According to an article in the Detroit News, “Steroid injections provide as much relief as surgery for patients with new cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, at least for a year after treatment, finds a study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. The study confirms findings that injections are effective short-term treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, Andreu said. More research is needed, he said, to evaluate the shots’ long-term safety and effectiveness.”
In related news, CBS News reports that “Botox Not Just For Wrinkles – In one study of 37 people with a variety of painful disorders including diabetic nerve pain, temporomandibular joint disease, the wrist pain of carpal tunnel syndrome, neck spasms, and headache, one injection of Botox produced an average 68 percent decrease in pain lasting 8.5 weeks. In this study, the Botox toxin was injected under the skin, not in the muscle or joint as it has been in studies of back pain. More studies are now under way, according to researchers from Anodyne Pain Care in Dallas.”
Sounds like both of these approaches may become viable treatments in the near future, at least for short-term pain relief. I worry that if these drugs only mask the pain, and the underlying causes of the pain are not addressed, that the patient may still be doing themselves major harm if they continue with old work habits. But perhaps these treatments will allow people to continue to earn a living while they go thru the sometimes long and tedius process of breaking old habits and learning proper technique.