Repetitive strain injuries affect 4.5 million Canadians. Affecting the hand and wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common types of repetitive strain injuries and is the most common entrapment neuropathy in the general population. Symptoms include weakness, tingling, numbness, burning, or pain in the hands of wrists. It usually occurs in both hands but can also be limited to the dominant hand. Shockwave therapy offers carpal tunnel treatment without surgery.

Using acoustic sound waves, shockwave therapy can accelerate healing by stimulating metabolism and improving blood flow. A study published in the Central European Journal of Medicine assessed the effectiveness of shockwave therapy for treating mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome.

Researchers split thirty carpal tunnel patients into two groups. One group received three shockwave therapy sessions, while the control group received sham treatment. They were evaluated three and 12 weeks after treatment. Researchers used the visual analogue (VAS) for the primary outcome, and for the secondary outcome they used hand grip strength, Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire, the SF-36 Health Survey, and electrodiagnostic measurements.

The shockwave therapy saw significant improvements in VAS after week three and twelve as well hand grip strength, sensory nerve conduction velocity, distal motor latency of the median nerve at week twelve. The shockwave group also saw significant improvements in both questionnaires. The control group saw no similar results. Researchers concluded that shockwave therapy “is an effective and non-invasive treatment method for mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome.”

However, in cases of severe carpal tunnel where conservative treatments like shockwave therapy or even corticosteroid injections are unsuccessful, carpal tunnel release surgery may be necessary. And while most of the surgeries are successful, pillar pain, which is pain experienced to the sides of the area of incision in the thicker parts of the palm, may develop.

A study published in The Korean Journal of Pain examined the effectiveness of shockwave therapy in pillar pain relieve and hand function improvement. They divided sixty patients into two groups, one experimental and one control. The experimental group received three sessions of shockwave therapy, while the control group received three sham treatments.

Researchers used VAS to measure pain and the Michigan hand outcomes questionnaire (MHQ) to assess hand functions. They evaluated participants before treatment then three weeks, three months, and six months after treatment. At all points of comparison, the shockwave group showed significant improvement in VAS and MHQ scores compared to the control group. Researches conclude that shockwave therapy “is an effective and a safe non-invasive treatment option for pain management and hand functionality in pillar pain.”

Shockwave Canada is the sole authorized distributor of industry leading Storz shockwave therapy machines. Our exclusive, patented handpiece integration technology is designed for maximum ease of use. Call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit our website to learn more about integrating the long-term benefits of shockwave therapy into your practice.