Effect of Linum usitatissimum L. (linseed) oil on mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Daru. 2014 ;22:43. Epub 2014 May 21. PMID: 24887185
Mohammad Hashem Hashempur
BACKGROUND: Carpal tunnel syndrome is known as the most common entrapment neuropathy. Conservative treatments cannot reduce the symptomatic severity satisfactorily; therefore, effectiveness of Linum usitatissimum L. (linseed) oil on carpal tunnel syndrome, as a complementary treatment, was evaluated in the current study. Linseed oil is a well-known preparation in Iranian traditional medicine and its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects have been shown in previous studies.
METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted. One hundred patients (155 hands) with idiopathic mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome aged between 18 and 65 years old were randomized in two parallel groups. These two groups were treated during 4 weeks with topical placebo and linseed oil. In addition, a night wrist splint was prescribed for both groups. Symptomatic severity and functional status were measured using Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire.In addition, median sensory nerve conduction velocity, motor distal latency, sensory distal latency and compound latency as electrodiagnostic parameters were measured at baseline and after the intervention period.
RESULTS: After the intervention, significant improvement was observed regarding Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire symptomatic severity and functional status mean differences (p<0.001) in the linseed oil group compared with those in the placebo group. Also, regarding the mean differences of both groups, significant improvement of nerve conduction velocity of the median nerve was seen in the linseed oil group by a value of 2.38 m/sec (p < 0.05). However, motor distal latency and sensory distal latency of the median nerve showed no between-group significant changes (p = 0.14 for both items). Finally, compound latency was improved slightly in the case group, comparing mean differences between the groups (p<0.05). No significant adverse events were reported from using linseed oil.
CONCLUSIONS: It seems that linseed oil could be effective in the management of mild and moderate carpal tunnel syndrome, especially in improving the severity of symptoms and functional status. In addition, its effect on electerodiagnostic parameters, especially on the nerve conduction velocity, can be considered as a valuable point.