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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2018 Aug;99(8):1650-1659.e15. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.06.002. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

Do Patients With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Benefit From Low-Level Laser Therapy? A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy Science & Sports, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neurosciences, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2
Department of General Practice, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy Science & Sports, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neurosciences, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: b.m.a.huisstede@umcutrecht.nl.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To systematically review the literature on the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

DATA SOURCES:

The Cochrane Library, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database were searched for relevant systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) up to April 8, 2016.

STUDY SELECTION:

Two reviewers independently applied the inclusion criteria to select potential studies.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Two reviewers independently extracted the data and assessed the methodologic quality.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

A best-evidence synthesis was performed to summarize the results of the 2 systematic reviews and 17 RCTs that were included. Strong evidence was found for the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy compared with placebo treatment in the very short term (0 to ≤5wk). After 5 weeks, the positive effects of low-level laser therapy on pain, function, or recovery diminished over time (moderate and conflicting evidence were found at 7- and 12-wk follow-up, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

In the very short term, low-level laser therapy is more effective as a single intervention than placebo low-level laser therapy in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, after which the positive effects of low-level laser therapy tend to subside. Evidence in the midterm and long term is sparse.

KEYWORDS:

Carpal tunnel syndrome; Lasers; Rehabilitation; Review [publication type]; Treatment outcome

PMID:
28629992
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2017.06.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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