Introduction: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common type of peripheral entrapment neuropathy that occurs in the wrist area in a space called the carpal tunnel. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and ultrasound are among the most common methods of physical modalities for treating CTS; the effectiveness of these two methods and superiority of one over the other is not agreed among experts.
Methods: In present systematic review and meta-analysis study, the most important databases including PubMed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, Science Direct, Trip Medical Database, and Google Scholar were searched using appropriate keywords and specific strategies without time limitation to collect data. The collected data was analyzed using meta-analytic method and random effects model. The heterogeneity among studies was examined using I2. The data was analyzed using Review Manager Software.
Results: From among 108 related studies, 49 cases were entered in the first stage. After the final examination, 6 studies were selected for meta-analysis. The total number of patients in these six studies was 403; 204 subjects were in the LLLT group and 199 subjects were in the ultrasound group. The results of meta-analyses showed that there was no significant difference between these two therapeutic methods in terms of pain relief, symptom severity scale (SSS), functional status scale (FSS), motor latency, sensory latency, handgrip strength, and motor amplitude.
Conclusion: Based on meta-analyses, there was no significant difference between two LLLT and ultrasound methods; in other words, they had similar effectiveness in improving the condition of patients with CTS. However, the authors believed that arriving at conclusions in this area requires high-quality and large size studies.
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