Among the most common conditions treated with physical therapy is carpal tunnel syndrome. This health issue frequently develops in individuals who have problems with their joints, and those who perform repetitive motions using the hand and wrist. Read on to learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome and its symptoms.
To understand the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it can help to have an understanding of what causes them to develop. The median nerve, which runs down your forearm and into your hand, runs through a narrow space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. When pressure is placed on this nerve, this can lead to the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Being female, smoking, or having had previous wrist injuries can increase your risk for this condition.
In mild cases, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms tend to affect the hand and forearm. Severe cases of this condition, however, can cause symptoms that extend up to the shoulder. Feeling pins and needles or occasional numbness is a common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as experiencing pain or numbness that worsens as you use your hand. Individuals may also experience pain in their forearm, wrist, or hand that causes them to wake during the night, or stiffness in their fingers when they wake up in the morning.
Because many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome result from overuse, resting the joint and avoiding aggravating activities are the most commonly prescribed carpal tunnel treatments. However, visiting a physical therapist and performing strengthening exercises may also help to reduce your symptoms. Other treatments can include medicines for inflammation and surgery if other treatments fail to provide relief.
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