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J Exerc Rehabil. 2018 Dec 27;14(6):1067-1073. doi: 10.12965/jer.1836420.210. eCollection 2018 Dec.

The effectiveness of gabapentin and exercises in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized clinical trial.

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Department of Neurology, Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.
Dentofacial Deformities Research Center, Research Institute of Dental Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Sports Medicine, Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the reasons for labor abandonment due to inability and pain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of gabapentin and exercise training in the treatment of CTS and compare their effects. This single-blind clinical trial was conducted on patients referred to the Imam Hossein hospital's electrodiagnostic (EDX) unit. The patients randomly assigned into four groups: using nocturnal splint as an approved treatment in the control group; taking 300-mg gabapentin per night and using nocturnal splint; nerve and tendon gliding exercises and using nocturnal splint; and taking 300-mg gabapentin per night, performing same exercise as group 3 and using nocturnal splint. At baseline, four indicators were assessed in all patients, including the Boston carpal tunnel questionnaire, visual analogue scale (VAS), pinch and grip strength of the affected hand. One month after the beginning of intervention, participants were reassessed and compared for each of the four indicators. Using nocturnal splint along with exercise and gabapentin significantly improved VAS, pinch and grip strength in moderate CTS compared to control group that only used nocturnal splint. However in mild CTS, grip strength was not significantly higher compared to control group (P=0.048). Results of this study showed that use of splint alone in mild CTS is an appropriate and sufficient treatment; however, in moderate CTS, receiving gabapentin along with exercise and splinting showed better treatment results compared to splinting alone.


Boston carpal tunnel questionnaire; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Exercise; Gabapentin; Grip and pinch strength; Visual analogue scale

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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