What is this syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common conditions people are experiencing. Why do they call this condition the CTS? There is a carpal tunnel present on the palm side of the hand. This tunnel is surrounded by tiny hand bones (carpal bones) and one strong wrist ligament. This tunnel contains nerves that supply our hands’ sensations and hand muscles. Due to certain causes, this nerve (Median) gets compressed in this tunnel which results in loss of sensation and weakness in hand movements.
Possible Causes & Most Vulnerable Population:
- Repetitive hand movements (Results in tendon swelling)
- Pregnancy, Menopause
- Osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid arthritis
- Direct Trauma in wrist/hand (Fracture, Dislocation)
- Continuous compression/vibration to the wrist eg. construction workers, computer uses
- Certain occupations are more prone to CTS: Cashiers, Computer gamers/workers, Knitters/sewers, Hairdressers
- The anatomy of the wrist, health problems and possibly repetitive hand motions can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome
Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel:
- Pain, tingling, numbness in the hand with repetitive movements
- Weakness on the side of the thumb of the hand
- Irritability & loss of senses on the palmer side of the hand in the Thumb, Index, and middle finger.
- Possible stiffness or less movement in wrist, thumb, and 1st two fingers.
- Difficulty in performing fine movements with hands like buttoning clothes, holding small objects with fingers, typing, cutting/styling hair, scanning for cashiers.
- Sleep disturbance
How Can Our Physiotherapists Help You?
Treatment for CTS focuses on minimizing the overall symptoms, including improving overall nerve function. Our physiotherapists will prepare a treatment plan focusing on achieving your goals. Treatment may include, manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilizations, manipulations and neuro-mobilization (moving the nerves) to decrease the irritation on the nerve that is affected.
Treatment may also include other techniques like therapeutic massage, stretching and strengthening of affected muscle groups, along with appropriate education and ergonomic modifications which are necessary to stop the progression of this condition. Acupuncture and ultrasound is somethings used as modalities.
In some cases, a person’s posture leads to carpal tunnel syndrome and many similar conditions, postural correction can be very beneficial to decreasing overall symptoms. We provide our patients with individualized treatment plans aimed at achieving their goals to help them get back to their daily activities.
If you have any questions regarding this topic please contact our clinic to talk with a Registered Physiotherapist.
By: Anjali Patel. Registered Physiotherapist Resident. Orthopaedic Physiotherapist. Concussion Management
Kisner, C., & Colby, L. A. (2012). Therapeutic exercise: Foundations and techniques. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis
Integrative Physiotherapy is a Barrie-based clinic that believes in a one-on-one patient-centred, manual therapy (hands-on) approach to physiotherapy. We aim to empower our patients by providing quality care that is personalized to each patient in an interactive and friendly manner. Through the use of the best available treatment techniques, we aim to provide exceptional care so that each patient feels engaged and motivated.
Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and taking time to provide comprehensive assessment and treatment techniques that are always one on one without the use of assistants or double booking patients to make sure that you achieve your functional and sports goals as soon as possible.
Our therapists would be happy to help you to achieve your goals, get in touch to schedule your appointment. Don’t let pain ruin your day!
Integrative Physiotherapy, Empowering Patients with Personalized Care.