Palpatory diagnosis and manipulative management of carpal tunnel syndrome

JAOA: Journal of the American Osteopathic Association


Carpal tunnel syndrome was studied by use of supplemental palpatory diagnosis in 20 abnormal wrists. Restriction in motion at the carpal tunnel was quantified with a rating system. All wrists with carpal tunnel syndrome revealed at least moderate restriction to motion, as compared with only mild or no restriction in 20 wrists in normal, symptom-free subjects. Several participants (16 abnormal wrists) underwent osteopathic manipulative treatment, including a new “opponens roll” maneuver, and self-stretching, or a similar treatment accomplished by use of a self-treatment accomplished by use of a self-treatment appliance. In those treated, palpatory restriction decreased into the normal range, often before symptoms decreased. Improvement in nerve conduction studies usually followed within 1 to 3 months. Palpatory diagnosis is a useful adjunctive method of assessing patient status in carpal tunnel syndrome and helpful in prognosticating outcome. The modified manipulative technique described for the treatment of mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome may be effective in more severe cases.

Sucher, B M eng Clinical Trial Randomized Controlled Trial Review J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1994 Aug;94(8):647-63.