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Thesis

A comparison of devices designed to improve wrist extension strength

1 May 1997

Abstract

The increasing use of the computer has resulted in a corresponding rise in the number of people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome(CTS). Because of work-days lost and the associated medical attention required, the financial consequences are also growing at an alarming rate. These costs affect not only the individual but the employer, as well. CTS can be prevented, but, if left untreated, can be an extremely debilitating condition: Currently, there is little standardization used in treating, managing, and rehabilitating CTS. Because of this; we investigated two commercially available devices, the Flextend® and the Cat's Paw™, both of which claim to decrease/prevent the symptoms associated with CTS. These devices are both used for strengthening musculature of the hand an/lor the forearm. The purpose of this study was to determine if a difference exists in wrist extensor strengthening effectiveness between the Flextend® and the Cat's Paw™. This study included 46 subjects, divided randomly into three groups (Flextend®, Cat's Paw™, and control). The study spanned seven weeks, the first of which was used to establish baseline values, followed by a six-week wrist strengthening program. Both experimental groups showed significant gains in strength as compared to the control group. The results of this investigation indicated that the Flextend® and Cat's Paw™ procedures had significant and similar effects on increasing wrist extensor strength in normal subjects.


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