Pacific University FLEXTEND® Study (#1)

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This is only the first portion of the study, and there will be more subjects added to it. The second and Third portions of the study are listed in the menu as Pacific University Study #2 & #3.

Note: The treatment program that was conducted on these subjects was limited to 3-sets of 10-repetitions 2x daily 3-days a week for only 4- weeks. (The basic FLEXTEND® exercise program is much more aggressive than what Pacific University used)

Introduction

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) has been defined as a compression neuropathy of the median nerve at the wrist, resulting in pain, numbness, and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and radial side of the ring finger, and in the lateral half of the palm (1).

In 1990, 48% of all reported workplace illnesses were repetitive motion disorders, compared to 18% in 1980 (2). Carpal tunnel syndrome, the most common repetitive motion disorder, is on the rise in the United States (2). Mackinnon and Novack report that 40.8% of upper extremity repetitive motion disorders in 1994 were cases of CTS (3).

Harter et al report that lost work time, medical fees, and legal expenses may reach as high as $100,000 per individual case, putting a tremendous financial burden on individuals and employers (4).

The incidence of CTS may be underestimated secondary to the number of actual cases that go unreported. According to Cullum and Molloy, patients with CTS often do not report the symptoms that result in a claim of CTS, nor do they accumulate missed days of work. A majority of these individuals choose to make occupational changes when symptoms do occur, rather than file a worker's compensation claim (5).

Currently, there is no treatment for CTS that has proven to effectively and consistently treat the symptoms of CTS. Treatments available range from conservative measures to surgical intervention. However, these treatment options have varied in their success rates, and often patients have recurrent episodes of CTS (6). There are no studies to substantiate the long-term effectiveness of any current clinical interventions.

The purpose of this study is to determine whether the Flextend® is effective in treating CTS. The Flextend® is an exercise glove designed by Balance Systems, Inc. with the purpose of decreasing the signs and symptoms of CTS, by increasing the strength and flexibility of the wrist and fingers. The Flextend® is relatively inexpensive and can be used in a self-management home exercise program. If it is an effective treatment for CTS, the ramifications for decreasing medical and worker's compensation costs could be quite substantial.

We hypothesize that the Flextend® will decrease the signs and symptoms of CTS. The null hypothesis is that the Flextend® will have no effect in decreasing the signs and symptoms of CTS.

View Pacific University Study PDF File- Download the Preliminary Study. (881KB PDF File)

View Pacific University Study Word Doc.- Download the Preliminary Study. (573k Word Document)

See Grip Strength Chart:

IMPORTANT FLEXTEND® STUDY SUMMARY INFORMATION: Results of the initial study showed that Flextend® participants showed a decrease in symptoms and increase in overall grip-strength levels, therefore showing that Flextend® may have a significant impact on eliminating carpal tunnel syndrome.