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Chiropractic Research Review

Ultrasound for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The subjects of this study were 45 patients with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome (90 wrists) Each received a total of 20 treatments over a 6-week period. On each occasion, one wrist was treated with ultrasound (1 watt/cm2) and the other with sham ultrasound that appeared to be identical to the real treatment.

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Subjective symptoms, nerve conduction velocity, hand grip, finger-pinch strength, and patients overall rating at the end of treatment were significantly improved for the ultrasound-treated wrists compared to the sham-treated wrists. The findings of this study "confirm preliminary data that ultrasound treatment may facilitate recovery from carpal tunnel syndrome."

The investigators concluded that ultrasound treatment has good short-term effectiveness and even achieves satisfying medium-term effects in patients with mild to moderate idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome. They also noted:
"Conservative treatment approaches seem to offer clear advantage over surgical treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome."

Ebenbichler GR, Resch KL, Nicokakis P, et al. Ultrasound treatment for treating carpal tunnel syndrome: Randomised "sham" controlled trial. British Medical Journal, Mar. 7, 1998;316(7133), pp.731-35.

Chiropractic Research Review

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