Another week, another condition to break down for you guys! We see a lot of patients who experience carpal tunnel from excessive typing and mouse work. Did you know carpal tunnel can also occur as in individuals who are diabetic and women who are pregnant?
What is it?
Carpal tunnel syndrome results from compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. It is the most common nerve entrapment disorder, accounting for 90% of all entrapment neuropathies. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects 3.8% of the general population and often results in pain and disability. Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can include hand pain, unpleasant tingling or numbness in the thumb, index, middle and thumb side of the ring finger, as well as reduced grip strength and function of the affected hand. These symptoms are often worse at night. During the day you are likely to experience clumsiness with activities that require wrist flexion, and it is possible that you may experience symptoms in other areas such as numbness, tingling and pain in your forearm, elbow pain, upper arm pain, shoulder pain and or neck pain.
How We Treat It
Treatment generally falls into two categories: Conservative and Surgical. Conservative treatment can include: rest, ice, stretching, yoga, ultrasound, mobilizations, and the use of wrist splints. Your general practitioner may also provide you with steroids ,corticosteroids, vitamin B6 and B12, or anti-inflammatory drugs. While you may be thinking you want to go the surgery route, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy found that after one year, patients who had conservitive therapy had similar outcomes to those patients who had surgery. The results suggest that before you consider surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, a trial of conservative treatment focusing on manual therapy of the neck and medina nerve in combination with stretching exercise is warranted.
If you are struggling with Carpal Tunnel symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to see if conservative treatment will help you.