Diagnoses: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which a nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist is pinched on the palm side.
Symptoms: Symptoms are usually progressive and include intermittent numbness/tingling in the thumb, index, middle finger, and can spread up the arm. Sensations may worsen during activities such as holding a steering wheel, phone, or newspaper. People often “shake out” their hands in attempt to relieve symptoms. As they progress, numbness may become constant. Weakness might also occur and affected people might notice a tendency to drop objects.
Causes: Carpal tunnel syndrome results secondary to compression of the median nerve. The median nerve runs through a small opening in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. It provides sensation to the thumb, index, and middle finger on the palm side of hand and innervated the muscles at the base of the thumb. When space is narrowed in the carpal tunnel the nerve is compressed. This can be caused by a number of factors including wrist fractures, inflammation, and swelling.
Our Physical Therapy Treatment: Treatment will be dependent on the patient and their response to exercise. Potential treatment might include:
- Mechanical diagnoses/treatment
- Stretching exercises
- Manual mobilizations
- Wrist and hand strengthening exercises
- Task specific performance analysis