Limited evidence supports that laser therapy might be effective compared to placebo.
Management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Endorsed by: ASSH, ASPS, ACR, ACS, ASA
Several high quality studies (Chang 2008, Evcik 2007, Fusakul 2014) evaluated the use of laser therapy in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. In a randomized, controlled trial, Chang 2008 evaluated the efficacy of a laser (830nm diode with 10Hz, 50% duty cycle, 60 mW, 9.7J/cm) versus placebo laser on the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. The treatment was rendered for 10 minutes daily for 5 days a week for two weeks. After 4 weeks, the laser treatment provided significantly improved grip strengths, digital prehension, and lateral prehension (p<0.05). In a randomized controlled trial, Evcik 2007 evaluated the efficacy of laser (7J/2min) versus placebo laser. The treatment was rendered five times per week for two weeks. After four weeks, significant improvement in grip strength and pinch strength was noted (p<0.001); there was also significant improvement in sensory nerve velocity, sensory distal latency, and motor distal latency (p<0.001). In a randomized double-blinded controlled trial, Fusakul 2014 evaluated the efficacy of laser (gallium-aluminum-arsenide at a dose of 18J/session) versus placebo laser. Grip strength and pinch strength was significantly improved. At 12 weeks follow up, distal motor latency was significantly improved (p<0.05).
- Chang,W.D.; Wu,J.H.; Jiang,J.A.; Yeh,C.Y.; Tsai,C.T. Carpal tunnel syndrome treated with a diode laser: a controlled treatment of the transverse carpal ligament. Photomed.Laser Surg; 2008/12: 6
- Evcik,D.; Kavuncu,V.; Cakir,T.; Subasi,V.; Yaman,M. Laser therapy in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Photomed.Laser Surg; 2007/2: 1
- Fusakul,Y.; Aranyavalai,T.; Saensri,P.; Thiengwittayaporn,S. Low-level laser therapy with a wrist splint to treat carpal tunnel syndrome: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Lasers Med Sci; 2014/1/30: 0