What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common repetitive strain injury. It involves the nerves in your wrist getting compressed and irritated, usually due to repetitive motions. It often starts with tingling, numbness, and pain in the wrist and hand. If it’s allowed to progress, the pain will get worse and it can cause nerve damage. You may find yourself dropping objects and having difficulty performing your daily tasks.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs from your forearm, through the carpal tunnel (a passageway in your wrist), to your hand. The median nerve provides sensation to the palm side of your fingers and allows you to move the muscles at the base of your thumb.
When this nerve gets irritated or squeezed, you start feeling the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some ways the median nerve can get irritated include:
- Repetitive strain
- Injuries such as a wrist fracture or dislocation that narrow the carpal tunnel passage
- Chronic illnesses that affect the nerves, such as diabetes
Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated?
There is a variety of treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Corticosteroid injections
- Carpal tunnel release surgery (Involves cutting a ligament to take pressure off the median nerve)
Physiotherapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Our physiotherapists can provide a variety of treatments to help with carpal tunnel syndrome. That includes using advanced diagnostics such as nerve conduction study. This is a test that measures how well nerve impulses are able to move through your nerves.
Once they have a clear understanding of your medical condition, they’ll tailor their approach to suit your needs.
There is a wide range of treatment options that could be included in your plan, including:
- Therapeutic exercises, stretches, and massage to relax, strengthen, and promote healing of your wrist and arm.
- Education on preventative measures, including analyzing the repetitive tasks in your daily routine and helping you find ways to perform them safely.
- Post-surgery rehab if your condition has progressed so far that it requires surgery such as a carpal tunnel release.
- Wrist splinting for relieving nighttime symptoms by keeping your wrist in a neutral position while you sleep.
- Wrist braces to help you get back to activities sooner without aggravating the condition.
How to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are a number of simple measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, such as:
- Take breaks regularly
- Set up your workstation properly. For example: keep your keyboard at elbow height or slightly lower.
- Use less force. For example: when typing, hit the keys softly.
Book an Appointment
If you are dealing with the pain and limitations of carpal tunnel syndrome, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. Starting treatment as early as possible is one of the best things you can do.
Activa Clinics is the perfect place to get treated. We offer a warm and welcoming environment in our modern, spa-like clinics. Our health care professionals take pride in treating every patient with care and compassion. We will work hard to get to the root cause of your issues and help you achieve your health goals.
1. What Will Happen if Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Is Not Treated?
If carpal tunnel syndrome is not treated the condition usually worsens. Often to the point where the inflammation and pain become so bad that carrying out even the lightest work becomes impossible. Eventually, your coordination suffers too until you reach the point where something as simple as fastening a button is no longer possible.
2. How Long Does Carpal Tunnel Usually Last?
Carpal tunnel syndrome lasts a lifetime. It does not get better on its own. Although, in the early stages, resting the wrist and hand can relieve the symptoms, at least for a time. But as soon as you resume normal activities the inflammation builds up again and your full-blown symptoms return. If left untreated the condition normally gets gradually worse.
3. Does Carpal Tunnel Go Away on Its Own?
No, carpal tunnel does not go away on its own. Initially, rest and anti-inflammatories will relieve the symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe steroids. But in the end, changing the physical layout of the area surrounding the nerves in the arm and wrist that are causing the symptoms will become necessary. An experienced physiotherapist can do this using their knowledge of human anatomy and exercise. But sometimes surgery is the only solution.