04 Apr Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve as it goes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. ⠀
Symptoms can include but are not limited too; pins and needs, numbness and pain that often occurs at night. The injury is commonly caused by swelling inside the wrist from things such as arthritis, pregnancy or repetitive hand motions
Your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms will appear when the pressure inside the tunnel reaches a high level. This pressure can cause your median nerve to become compressed.⠀
The carpal tunnel exists to protect your median nerve, blood vessels and other vital structures. The pressure will occur when the tunnel space is decreased as the wrist swells. This is usually following a serious injury. One other way that carpal tunnel syndrome can occur is by the contents of the tunnel becoming enlarged.
If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome you will usually see the following symptoms emerge in your fingers or hands:⠀
– pins and needles⠀
– aching or general hand pain⠀
It is common for the symptoms to worsen at night time and for your grip to weaken over time. if you notice any muscular atrophy in your thumb muscles and a loss of function in the hand then you should get diagnosed as soon as possible.
To diagnose whether you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, your myotherapist or doctor will conduct tests and observe your symptoms. Various tests such as wrist flexion or nerve compression tests will be combined with a thorough examination of your upper back and lower neck joints.
Your myotherapist may also recommend further examinations through methods such as ultrasound or an x-ray.
Rest is essential when treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Your myotherapist needs to understand exactly what is aggravating your condition. Another option for treating carpal tunnel syndrome is to wear a night wrist splint. Night wrist splints are very useful in preventing wrist bending and improving symptoms.
There are many ways that your myotherapist can address your carpal tunnel syndrome ranging from increasing grip strength to acupuncture and massage.
With targeted massage, your myotherapist will be able to assist with increasing your grip strength. As your grip strength increases your myotherapist may pair this treatment with acupuncture which has been proven to reduce pain in carpal tunnel syndrome. Your myotherapist will assist you with a range of exercises, stretches and activities that will help to return you to prior performance levels and to relieve any pain you are experiencing.
If you suffer from mild carpal tunnel syndrome it is common to have a favourable prognosis on the injury with conservative treatment! You should be able to see many positive results within the first three months of treatment. In severe cases, you may be required to undergo surgery to release the carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can result in permanent nerve damage so it is important to see your myotherapist and consider treatment options as soon as possible.
Should You Consider Surgery?
It is important to treat your carpal tunnel syndrome without resorting to surgical solutions as undergoing surgery usually only leads to temporary or incomplete relief. surgery is typically not recommended until you have undergone 6 to 12 months of conservative treatment with the guidance of your myotherapist.
Whilst it is recommended to avoid surgery if possible for carpal tunnel syndrome it is an option that can be considered; particularly if your neurological symptoms deteriorate quickly.