Carpal Tunnel (CTS) affects one out of ten people during their lifetime. The main symptoms are pain, numbness, and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger. Symptoms are common at night. Pain may go up the arm. There may be a weak grip and even muscle loss at the base of the thumb. Often any movement of the hand is painful. Working at a computer becomes almost impossible. The risk of not doing adequate and early, aggressive treatment is permanent damage to the median nerve.
Dr. Pawluk’s personal experience with carpal tunnel syndrome
As a family doctor I often saw people with carpal tunnel. My father had it and so do I. I would wake up at night with my hand completely numb. I know all the ways CTS is treated. I know that steroid injections don’t help for long, if at all. I know that surgery fails about 10% of the time and that 25% don’t have good results or have complications. I know a number of people with lifetime disability because of failed CTS surgery. So, a simple and easy, at-home solution is to combine a nighttime splint along with a portable PEMF device that can be worn all day if needed. That’s what I did. I had moderately severe CTS. Within two weeks of doing this my symptoms were almost completely gone. Now, I only occasionally have to do spot treatments when I have a little flair. I still use my nighttime splint. I had an ultrasound that showed a 37% improvement in the swelling of the nerve. So, I still have some nerve irritation left over, even though my symptoms have almost all gone. Since I knew the general value of PEMFs and now that I had personal PEMF experience for my own CTS, I looked into the research evidence for using PEMFs for CTS.
Research on pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMFs) and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
The research not only looked at symptom improvement but also nerve function tests. All the studies showed significantly better symptoms and up to 73% better nerve conduction. Adding antioxidants improves results even more. One important study compared PEMFs to surgery and found that PEMFs were actually slightly better than surgery, without the risks. This study only treated one hour at a time for 16 treatments. The limitations of research don’t allow for optimal treatment time for people. So, using higher PEMF intensities, for longer times per day, and over several weeks, produces better results. Also, since CTS can recur it’s best to have your own PEMF device. At home PEMF treatments for as many hours as possible with a portable 200 Gauss device combined with a night splint, a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, would produce the best results. This approach avoids the need to have invasive procedures, painful nerve conduction testing, steroid injections and multiple visits to various practitioners. If portable, personally owned, at-home PEMFs used for an adequate amount of time fail, surgery is a fallback option. Even then the PEMF system will speed recovery and reduce the risk of complications. Another important factor is to start treatment as soon as possible after any symptoms begin. The more severe the CTS symptoms and nerve conduction damage, the less chance for full recovery.