Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Tingling or numbness in the hands can be the result of a number of issues. One of the more common reasons for the above symptoms is carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling or even weakness in the wrists, hands or fingers. The most typical place to feel the numbness and tingling is in the thumb, pointer, and third fingers. In some cases, numbness can travel up the arm. You may find yourself unable to type, write, drive, hold objects, or perform other activities of daily living without the symptoms.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Physical Therapy

Causes

The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is compression of the medial nerve. The median nerve is a nerve the runs throughout the underside of the wrist and innervates the thumb, pointer and third fingers, and half of the middle finger. When pressure is applied to the median nerve, symptoms begin. The median nerve can be compressed due to various reasons. Risk factors include wrist fractures, diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and workplace demands, such as the use of certain tools.

Diagnosis

Your physical therapist will first take a history of your symptoms, including questions to understand your pain pattern, history of symptoms, how your symptoms affect your function throughout the day, and any help or doctors you may have seen. Next, your therapist will perform a thorough examination of your wrist and hand mobility, strength, muscle flexibility, and ability to perform functional activities. Performing a comprehensive evaluation will help the therapist to understand the cause of the symptoms and how to treat it.

Treatment and Exercises

Your treatment plan will be personalized to you and your goals for therapy, whether it is getting back to tennis or being able to drive without symptoms. The program will likely include hands on therapy and exercises focused on strengthening and flexibility that will help you get back to living the life you want.

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