Carpal tunnel syndrome is the numbness, tingling, weakness, and other problems in your hand because of pressure on the median nerve in your wrist leading to pain, numbness and tingling in first three fingers of the hand sparing the palm. The median nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers (not your little finger). If you have problems with your other fingers but your little finger is fine, this may be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the fingers or hand.
The weakness of thumb involved.
The loss of grip strength in the hand
Pain in their arm between their hand and their elbow.
Weakness and loss of finger dexterity.
Symptoms are usually worse at night and gets better by shaking the hand.
Anything that irritates the median nerve at the wrist can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome such as fracture around the wrist.
Swelling due to inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis
- thyroid dysfunction.
- Lifestyle factors that may increase the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome include smoking, high salt intake, sedentary lifestyle, and a high body mass index (BMI).
- Jobs that involve repetitive wrist movement include:
- assembly line work
- keyboarding occupations
- construction work.
- Workplace factors as vibrating tools, sewing, finishing, cleaning, and meat, poultry, or fish packing. In fact, carpal tunnel syndrome is three times more common among assemblers than among data-entry personnel.
- Alteration in the balance of body fluids as in pregnancy and menopause
- Poor position of the hand
- Diabetes mellitus or double crush syndrome.
Tests conducted in a Physiotherapy clinic, Mississauga
A nerve conduction test may help and can be used to measure how bad the compression of the nerve is.
The physiotherapist will conduct certain tests which can be done in several ways, but one common way is to see how your nerve reacts when a small electric current is put through one of your fingers. Electrodes will be attached to your skin on the fingers and wrist to measure the speed of your nerve’s response to the current.
Tinel sign is one another test which is performed by the physiotherapist by lightly tapping (percussing) over the nerve to elicit a sensation of tingling or “pins and needles” in the distribution of the nerve like tapping on the course of the nerve.
Why should I see a Physiotherapist for Carpel tunnel syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome needs to be differentiated from wrist tendonitis, cervical radiculopathy, cervical derangement, and thoracic outlet syndrome leading to same type of symptoms. If ignored and not treated at the right time, it can cause muscle weakness, atrophy, and weak grip strength which can restrict the normal activities of daily living and may cause another compensatory joint dysfunction. There are two general approaches for treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Conservative treatment and Surgical treatment. The earlier the condition is treated, less likely are the chances for surgical treatment. Resolution of the symptoms after surgery are temporary if the symptoms originate from elsewhere.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated with physiotherapy?
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatments depend on how severe your pain and symptoms are and if there is weakness. In 2008, the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons released guidelines for the effective treatment of carpal tunnel. The recommendation was to try to manage carpal tunnel pain without surgery, if possible.
Nonsurgical options include:
- Avoiding positions that overextend your wrist.
- If the wrist is red, warm, and swollen, applying cool packs can help.
- Wrist splints that hold your hand in a neutral position, especially at night.
- Mild pain medication and medications to reduce inflammation.
- Treatment of any underlying conditions you may have, such as diabetes or arthritis.
- Surgery may be necessary if there’s severe damage to your median nerve. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome involves cutting the band of tissue in the wrist that crosses the median nerve to lessen the pressure on your nerve. The outcome is usually good.
- Manual therapy is the most important part performed by the physiotherapist. Soft tissue mobilization and carpal bone mobilization helps a lot to alleviate the pressure from the wrist.
Self preventative measures recommended by the Physiotherapist.
You can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by making lifestyle changes that reduce your risk factors for developing it.
Treating conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis reduces your risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Paying careful attention to hand posture and avoiding activities that overextend your wrist are also important strategies for reducing symptoms. Physical therapy exercises may be helpful as well.
Benefits of working with a Physiotherapist at Curezone Physiotherapy
The registered physiotherapist at Curezone physiotherapy will address the following strategies to help you with your symptom management and treatment:
- Education: It is important to maintain healthy weight, exercise and manage any health problem such as diabetes.
- Grip strengthening exercises, fine motor and hand dexterity exercises and postural correction.
- Treat cervicothoracic spine if your symptoms are related postural dysfunction.
- Tapping or Wrist splint.
- Acupuncture if needed.
- Proper body mechanics: Keeping your wrist neutral, avoiding repetitive wrist flexion movements, tight pinching and gripping can prevent nerve being compressed at the wrist. Ergonomic assessment of your workplace will help to prevent recurrence.
- Decompressing the nerve or nerve flossing: Mobilisation of certain carpal bones such as capitate helps to create more space for the median nerve and hence decompress the nerve. Flexor retinaculum stretching and improving the flexibility of the muscles around the wrist will be addition to the same. Nerve and tendon gliding exercises will ensure the unrestricted motion of the nerve.
Our experienced physiotherapist at Curezone Physiotherapy Mississauga will assess you to find out the actual cause of your symptoms and will help you and try their best in the permanent solution of your symptoms. With manual treatment and the other treatment options, the pain will typically go away and you’ll have no lasting damage to your hand or wrist.
If you or someone you know who is suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome Call Curezone Physiotherapy Mississauga today!! We have a Physiotherapy Clinic near Heartland town centre and is situated in the central Mississauga to serve you all.