As we are nearing the year end and the deadlines for work are coming up, a lot of us are spending more time sitting at the computer typing away. This leads to a number of people developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway formed by bones and ligaments at the base of the hand. When the median nerve is compressed within this tunnel, it can lead to various symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers.
The causes of carpal tunnel syndrome can include:
- Repetitive hand and wrist movements: Common in certain occupations or activities.
- Trauma or injury to the wrist: Fractures or sprains can contribute to compression of the nerve.
- Medical conditions: Conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders may increase the risk.
- Pregnancy: Fluid retention during pregnancy can compress the median nerve.
Physiotherapy can play a beneficial role in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome. Here’s how:
- Nerve Gliding Exercises: Physiotherapists may prescribe specific exercises to encourage the median nerve to glide more freely within the carpal tunnel. These exercises can help improve the flexibility and function of the nerve.
- Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening the muscles around the wrist and hand can help provide better support to the carpal tunnel. This can be achieved through targeted exercises recommended by a physiotherapist.
- Posture and Ergonomics Training: Physiotherapists can assess and provide guidance on proper ergonomics and hand/wrist posture during activities to reduce strain on the median nerve. This is particularly important for individuals whose work involves repetitive hand movements.
- Splinting: Wearing a wrist splint, especially at night, can help keep the wrist in a neutral position and reduce pressure on the median nerve. Physiotherapists can recommend and fit appropriate splints.
- Education: Physiotherapists can educate individuals about lifestyle modifications, including activity modification and self-management strategies, to minimize symptoms and prevent exacerbation.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of physiotherapy may vary from person to person, and the approach may be tailored based on the severity and specific characteristics of each case. In some instances, more conservative measures may be sufficient, while severe cases may require additional medical interventions, such as corticosteroid injections or surgical intervention to release pressure on the median nerve. Individuals experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome should consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate management plan.
At Revere we are offering the best physiotherapy services with a specialization in individualized and manual therapy methods. We are a team of compassionate and committed rehabilitation professionals who respect you, your time, and your body. We want to offer you the best of care and ensure a thorough recovery.
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