The effects of active release technique on carpal tunnel patients: A pilot study

J Chiropr Med. Winter 2006;5(4):119-22. doi: 10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60143-8.


Objective: To examine changes in electromyography (EMG) and a valid self-administered outcome measure after applying active release technique to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) patients.

Methods: Five subjects (mean age 48.2 SD +/- 16.7) with CTS were included in the trial. Subjects completed the Boston Questionnaire (BQ) and an EMG examination before the first treatment. Participants were treated with Active Release technique using a protocol intended to affect the median nerve 3 times a week for 2 weeks. The BQ was re-administered following the final treatment. The mean scores for the initial and final BQ were compared using a paired samples t-test. An analysis of variance compared the mean contraction amplitudes for EMG parameters before and after the first treatment.

Results: There was significant improvement (p < 0.05) in the mean symptom severity and functional status scores of the BQ following the intervention. There were no significant differences found in the EMG analyses.

Conclusion: The preliminary data from this clinical pilot trial suggest that active release technique may be an effective conservative management strategy for CTS patients. These results support the need for further clinical trials with larger samples.