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Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1995 Apr;33(4):208-11.

Successful management of female office workers with "repetitive stress injury" or "carpal tunnel syndrome" by a new treatment modality--application of low level laser.

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Western Heart Institute, St. Mary's Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA.


Female office workers with desk jobs who are incapacitated by pain and tingling in the hands and fingers are often diagnosed by physicians as "repetitive stress injury" (RSI) or "carpal tunnel syndrome" (CTS). These patients usually have poor posture with their head and neck stooped forward and shoulders rounded; upon palpation, they have pain and tenderness at the spinous processes C5-T1 and the medial angle of the scapula. In 35 such patients we focused the treatment primarily at the posterior neck area and not the wrists and hands. A low level laser (100 mW) was used and directed at the tips of the spinous processes C5-T1. The laser rapidly alleviated the pain and tingling in the arms, hands and fingers, and diminished tenderness at the involved spinous processes. Thereby, it has become apparent that many patients labelled as having RSI or CTS have predominantly cervical radicular dysfunction resulting in pain to the upper extremities which can be managed by low level laser. Successful long-term management involves treating the soft tissue lesions in the neck combined with correcting the abnormal head, neck and shoulder posture by taping, cervical collars, and clavicle harnesses as well as improved work ergonomics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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