How to Use Ultrasound for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Ultrasound can be a good treatment for mild to moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, although some doctors dispute its effectiveness. When you use ultrasound for carpal tunnel syndrome, you need to be prepared to get treatment almost every day for several weeks. Read on to learn more about how to use ultrasound for carpal tunnel syndrome.


    • 1

      Ask your doctor to refer you to someone who performs ultrasound treatments for hand and joint injuries. This equipment is often not available at small private practices. Most large hospitals can use ultrasound for carpal tunnel syndrome treatments.

    • 2

      Place your arm on the doctor's table and be sure that it's in a comfortable position. Some ultrasound equipment requires that your palm faces straight up and others work best if your wrist is bent back slightly. Ask for a cushion or blanket to be put under your arm if you are uncomfortable.

    • 3

      Wait for about 15 to 20 minutes while the doctor uses ultrasound for your carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. The equipment should operate at about 1 MHz in pulse mode over your wrist.

    • 4

      Return for treatment five days a week for the first two weeks. You should expect to feel results after the first three to five sessions. If you do not feel any relief from carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor may change the ultrasound settings or refer you to another treatment.

    • 5

      Continue to get ultrasound for carpal tunnel syndrome twice a week for five more weeks. Once the treatment period is over, your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist so you can learn exercises to restore hand strength and movement. You shouldn't have to take time off from work for ultrasound treatment, although you need to avoid extensive use of the computer and other CTS triggers.

    • 6

      Make ergonomic changes to your workstation to prevent your carpal tunnel syndrome from returning. One of the benefits of ultrasound is that you do not develop a tolerance to it, so it may still be an effective treatment if you need it again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your doctor may use a diagnostic ultrasound test to produce a picture of your median nerve and determine if carpal tunnel syndrome is the cause of your discomfort.
  • Some carpal tunnel syndrome patients do not react to the use of ultrasound. Many doctors argue that surgery is the best treatment option for long-term relief of severe carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Some studies suggest that prolonged use of ultrasound can result in tissue and nerve damage.
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