What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a compression of the median nerve in the wrist that causes numbness, tingling and pain in hands and fingers. Symptoms tend to affect the index finger, middle finger and thumb and can cause thumb weakness, pins and needles and a dull ache in the hand or arm. Symptoms start gradually and are often more pronounced during the night.
The risk of CTS can be increased by a family history of the syndrome, pregnancy, other conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, wrist injuries and repetitive manual work.
How can ESWT be used to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Shock wave application to trigger points represents a relatively new therapy approach in CTS treatment. The combined use of focused and radial high energy shock waves allows effective localised trigger point treatment as well as ESWT application to a wider muscle surface area. CTS is more often related to trigger points than to anatomical or structural malformations, as these trigger points frequently compress nerves in the neck, shoulders and forearms.
Focused shock waves can be used to induce referred pain for precise trigger point localisation, meaning that a comprehensive range of functional disorders may be treated with shock wave therapy. The therapy’s success depends on recognising muscular trigger points as the origin of pain, setting this therapy apart from more conventional treatment methods.
The acoustic wave carries high energy that promotes regeneration and repair of the bones, tendons and soft tissues associated with CTS.
When is ESWT an appropriate treatment?
This treatment is considered appropriate for CTS patients with mild to moderate symptoms and offers the possibility of a non-surgical management of the condition.
How effective is ESWT at treating this condition?
ESWT can be considered a safe and effective method for relieving pain and disability for patients diagnosed with CTS. It is considered as effective as a corticosteroid (CS) injection and is a non-invasive therapy when compared to a CS injection.