Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve — the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. It can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.The median nerve provides feeling and movement to the “thumb side” of the hand (the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger).The area in the wrist where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is normally narrow, so any swelling can pinch the nerve and cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome.Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. Typing on a computer keyboard is probably the most common cause of carpal tunnel.
Near infrared light has a significant effectiveness to reduce inflammation within the carpal tunnel and relieve swelling and pressure from nerves and blood vessels, then the symptoms and functions of hand and wrist can be improved.
From 2010 October to December, we collected 30 patients with chronic hand pain and numbness in at least one hand, all of them were diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome more than one year. Age of patients was from 45 to 65, mean age at 56.3. There were 16 female and 14 male. All patients were treated by Genesis pain relief light at various positions including palm, wrist and elbow for 10 mins each point. The patients were asked come back three times within a week to do the same treatment. Before and after the treatment, patients were asked to fill up Levine questionnaire to evaluate symptom and function scale. Any scale difference more than 20% for before and after will be recognized as a real improvement.
After the treatment, all patients had different extension of pain relief compared to before the treatment. The mean pain relief is 54%, while the mean function improvement is 37%. The total effective rate was 89%. The mean and standard deviation (SD) of before treatment of symptom scale was 31.59±9.94, after treatment was 20.64±5.00. Using T test to compare before and after means, the difference was significant (p<0.001)(Figure 1). The mean and SD of functional scale was 17.41±7.15 for before and 12.77±4.21 for after treatment. The T test result is also that after treatment is significantly lower than before treatment (p=0.012).
Figure1. After treatment, the mean value of pain scale (symptom) is significantly lower than before treatment (p<0.001).
Conclusion: For carpal tunnel syndrome, Genesis pain relief light has a significant effectiveness to reduce the symptoms and improve functions of hand and wrist in CTS patients.