Use of commercially produced elastic wrist orthoses in chronic arthritis: a controlled study.

ABSTRACT To examine the efficacy of wrist orthoses on pain, motion, and function of the wrist.
Consecutive patients were randomized to a treatment group using wrist orthoses or to a control group using no wrist orthoses, in a prospective, controlled, 6-month study.
Changes in wrist joint variables and general disease activity variables were not statistically different between the orthosis group (n = 36) and the control group (n = 33). Patients in the orthosis group had 25% and 12% improvements in grip strength and pinch grip and 50% reduction in pain while using the wrist orthosis.
Use of wrist orthoses improves function and reduces pain, but has no effects after 6 months, compared to a control group, on measures of local or general disease activity.