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Objective: This pilot trial explored the influence of static magnetic fields imbedded in a wrist-hand fitment on nerve conduction and symptom reports in persons with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) to determine if the active magnetic wristhand fitment would improve objective and subjective symptom measures versus the sham control.
Methods: Randomized, sham-controlled, pilot trial involving participants with CTS (N=26) who wore either an active magnetic wrist-hand fitment or a sham fitment for 8 to10 hours a day for 8 weeks. Outcome measures included changes in nerve conduction and weekly symptom ratings.
Results: The active magnetic fitment group showed significant improvement in motor nerve conduction latency (p=0.046) and a trend toward improvement in sensory latency (p=0.090) compared to the sham group. Objective measures of motor and sensory nerve conduction improved in the active group compared to the sham group, while there were no differences between groups for subjective reports of symptom and functional measures, with both groups showing improvement over time.
Conclusion: Findings of improvement in motor distal latency, with only a trend toward improvement in sensory latency, still leave healthcare professionals without sufficient information to inform patients that static magnetic fields are either effective or ineffective in the management of symptoms related to CTS.