Carpal Tunnel Treatment

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition that affects the hand and wrist. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve, which runs through a narrow passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve provides sensation to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, and controls the movement of some of the muscles in the hand.

When the median nerve is compressed or squeezed due to swelling or inflammation in the carpal tunnel, it can cause symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected hand and wrist. CTS is a common condition that can affect people who perform repetitive motions with their hands or who have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or thyroid problems. Treatment may involve lifestyle changes, wrist splinting, medication, or surgery in severe cases

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Signs & Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can vary from person to person, but there are several common indicators that may suggest the condition. These include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers – this may be a sign that the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel in the wrist, is being compressed or pinched.
  • Pain or discomfort in the hand, wrist, or forearm – this may occur on its own or in conjunction with numbness and tingling, and can range from mild to severe.
  • Weakness or clumsiness in the hand – this can make it difficult to perform tasks that require fine motor skills, such as writing or buttoning a shirt.
  • Worsening symptoms at night – some people experience more severe symptoms at night, which can interfere with sleep and contribute to feelings of fatigue during the day.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Your doctor may perform a physical exam and/or order imaging tests to assess the extent of the nerve damage and determine the best course of treatment for your individual case.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression or pressure on the median nerve, which runs through a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This compression or pressure on the median nerve can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Repetitive hand and wrist movements – Repetitive motions, such as typing or using a computer mouse, can put a strain on the wrist and hand and contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Prolonged wrist flexion – Activities that require prolonged bending of the wrist, such as holding a phone or reading a book, can also contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Arthritis – Arthritis can cause inflammation and swelling in the wrist, which can put pressure on the median nerve.
  • Hormonal changes – Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy or menopause can cause fluid retention and swelling, which can put pressure on the median nerve.
  • Diabetes and other medical conditions – Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis, can increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Trauma or injury – A wrist injury or trauma can cause swelling and inflammation in the wrist, which can put pressure on the median nerve and lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Be Prevented?

There are several things you can do to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or reduce the risk of developing it. Here are some strategies to try:

  • Take breaks – If you spend a lot of time typing or doing other repetitive tasks, it’s important to take frequent breaks and stretch your hands and wrists.
  • Use proper posture and technique – Make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable chair with good posture and using the proper technique when typing or performing other tasks that require hand and wrist movements.
  • Use ergonomically designed equipment – Consider using a keyboard, mouse, or other equipment that is designed to minimize the strain on your hands and wrists.
  • Adjust your work environment – If possible, adjust your work environment to reduce the strain on your hands and wrists. This may include adjusting the height of your desk or chair, or using a wrist rest.
  • Exercise regularly – Regular exercise, especially exercises that strengthen the muscles in your hands and wrists, can help reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle – Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress, can also help reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

How RCP Health can help

Physiotherapists at RCP Heatlh can effectively treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Our physiotherapist can help you address the underlying causes of your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve function.

Some of the techniques that our physiotherapists may use to treat carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Manual therapy – This involves hands-on techniques, such as massage, mobilization, and manipulation, to improve the mobility and flexibility of the wrist and hand.

  • Exercise therapy – Specific exercises can be prescribed to help strengthen the muscles in the wrist and hand, improve flexibility, and reduce inflammation.

  • Modalities – Modalities such as ultrasound, heat, or cold therapy, or electrical stimulation can be used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

  • Ergonomic assessment and advice – A physiotherapist can assess your workplace or home environment and provide advice on how to modify your activities and workspace to reduce the risk of developing or exacerbating carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Patient education – A physiotherapist can provide education on how to manage symptoms, including advice on posture, activity modification, and self-care techniques.

Overall, physiotherapy can be a valuable component of a comprehensive treatment plan for carpal tunnel syndrome and may help reduce symptoms and improve function. If you are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation session. to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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