Acupuncture/ pressureExerciseMagnetsYoga

Review: CAM options for carpel tunnel syndrome

Aside from surgery, splinting, exercises, and other alternative therapies have been used.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University reviewed the evidence.

Here’s what we know.

  • Splinting
    • It’s a commonly prescribed, relatively inexpensive, nonoperative treatment.
    • Evidence suggests splinting is effective over the short term in decreasing symptoms.
    • Over the long term, surgery appears to be better than splinting for relieving symptoms, and may be more cost effective.
  • Mobilization exercises
    • Tendon gliding and nerve gliding are commonly used to treat symptoms.
    • Not well studied.
  • Alternative therapies
    • Acupuncture, low-level laser, yoga and static magnetic field therapy have limited evidence that supports safety and a possible therapeutic effectiveness for treating symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Splinting and oral or injected corticosteroids may be effective for the symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome, although they often only provide short-term relief. At this time, no definitive conclusions can be made with regard to the efficacy of the other commonly utilized nonsurgical interventions.”

1/30/11 21:02 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.