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Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Treating-Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome

Overview of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition that impacts the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed or irritated as it travels through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. Compression in the hand and fingers can result in discomfort, numbness, and a tingling sensation.. CTS is a common condition that can affect anyone, but it is most commonly seen in people who perform repetitive hand motions or have underlying health conditions such as arthritis or diabetes.

Treating carpal tunnel syndrome with physiotherapy can be very effective. Read more below.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The symptoms of CTS can vary from person to person, but they often include pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers. These symptoms may start off mild and intermittent, but over time they can become more severe and constant. Some people may also experience weakness in their hands or a loss of grip strength. Symptoms are typically worse at night and may interfere with sleep. If you are not treating carpal tunnel syndrome in a timely manner, it can lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of hand function.

Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you are experiencing symptoms of CTS, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Initially, your doctor will inquire about your symptoms and medical background to gather relevant information. They may also perform physical exams such as tapping on the wrist or manipulating certain hand movements to determine if there is any weakness or numbness in the affected area. In some cases, imaging tests such as x-rays or an MRI may be used to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. Nerve conduction studies may also be done to measure the speed and strength of nerve signals in your hand.

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are several treatment options available for CTS, depending on the severity of your symptoms. For mild cases, simple self-care measures such as taking frequent breaks to rest your hands and wearing wrist splints at night may help relieve symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend physiotherapy for treating carpal tunnel syndrome.

How Physiotherapy Can Help With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?

Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for CTS as it focuses on strengthening and stretching exercises to improve the flexibility and mobility of the wrist and hand. A physiotherapist will also work with you to correct any postural issues or repetitive movements that may have contributed to your CTS. They may also use techniques such as ultrasound therapy or electrical nerve stimulation, and acupuncture to help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are multiple factors that can contribute to the development of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). These include repetitive hand movements, such as typing or using a computer mouse for extended periods of time, which can put pressure on the median nerve. Other risk factors include underlying health conditions like arthritis and diabetes, pregnancy, and obesity. Women are also more likely to develop CTS than men. In some cases, there may be no clear cause for CTS and it can develop without any known risk factors.

Prevention Tips for Avoiding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While it may not be possible to completely prevent CTS, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the condition. These include taking frequent breaks while performing repetitive hand movements, using proper ergonomics when working at a computer, and maintaining a healthy weight. It is also important to listen to your body and seek treatment if you start experiencing any symptoms of CTS.

CTS-Treatment-Pillars-of-Wellness

How to stretch your hands and wrists to reduce pain

Stretching exercises can help reduce pain and stiffness in the hands and wrists. They can also improve flexibility and range of motion, which may help prevent CTS from developing. Below are a few easy stretches that you can incorporate into your routine:

  • Wrist flexor stretch: Extend your arm in front of you, palm facing downward. Use your other hand to gently pull back on your fingers until you feel a stretch in your wrist and forearm. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then release. Repeat 3-5 times.
  • Wrist extensor stretch: Extend your arm in front of you, palm facing upwards. Use your other hand to gently push down on the back of your hand until you feel a stretch in your wrist and forearm. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then release. Repeat 3-5 times.
  • Finger stretch: Gently bend your fingers towards your palm, holding them in this position with your other hand for 15-30 seconds. Release and repeat on the other hand. You can also perform this stretch by pressing your palms together and interlocking your fingers, then pushing against each other for resistance. This stretch can help improve grip strength.

Remember to always listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort during these exercises. If symptoms persist, it is important to seek a physiotherapist for proper treatment.

Posture correction for better wrist positioning

Maintaining proper posture is key in preventing CTS. Here are some tips to keep your wrists in a neutral position:

  • Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle when typing or using a computer mouse. This will help reduce strain on the wrists.
  • Use wrist rests or ergonomic keyboards and mousepads to support your wrists.
  • Avoid resting your wrists on hard surfaces for extended periods of time. Instead, use a soft pad or cushion to support them.

By following these tips and incorporating stretches and exercises into your daily routine, you can help prevent the development of CTS and maintain healthy hands and wrists.

Ways to strengthen the muscles in your hands and wrists

In addition to stretching, strengthening exercises can also help improve hand and wrist mobility and function. Below are a few easy exercises that you can perform in the comfort of your own home::

  • Hand grip exercise: Squeeze a soft ball or stress ball in your hand for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat 10 times on each hand.
  • Wrist curls: Hold a light weight or water bottle in your hand with your palm facing up. Slowly bend your wrist upwards and then lower it back down. Repeat 10 times on each hand. You can also perform this exercise by holding the weight palm-down and bending your wrist downwards instead.
  • Finger extensions: Place a rubber band around your fingers and spread them apart against the resistance of the band. Repeat 10 times on each hand.

Ensure to begin with lighter weights or resistance and progressively escalate as your strength improves. It is important to avoid overexertion and listen to your body's limits.

The importance of ergonomic home office furniture for remote work

With the rise of remote work, it is important to have a proper home office setup to avoid developing CTS. This includes using an ergonomic chair with good back support, keeping your computer screen at eye level, and using a separate keyboard and mouse to maintain proper wrist positioning. It may also be helpful to take frequent breaks and incorporate stretches into your workday routine. By taking care of your body and addressing any potential risk factors, you can prevent the development of CTS and maintain healthy hands and wrists.

Overall, physiotherapy can play a crucial role in treating and preventing CTS. By working with a physiotherapist to address any underlying issues and incorporating stretches and exercises into your daily routine, you can improve flexibility, reduce pain, and avoid developing this common condition. Remember to always listen to your body and seek professional treatment if symptoms persist or worsen. Your hand health is important for everyday activities, so take care of it today!

Conclusion

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common condition affecting the hands and wrists, often caused by repetitive hand movements and underlying health conditions. Fortunately, treating carpal tunnel syndrome with physiotherapy will often yield great results. However self-care measures, stretches and exercises to improve flexibility and strength in the hands and wrists will contribute greatly to the healing process. You can read more about physiotherapy as an all-right HERE.

By taking steps to prevent CTS through proper posture and ergonomics, as well as incorporating stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine, you can help reduce your risk of developing this condition. Remember to always listen to your body and seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen. So keep moving, take breaks when needed, and stay proactive in caring for your hands and wrists for optimal overall health.

Laurent Pinci
Laurent Pinci
Pillars of Wellness is a truly Integrated Healthcare Centre providing a high degree of collaboration and communication among health providers.