Objective: To determine the short-term effects of local microwave hyperthermia on pain and function in patients with mild to moderate idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome.Design: Double-blind randomized sham-controlled trial.Setting: Outpatient clinic of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University Hospital.Participants: Twenty-two patients with idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome, 12 of whom had bilateral involvement, for a total of 34 wrists, divided into two groups: a hyperthermia active treatment group (number of wrists=17) and a sham-controlled group (number of wrists=17).Intervention: Six sessions, two per week, of either hyperthermia or sham treatment were provided over a period of three weeks.Main measures: Visual analogue scale, Levine-Boston Self-Assessment Questionnaire (part I: evaluation of pain intensity; part II: evaluation of functional status) and neurophysiological assessments, were determined at baseline and at the end of the treatment.Results: The hyperthermia group experienced a significant improvement in pain (visual analogue scale: P=0.002; Levine-Boston part I: P <0.0001) and functional status (Levine-Boston part II: P=0.002) relative to baseline. No improvements in pain intensity or functionality were observed in the sham-treated group. Changes in pain severity between baseline and the end of treatment were larger in the hyperthermia group than in the sham-controlled group (visual analogue scale P=0.004; Levine-Boston part I: P=0.009). No differences either intra or between groups were observed for median nerve conduction velocity.Conclusion: Hyperthermia provides short-term improvements in pain and function in patients with mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- physical therapy
- randomized controlled
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation