What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the wrist where one of your wrist nerves is compressed. The carpal tunnel is a thick band of tissue that protects the median nerve and forearm flexor tendons.
What area of the body does carpal tunnel syndrome affect? the type of feeling/pain/symptoms?
- The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain, numbness and altered sensation. The typical distribution in the thumbs, pointer finger, and middle finger. The pain can travel up the forearm if left untreated. Progression of carpal tunnel can cause hand weakness, hand clumsiness, and decrease thumb muscle tone.
What behaviours cause carpal tunnel syndrome?
- Behaviours that can increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome are
- Mechanical overuse which includes computer typing, overusing flexor tendons
- Trauma such as falling on an outstretched hand
- Masses like a ganglion cysts
- Other causes related to rheumatoid arthritis and deposits of foreign material
How does physiotherapy help with carpal tunnel syndrome?
- Physiotherapists are well trained in assessing, diagnosing, and treating conditions of carpal tunnel. Physiotherapists can identify the factors affecting the carpal tunnel to guide treatment plans. The treatment plans can include dry needling, manual treatments, exercise and activity, and equipment modifications to reduce pain and optimise function.
How long does carpal tunnel syndrome take to recover? Why is it important to treat it early?
- The timeframe will vary from the individual presentation and depends on the requirements of work. If carpal tunnel syndrome is detected early the recovery time can last for about 4-6 weeks depending on the workload on the wrist. If carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms have persisted for more than 3 months and left untreated, the recovery time may last longer than the expected timeframe of 4-6 weeks. The goal is to find variables and treatment plans that will fit the individual needs.
Tran Nguyen graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Doctor of Physiotherapy qualification. With a background and undergraduate in sports science, Tran has extensive knowledge in sports and musculoskeletal conditions. In her spare time, she enjoys powerlifting and exploring Melbourne.
Primal Physiotherapy is the leader in Physiotherapy focused on guiding you through your injury so you can return back to life, work, and exercise pain-free. To learn more about us you can learn more here: https://primalphysiotherapy.com.au/