What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

 

You might have heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but do you know what it actually is? It’s called a peripheral neuropathy, and it occurs when the Median nerve gets caught as it passes through a small passage (the carpal tunnel) in the wrist into the hand. At this point the nerve can become irritated or compressed, causing carpal tunnel symptoms.

 

Carpal tunnel symptoms can include:

  • Pins and needles or numbness into your hand/ fingers in the morning/ with repetitive activities
  • Pain at night
  • Burning pain into the hand, wrist or forearm
  • Weak grip/ dropping items
  • The pinky finger and part of the ring finger are unaffected

 

There are conservative or surgical treatment options, depending on the cause of the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If it happened overnight or you have had a recent hand/wrist fracture then you need to go to hospital and have it seen to immediately, but if its come on gradually and you can’t think of why or when it started- Physiotherapy will be perfect for you.

 

So, what happens at the Physio?

 

Firstly, the Physiotherapist will need to assess you to determine the cause of your symptoms we know exactly what to treat. There are other conditions which are treated completely differently to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but can mimic its symptoms very closely, so it’s really important that these are ruled out. These symptoms can actually also originate from the neck, rib cage, shoulder or elbow (or a mixture of the above!)

 

The main idea is to reduce the irritation on the nerve, and help it glide smoothly through the carpal tunnel to get rid of the symptoms.

 

The bad news is that the longer you leave it, the worse it can get! The good news is, Physiotherapy can help!

 

Read our ‘Carpal Tunnel Syndrome’ page under the Blog tab for more information