In the study, 60 women with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) got surgery and 60 others were treated with manual therapies including desensitization maneuvers. Participants, who had all been dealing with carpal tunnel pain for around three years, were assessed for pain severity and functionality at three-month intervals for a year. Of the 92 percent of women the researchers followed up with at six months and after one year, both groups had experienced similar improvements.
The Spanish researchers were testing their theory that the pain of CTS is caused in part by sensitization of the central nervous system, or changes to the brain and spinal cord that can make people hypersensitive to pain. So in their study, they used a more unusual type of therapy, desensitization maneuvers, in which they manipulated soft tissue in the arms and hands to help “untrap” the median nerve.