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Is carpal tunnel syndrome holding you back from enjoying the activities that you love the most? Luckily, there are different types of physical therapy treatments that can help get you back to doing what you enjoy most!
What exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed at the wrist. The median nerve comes from cervical spinal nerves, which control movement and sensation to the palm, thumb, and fingers. Some symptoms include:
- numbness in the fingers
- pain that increases at night
- weakness in your hand
- difficulty gripping objects or making a fist
- the feeling that your fingers are swollen
- a burning or tingling sensation in your thumb, index fingers, and middle fingers
- pain that shoots up your arm and into your elbow
Risk factors include:
- Frequent, repetitive hand movements (using a mouse or keyboard, some sports activities, etc.)
- Hormonal/metabolic changes, such as menopause or pregnancy
- Type 2 diabetes
How can physical therapy help you live a less painful life and get you back to enjoying the activities that you enjoy so much?
There are several different therapy treatments to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Gliding exercises, Graston Technique, manual therapy, ultrasound, traction, and splints are all treatments that can help lead you to a pain-free life.
Gliding exercises involve moving your fingers in a particular pattern of different exercises, which can help both your tendons and your nerves glide easily and more smoothly through your carpal tunnel.
Splints or braces are both nonsurgical treatments and are most commonly used with carpal tunnel. Splints keep the wrist immobilized, which in turn relieves the pain and discomfort. Gliding exercises and splints or braces are most effective when used together.
Graston Technique (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization) is a hands on approach to treating this syndrome. It uses therapy skills known as myofascial release or Active Release Technique that work to release the tightened tendons and muscles.
Ultrasound can help reduce the severity of the pain and numbness while also improving your hand strength by targeting the ultrasound deep and directly to the carpal tunnel.
Traction is used with a device known as C-Trac that could be done from home and has been found to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel.
If you are suffering from wrist pain, please call to set up an evaluation so we can help get you back to doing the things you love. Give us a call today!