Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs through a narrow passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, becomes compressed or pinched.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist that is formed by the wrist bones and a tough band of connective tissue called the transverse carpal ligament. The median nerve, along with several tendons, passes through this tunnel to reach the hand.
The median nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, as well as controlling some of the muscles that move the hand. When the tissues in the carpal tunnel become swollen or inflamed, they can put pressure on the median nerve, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually start gradually and can include:
- Numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in the hand and fingers, especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
- Weakness in the hand, making it difficult to grip objects or perform fine motor tasks.
- Pain or discomfort that can extend from the wrist up to the forearm.
- Difficulty performing fine motor tasks, such as buttoning clothes or typing on a keyboard.
There are several causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, including repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as typing or using a computer mouse, hormonal changes during pregnancy, and certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment options can include wrist splints, physiotherapy, medication, and, in some cases, surgery to relieve pressure on the median nerve. It’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect you may have CTS, as early treatment can help prevent the condition from getting worse.
Physiotherapy offers a noninvasive and nonpharmacological option for relieving the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The treatment will involve a combination of Manual therapy, stretching and strengthening exercises, and the use of therapeutic modalities such as Ultrasound, LASER, Shockwave therapy, and Dry needling to facilitate healing.
It is also important to address any underlying issues or contributing factors to your symptoms. It would include ergonomic strategies by using appropriate tools and modifying activities that cause repetitive strain in the wrist and Forearm.
If you have wrist pain or symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, book an appointment today with one of our physiotherapists to help you get better and get back to doing things that you love.