What is carpal tunnel?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is compression of the median nerve which travels through the wrist causing pain and numbness of the thumb, index, long and radial half of the ring finger.
What causes carpal tunnel?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is considered to be a form of repetitive stress injury, caused by repetitive movement (most commonly, from computer keyboard use). Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture, rheumatoid arthritis, mechanical problems in the wrist joint and fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause.
What are the symptoms/effects of carpal tunnel?
The symptoms of carpal tunnel usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers. Some people report decreased grip strength making it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. The symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night, since many people sleep with bent wrists squeezing the median nerve.
Diagnosis of carpal tunnel
If you suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome you should consult a physiotherapist or doctor who will confirm a diagnosis after an examination of the wrist and hand.
Physiotherapy for carpal tunnel
Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio is very important to hasten the healing process and decrease the likelihood of re-injury.
A thorough assessment by one of our physiotherapists at Manchester Physio will determine what has contributed to the development of carpal tunnel and a treatment plan will be developed to ensure a speedy recovery.
Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio may include:
- Advice about sufficient rest from any aggravating activities and how to modify tasks
- Ice and heat therapy
- Soft tissue massage
- Advice about splints
- Range of movement exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Advice about gradual return to everyday and sporting activities
For more information about physiotherapy for carpal tunnel, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.