Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition, as it ends up getting in the way of normal hand strength, grip, and mobility. Nonetheless, this is a common peripheral nerve disorder, because it’s often associated with repetitive use of the hands.
Fortunately, there is a treatment for this condition that takes a more natural approach as an alternative to pain medications or surgery. This treatment is advanced laser therapy. Let’s take a look at what it is and how it helps this problem.
How Does Carpal Tunnel Start?
CTS is generally caused by repetitive hand work and overuse injuries, so it can happen when people perform the same hand movements over and over. People can develop this problem from their work activities like continuous typing or hands-on work, such as kneading dough or turning a screwdriver. It can also arise from hobbies that involve the hands, such as gaming with a controller, knitting, or using a smartphone.
Nonetheless, there are some other causes of CTS as well. These include:
- A family history
- Arthritis or another joint/bone disease
- Hormonal changes
- Wrist injury
Regardless of the cause, CTS results in the same kinds of symptoms.
Why Is Carpal Tunnel a Problem?
In time, the continuous movement of the hand and wrist creates problems. It tends to go beyond slight pain or discomfort that would go away when you stop the movement and instead can become a continuous, progressive concern that interferes with your daily activities and quality of life.
This problem affects the median nerve of the wrist, through an entrapment neuropathy that often results in pain and inflammation. Other symptoms may include numbness, weakness, and tingling in the hands and fingers. A medical professional can provide a diagnosis to determine if you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Are Treatment Options for CTS?
Hand surgery is often used for carpal tunnel syndrome. But this is not the only option and may not always be necessary or the optimal first course of action, especially for mild to moderate cases.
Also, people may use pain medications to help with the pain and discomfort, yet these do not solve the problem, and many people do not want to continuously use them. These options include over-the-counter pain medications, prescription pain medications, or cortisone injections.
Advanced laser therapy offers an alternative as a non-surgical, non-pharmacological pain management tool and way to treat carpal tunnel and its symptoms.
How Can Advanced Laser Therapy Help?
Advanced laser therapy is a tool that can address the symptoms of CTS and promote nerve regeneration. This treatment may go by different names, including cold laser therapy, low level laser therapy, red light therapy, or photobiomodulation therapy.
This type of therapy is associated with various actions that could help the hands and wrists affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, including:
- Relieving pain
- Reducing inflammation
- Stimulating healing of damaged tissue
Even more impressive and helpful for CTS, photobiomodulation can help the body regenerate nerves. It does this by encouraging the body’s own processes that regenerate and heal nerves. By emitting light wavelengths that reach the body’s deep tissue, laser therapy encourages the body to produce nerve growth factors. It helps speed up the body’s nerve healing ability, which tends to be slow on its own. When nerves are healed, the person gains an improved ability of the affected part of the body to communicate with the brain, which improves associated symptoms of the disconnection.
Does Laser Therapy Really Work?
Research backs up the idea that laser therapy can help alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms. A study in the Journal of the Faculty of Medicine Baghdad looked at low level laser therapy (LLLT) compared to a sham laser for mild to moderate CTS. The study found that laser therapy resulted in a significant pain reduction of 70.9 percent, among other benefits.
Also, a systematic review and meta-analysis, published in the journal, Medicine, was carried out to see if low level laser therapy is effective for mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. The review found that laser therapy showed significant improvement in hand grip strength, in the visual analog scale (VAS), and in the sensory nerve action potential (SNAP).
Laser Therapy From Aspen Laser
Laser therapy provides a safe, effective, non-pharmacological, and non-surgical way to address carpal tunnel syndrome. Aspen Laser uses a high intensity laser therapy, which is an advanced laser treatment that offers deeply penetrating red and near-infrared light. Providers can adjust the wavelengths to stimulate the desired biologic effects in each patient. In this case, Aspen providers would perform photobiomodulation for the hands and wrists to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.