One of the most common orthopedic conditions seen in people of all ages is carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is the connection point between the forearm and the inner side of the wrist (towards the palm). A great deal of hand movement involves this anatomical area which makes carpal tunnel syndrome among the most difficult to deal with.
Both several long arm tendons and the highly important median nerve pass through the carpal tunnel. So in cases where these tendons are inflamed, when the wrist is fractured, affected by rheumatoid arthritis, or many others, the median nerve can become compressed. When using the hands for everyday tasks while you have a nerve compression like this, the resultant neuropathic issues such as numbness, tingling, and pain constitute carpal tunnel syndrome.
People with carpal tunnel syndrome often report inconvenience and discomfort at work, school, and during recreational activities or hobbies – but various physical therapy techniques are known to be effective in relieving carpal tunnel symptoms. At JAG Physical Therapy, our PT staff serve NJ, NY, and PA with their expertise in hand and wrist treatment and will customize a PT plan based on your exact preferences, condition, and lifestyle. You can book an appointment online or read further to learn more about our approach to carpal tunnel syndrome treatment.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
The most characteristic sign of carpal tunnel syndrome is a “pins-and-needles” numb, tingling, and/or burning sensation, primarily in the thumb, index finger, and middle finger, and that can interfere with using the hands comfortably. If untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can progress to pain, ultimately leading to hand weakness or immobility. The symptoms tend to get worse with sleep because most people sleep with their wrists slightly flexed. This means that the symptoms are worse at night and right after waking up.
Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A physician will look for carpal tunnel syndrome by instructing the patient to perform a number of different basic physical tests and observing them. This includes raising both hands above the head for approximately 2 minutes (an unusual sensation in the hands during this test would indicate carpal tunnel syndrome). The Durkan carpal pressure test, which checks for tingling when compression is applied to a specific area of the palm, is also used. Medical imaging is usually not necessary.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Physical Therapy Treatment
People with carpal tunnel can benefit from using orthotics like wrist braces, and JAG PT’s occupational therapy program advises our patients on how to best use devices like these. Certified hand therapy is also very helpful for treating any of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, and we offer other forms of relief that work in many carpal tunnel cases such as manual therapy.
See a Physical Therapist to Help with Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you know how this condition can interfere with your everyday life. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can use your hands at 100% capacity, pain-free or with reduced pain. Find your nearest convenient JAG PT location or schedule an appointment today.