Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: What You Need to Know

Physical therapy is care that strives to ease a person’s pain and lack of mobility. Physical therapy treatment Centreville VA is often a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common workplace medical conditions involving the hand. It causes symptoms that interferes with everyday tasks like typing. With proper treatment, the symptoms can go away, and the hand and wrist function will be restored.  

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome  

The syndrome starts slowly. The symptoms of numbness and tingling are the hallmark of the carpal tunnel. At first, the thumb and index and middle fingers are affected. The pinkie finger is not affected by the condition. The numbness feels like a loss of sensation. For instance, a physician can touch the patient’s hand, but they won’t completely feel it. Tingling feels like pin prickles inside the skin.  Sometimes the tingling can resemble the feeling of electric shock in the fingers.  

Symptoms are not a constant, the tingling or numbness comes and goes without warning. As carpal tunnel continues to develop in the hand, symptoms become more pronounced. It also spreads from wrist to the arm. Weakness is another symptom. An individual’s hand may become weakened because of the numbness. They tend to drop objects they are holding.  

Some individual will shake their hand trying to stop or decrease the symptoms of carpal tunnel. However, the numbness does not go decrease or disappear. It becomes constant.  

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is Caused by Pressure on a Nerve  

Inside the wrist is the median nerve. This nerve starts from the forearm and travels through an area in the wrist called the passageway. The nerve stops at the hand. The purpose of the median nerve is to provide sensation to the thumb, palm and four fingers (not the little finger). The nerve also allows the thumb to move.  

Any time something irritates or squeezes the median nerve in the carpal tunnel location, the syndrome may develop. There is no one cause for the syndrome, but a combination of factors that is reason why it develops.  

Treatment for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome  

It is important to start and continue treatment for the syndrome immediately after the diagnosis. If the person knows they have carpel tunnel, the they should start treatment prior to diagnosis. Treatment options include medication, wrist splinting or surgery for anyone with mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. This is only for people who have the syndrome for less than a year.  

Non-surgical treatments include corticosteroids injections to relieve the pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen may help pain and swelling. Surgical treatment options include open surgery where a surgeon cuts the palm of the hand and wrist to relieve pressure on the nerve.  

Alternative Carpal Tunnel Treatment Options

 An alternative treatment, along with medical treatment, can relieve the symptoms of carpel tunnel. For instance, hand physical therapy may reduce carpal tunnel syndrome. Some physical exercises such as nerve-gliding exercise to stretch the inflamed or injured median nerve. This may relieve the pressure and tension in the wrist area.