Fibromyalgia patients’ carpal tunnel syndrome incidence 7 times normal, study finds

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Article:
Evaluation of Upper Extremity Nerve Conduction Velocities and the Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
– Source: Archives of Medical Research, Jul 24, 2012

By B Nacir, et al.

[Note: Carpal tunnel syndrome is when inflammation and swelling around the carpal ligament that lies across the heel of the hand compresses the median nerve, which passes under it to supply feeling & movement to parts of the hand. Symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, burning in hand, and possibly pain from palm to elbow. It is detected by a nerve conduction velocity test (slower electrochemical signals along the median nerve).

Abstract:
Background and aims: We undertook this study to evaluate upper extremity nerve conduction velocities (NCVs) in fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) and the relationship of the electrophysiological findings between carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and FS.

Methods: 63 right-handed female patients diagnosed with FS and 52 right-handed age- and gender-matched healthy controls were enrolled into study.

Conduction studies of the median and ulnar nerves and median nerve F-wave latencies were assessed in both upper extremities using standard methods. Carpal tunnel syndrome was diagnosed electrophysiologically if the median nerve sensory NCV was decreased and/or motor distal latency (DL) was prolonged.

Results: Carpal tunnel syndrome was detected electrophysiologically:

• In 26 (20.63%) of 126 extremities of 63 patients,

• And in 3 (2.82%) of 104 extremities of 52 individuals of the control group.

Statistically significant differences were detected between groups with respect to rate of carpal tunnel syndrome (p <0.05).

There were no differences between results of nerve conduction velocities (NCVs) of patients in FS group and healthy controls except the prolongation of the right median nerve motor DL (p = 0.019), decrease of the sensory NCV (p = 0.003) in the right median nerve, in the left median nerve (p = 0.011) and in the left ulnar nerve (p = 0.015).

Conclusions: We determined:

• An increased rate of carpal tunnel syndrome,

• And decreased nerve conduction velocities in the upper extremities…

…in patients with FS.

We should consider that complaints of paresthesia [burning, tingling, numbness] and pain in hands, increasing especially at nights, observed in FS may mask that carpal tunnel syndrome can be an associated illness.

Source: Archives of Medical Research, Jul 24, 2012. PMID:22841981, by Nacir B, Genc H, Duyur Cakit B, Karagoz A, Erdem HR. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ministry of Health, Ankara Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.

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2 thoughts on “Fibromyalgia patients’ carpal tunnel syndrome incidence 7 times normal, study finds”

  1. roge says:

    ah geez, yet another study that already tells us whay we already know. can we please do more studies to try and better treat this disease.

    1. KerryK says:

      More proof of the role of the peripheral nervous system involvement in FM. Personally, I had nerve releases at both wrists despite having negative nerve conduction studies. They took away all the wrist pain and hand dysfunction. Nerve studies are only positive when there is damage. Symptoms can emerge before nerve damage.

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