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Can Physical Therapy Help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that usually shows up as pain in your wrist. The pain is caused by the median nerve getting trapped in the tissue of the wrist, known as the carpal tunnel.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms can be treatable with conservative treatments and precaution, such as taking anti-inflammatories two calm the swelling, wearing night splints and ceasing any repetitive activity. However, if the root cause is not addressed, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a chronic issue.

When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms become chronic, physical therapy can be helpful to treat the root cause and potentially avoid surgery down the road.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve gets trapped in the tissue of the wrist known as the carpal tunnel.

The median nerve travels from the outside of your neck, down your arm and into your hand though the carpal tunnel into the wrist. When the tissue is irritated, it can trap the nerve in the carpal tunnel.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • –tingling and numbness in the fingers
  • –weakness in the fingers
  • –pain that goes into the arm
  • –pain at night in the hand/arm
  • –makes it difficulty to use the hand and arm

What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Usually carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive strain along the area of the wrist. Activities that can cause repetitive strain include:

  • –typing
  • –manual hand work (e.g., massage therapists)
  • –gripping activities

How Can Physical Therapy Help Chronic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Since the median nerve, which is the nerve affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, originates in the neck, we find that in order to alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel that have become chronic, it’s necessary to treat any muscular issues that have developed in the head, neck and shoulder.

These musculoskeletal issues might have been triggered by the carpal tunnel syndrome, or the carpal tunnel might be a symptom of a larger imbalance in the head/neck/shoulder area.

It’s important to treat all the muscles that might be causing compensatory changes in the body. This means addressing imbalances and unhealthy muscles in the head, neck, shoulder and arm, as well as the wrist and hand.

If you’re experiencing persistent carpal tunnel syndrome, click here to schedule a  complimentary phone consultation with one of our physical therapists to discuss your symptoms.

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