Immediate and long-term effects of selected physiotherapy methods in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome

Ortop Traumatol Rehabil. Nov-Dec 2011;13(6):555-64. doi: 10.5604/15093492.971040.
[Article in En, Polish]


Background: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a serious therapeutic problem and it considerably impairs the patients' quality of life. Despite many studies, the effectiveness of conservative treatment is still debatable. This study aimed to evaluate the immediate and long-term effects of conservative treatment involving ultrasound therapy combined with massage and kinesiotherapy for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Material and methods: A total of 61 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome were assessed with regard to such symptoms as pain, numbness, tingling sensation, morning stiffness, and self-care difficulties. We used provocation tests and investigated sensory impairments, autonomic disturbances, and Lüthy's sign. Conduction in the median nerve fibres was assessed during a nerve conduction study. We performed computer-aided measurement of the hand joint range of motion and global grip strength. The tests were conducted before and on completion of a rehabilitation programme. The hands were re-examined one year later. The treatment involved ultrasound therapy, massage, and kinesiotherapy.

Results: The treatment outcomes confirmed the effectiveness of the therapeutic programme. Significant improvements concerning the majority of the symptoms were observed between the first and second examination as well for the entire follow-up period. We observed significant improvement in the quality of sensation, the hand range of motion and muscle strength.

Conclusions: Ultrasound therapy combined with massage and kinesiotherapy brings the expected, long-term effects in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage
  • Median Neuropathy / diagnosis
  • Median Neuropathy / physiopathology
  • Median Neuropathy / rehabilitation
  • Median Neuropathy / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / rehabilitation
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / surgery
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Self Care
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonic Therapy
  • Wrist Joint / physiopathology
  • Young Adult