Have you ever been driving, working on the computer, or holding your phone and felt a numbness traveling up from your hand and wrist up your arm? Did shaking off the numbness or pain not help? If you have experienced these symptoms there is a chance you have carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a common Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) caused by pressure on the median nerve in your wrist and according to Statistics Canada, “Repetitive strain injuries affect about 15% of Canadians (4.5 million people).” In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome the symptoms usually start gradually.
Facts of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- The carpal tunnel is a space in your wrist that is surrounded by bones and a ligament that links your bones together.
- Tendons that control your fingers and thumb movements along with the median nerve pass through your carpal tunnel.
- When you experience carpal tunnel syndrome the tendons in your wrist swell reducing the space which squeezes your median nerve.
- When pressure is applied to the median nerve you experience pain, numbness, tingling and loss of function in your hand.
- Carpal tunnel causes discomfort in the palm, wrist and fingers of your hand with the exception of the pinky finger.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain & Symptoms
- Carpal tunnel symptoms start gradually in most cases
- Tingling or numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers
- Tingling that may travel from your wrist up your arm when doing activities of daily living that involve opening and closing your hand.
- Weakness and loss of function in your hand or feeling clumsy due to dropping objects
- Carpal tunnel can affect your ability to sleep and perform actions of daily living
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Cause & Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be classified as a repetitive strain injury but other causes have been known to affect the chance of getting carpal tunnel. These factors include:
- The size of your wrist (smaller carpal tunnel means you have less space for your tendons, ligaments, and nerves)
- A former wrist fracture or dislocation
- Arthritis in the small bones of your wrist can alter the space
- Women are more likely to get carpal tunnel than men
- Chronic illnesses and obesity can also increase your risk of median nerve damage
- Menopause, thyroid condition, and conditions causing fluid retention in the body can increase your risk
We Can Help!
A physical examination and assessment by a Bourassa & Associates university trained physical therapist can help determine the cause of the symptoms in your hand. We will then work as a team to design a tailored treatment plan that can include but is not limited to:
- Exercises to increase range of motion and function
- Passive therapy (cold therapy, ultrasound, TENS machine)
- Hands on manual therapy to stretch and mobilize the tissues of your wrist
- Wrist splinting & supportive kinesiology taping to relieve some of the pain
- Education and programs to help manage pain and reduce further injury
- Dry Needling
Book Your Treatment & Start TODAY!
Seeing a physical therapist at the onset of carpal tunnel pain can reduce pain and prevent further damage from being done. At Bourassa & Associates, you can get started the same day you call, no doctor’s referral needed. Find a clinic near you or contact our staff directly to book your appointment today.
With 30 years of experience we can help you recover from carpal tunnel pain! Because you shouldn’t be limited from doing the things you love.