Acupuncture and Related Interventions for Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A systematic Review
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings

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AbstractBackground and Aims: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common upper extremity disorders. Acupuncture is a commonly used conservative treatment for CTS. However, its effectiveness for CTS is uncertain and existing systematic review (SR) is out of date. This SR was performed to provide up-to-date clinical evidence on acupuncture and related interventions for treating CTS.
Methods: 21 electronic resources were searched for potential publications. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluated the following interventions on primary CTS patients were included: manual acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and moxibustion. To be included, RCTs should report at least one of the following outcomes measured with validated instruments: CTS symptom severity, functional status, and pain.
Results: Ten RCTs (728 participants) were included. When compared to conventional medications, manual acupuncture showed significant superior effect in improving CTS symptom than ibuprofen (mean difference [MD]= -5.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -7.95 to -3.65) and prednisolone (MD= -6.50, 95% CI: -10.14, -2.86). Electro-acupuncture plus splinting was more effective in reducing symptom severity than splinting alone (MD= -0.20, 95% CI: -0.36 to -0.03). Significant superior effects were shown in manual acupuncture versus ibuprofen (MD= -1.84, 95%CI: -2.66 to -1.02), and electroacupuncture plus splinting versus splinting alone (MD=-6.22, 95%CI: -10.73 to -1.71) for improving CTS patients’ functional status. Electro-acupuncture (MD=-0.70, 95%CI: -1.34 to -0.06) and manual acupuncture with specified magnetic spectrum heat lamp (MD=-1.70, 95% CI: -3.43 to 0.03) showed add on effect in reducing pain when compared to splinting alone.
Conclusions: Electro-acupuncture could be considered as an add-on to splinting for CTS patients. Manual acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, TENS and moxibustion could also be considered as an alternative to splinting for CTS patients. Future trials should use guidelines recommended interventions as control, determine the optimal followup duration and report the trial according to the STRICT guideline.
All Author(s) ListIrene XY Wu, Victor CK Lam, Robin ST Ho, William KW Cheung, Regina WS Sit, Li-Wei Chou, Yan Zhang, Ting Hung Leung, Vincent CH Chung
Name of ConferenceInternational Conference on Brain Research in Chinese Medicine: Degeneration and Repair
Start Date of Conference26/07/2018
End Date of Conference28/07/2018
Place of ConferenceHong Kong
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
Proceedings TitleInternational Conference on Brain Research in Chinese Medicine: Degeneration and Repair
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2019-24-10 at 11:13