Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Low Level Laser Therapy Provides An Effective Drug-Free, Safe Relief For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome of a mild to moderate degree can be successfully treated with Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) achieving significant relief from the tingling or numbness in the hand and wrist.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel is  a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand which houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Although painful sensations may indicate other conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies in which the body’s peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers. Some carpal tunnel sufferers say their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. The symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night, since many people sleep with flexed wrists. A person with carpal tunnel syndrome may wake up feeling the need to “shake out” the hand or wrist. As symptoms worsen, people might feel tingling during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. In chronic and/or untreated cases, the muscles at the base of the thumb may waste away. Some people are unable to tell between hot and cold by touch.

What are the causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Most likely the disorder is due to a congenital predisposition – the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as mechanical problems in the wrist joint; work stress; repeated use of vibrating hand tools; sprain or fracture; hypothyroidism; rheumatoid arthritis; fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause. In some cases no cause can be identified.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated using LLLT?

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is the application of red and near infrared light over injuries to stimulate cellular repair. LLLT has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect as well as a healing effect on inflamed soft tissue.  LLLT is completely safe and has no effect on normal tissues.

Traditional management for carpal tunnel syndrome includes rest, splints, cortisone injections and surgery.

Corticosteroid (cortisone) injections can be painful and the procedure carries risks such as increase in pain (“steroid flare”), skin discolouration at the injection site, nerve damage, infection, to name a few.

Following surgery, full recovery from carpal tunnel surgery can take months. Risks include infection, nerve damage, stiffness, and pain at the scar. Occasionally the wrist loses strength because the carpal ligament is cut. Patients should undergo physical therapy after surgery to restore wrist strength.

 LLLT can help you if:

  • You value being healthy and pain free, so you want to seek the best advice possible, straight away
  • You want to avoid or delay surgery or having to have injections.
  • You work in a cold environment
  • Nobody has even given you a definitive diagnosis for your condition so you’ve no idea what’s happened or why.

Low Level Laser therapy used for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a non-invasive laser stimulation, which uses low-level (cold) laser beams focused on pain points in the wrist and hand.  The technique promotes cell neural repair and reduce inflammation related to carpal tunnel syndrome and other such injuries. Low Level Laser therapy should not be confused with conventional laser surgery, which is uses high powered lasers to cut or burn tissue.

Inflammation is the body’s response to injury to attempt to heal it. But often the inflammatory reaction is excessive and this has a paradoxical inhibitory effect on the body’s natural healing mechanisms. This then perpetuates pain and dysfunction in the affected area. By improving circulation and increasing cellular repair functions LLLT provides an environment for your body’s own natural healing processes to be activated and restored. Once normal immune processes are restored, the excessive inflammation is reduced and healing can begin.

LLLT does not exert any physical force on the soft tissue. Manipulation of the soft tissue just aggravates it, so you don’t want to actually handle the soft tissue, but instead decreasing the inflammation enables faster healing and regeneration.

LLLT stimulates blood flow and lymphatic drainage, improved delivery of O2 and nutrition to the area, oxygen utilisation, removal of oxygen-free radicals and other waste products, and tissue healing. Read more on how Low Level Laser Therapy works.

You will be encouraged to move the affected area within range of movement/pain but not exert stretch or force during the healing phase

The end result is resolution of inflammation and restoration of healthy bursa and local soft tissues. Once tissues are healed, pain is eliminated and normal range of motion and function is restored. Then muscle and tendon strength and flexibility can be addressed with graduated exercises and stretching.

LLLT has no known side effects, is safe and effective. By treating the underlying problem, LLLT results in permanent pain relief and restoration of function, assisting with issues such as RSI, knee pain, hip pain and bursitis related chronic pain and many more.

To see how Low Level Laser Therapy can help your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome contact us for more information or to make an appointment.

Toorak, Victoria, Melbourne

Laser Pain Therapy Australia
Tok H Centre
Level 1, 459 Toorak Road
Toorak, 3142
Ph: (03) 8529 2225
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We are dedicated to helping those in pain find relief that is safe, effective and affordable
We provide Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), or cold laser therapy, which is proven to offer a safe, non-invasive and painless solution to both acute injuries and chronic pain.

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