Looking to better manager your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Numbness in the fingers may be tunnelling your ability.
The palm side of the wrist contains nine tendons and a nerve. These tissues are housed by the carpal bones in the wrist and a ligament that spans across the wrist, protecting the tendons and nerve as they travel into the hand. These structures create the carpal tunnel.
What is it?
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) include pain, numbness or pins and needles extending from the thumb to the ring finger. CTS symptoms present from compression on the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel, located at the base of the palm, near the wrist. Symptoms can present during the night and worsen in the morning. With no treatment, pain can worsen, extending up into the arm and shoulder. People with CTS will also describe weakness when gripping and can find themselves dropping things. A clinical diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome CTS can be made by a physiotherapist.
Physiotherapy versus surgery?
The surgery to “fix” CTS involves release of the transverse carpal ligament, which is the ligament that extends across the wrist and provides the roof of the carpal tunnel. Releasing this ligament reduces compression on the median nerve within the tunnel. A carpal tunnel surgery is usually successful but is not without risk. Returning to normal can be complicated if the compression was present for a long time or if prolonged symptoms had caused loss of strength and function.
Treating CTS with physiotherapy can not only relieve your symptoms but can prevent CTS from returning later. As CTS is affected by multiple structures, it is important that each of these are included in treatment appropriately. This includes providing the nerves and tendons that run through the carpal tunnel with appropriate movement techniques. In addition, increasing local and global muscle strength and endurance assists in the return to full use. Target Physio Carpal Tunnel Program includes individualised management plans for all clients. Intrinsic hand muscle strengthening, upper limb exercise, neural mobility and flexor tendon gliding are all adapted to the sport and lifestyle requirements of the client.