For patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, the combination of tendon gliding exercises with conventional treatments may be more effective than nerve gliding exercises with conventional treatments, according to authors of an article published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome were randomized into three groups. All patients received conventional treatments (splint and paraffin therapy), but group one received additional tendon gliding exercises and group two received additional nerve gliding exercises.

Each patient received a package of questionnaires and underwent physical examinations and nerve conduction study of the upper limbs before and after treatment for two months.

In the 53 patients who completed the study, there were significant improvements in symptom severity and pain scale scores. However, only participants in group one showed significant improvements in their scores on functional status; the disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand questionnaire; and the physical domain of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire Brief Version.

After adjusting for baseline data, the researchers found significant differences in the functional status scores among the groups. Post hoc analyses detected a significant difference in functional status scores between groups one and two.

[Source: APTA]