from overuse of these medications. The mild nature of NSAIDs often leads to patients desiring heavier doses outside of the recommendation which is a dangerous step that should not be considered when treating low back pain. Some NSAIDs are deadly when consumed in too high a quantity too quickly.

NSAIDs, like all drugs, are not without their side-effects. In a study done in February of 2020, doctors V.K. Sharma and associates concluded that, “[a]lthough NSAIDs are among the most commonly utilized drugs, their use is associated with a broad spectrum of side effects, which may include gastrointestinal and cardiovascular toxicity” (2020). According to a study conducted in 1993 by Dr. Bjarnason, the gastrointestinal effects range from diarrhea to ulcers, holes or perforations, and bleeding in the small intestine. Cardiovascular toxicity as a result of NSAID ingestion can also result in severe and irrevocable damage to the heart. It is likely that most patients will rightly conclude that the dependency on NSAIDs to treat low back pain can lead to these conditions especially if dependency and frequency of NSAID use are increased over time. 


Neuralgesia with Neuragenex

Low back pain, depending on its contributing factors, is likely a signal from the nerves along the spine and unfortunately, is often not solved with a simple back massage. Any painful condition associated with the central nervous system can be effectively treated and when it comes to low back pain, non-surgical non-invasive treatment options with Neuragenex should be your first consideration. The contributing factors of low back pain range from age, to weight and even mental health, and affect the nerves of the lower back. resulting in unmitigated pain. 

Along with a solution to many other painful conditions, Neuragenex offers its proprietary Neuralgesia treatment program as a solution to the chronic pain associated with low back pain. Because many conditions are a result of the misfiring or restriction of nerve function in the central nervous system, the method for diminishing this pain is the same. Neuragenex uses a treatment protocol called Neuralgesia. Neuralgesia is a combination of high pulse electrical stimulation technology and specialized hydration therapy that create a compounded pain relief effect that may last for many months after a course of treatment. Neuralgesia high pulse electrical stimulation is unlike other low-pulse and low-power electrical stimulation systems that are common in chiropractic offices and physical therapy offices. High pulse electrical stimulation systems require physician and medical provider oversight for application. This along with a specialized hydration therapy can produce results that may last for months and month. Many patients report substantially relieved pain after just one treatment and the quality of life aspects of Neuralgesia therapy are also impressive as many patients report being able to sleep through the night without pain and can finally begin to walk and move around without constant pain.