The Patient’s Guide to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a commonly treated condition in physical therapy. If you have been diagnosed with this problem, then read on to learn what you should know about carpal tunnel syndrome.

Overview

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed. The median nerve, along with several tendons, runs down your forearm to your hand. The tendons and nerve, which control feelings and movement in your first 3 fingers and thumb, travel through a small area in your wrist called the carpal tunnel.

Causes

Pressure on the median nerve that results in carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can be caused by anything that lessens the space in the carpal tunnel, typically swelling. Swelling inside the carpal tunnel can be a result of repetitive hand movements, pregnancy, and illnesses such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include tingling, numbness, pain, weakness, and other problems in the hand or fingers. Most often, the symptoms of this condition affect the index finger, middle finger, half of the ring finger, and the thumb. It’s common for people to notice these symptoms at night and to sometimes find relief by shaking their hand.

Treatment

Mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome can usually be treated through home care methods. You can ice your wrists for about 10 minutes once or twice per hour to address the swelling. Also, stop any activities that are causing you to feel pain or numbness in your hand, or rest your hand for longer periods. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can also treat swelling in your wrist, and wearing a wrist splint overnight will help take pressure off the median nerve. Physical therapy can also treat carpal tunnel syndrome, and surgery may be advised in more severe cases of this condition that do not respond to non-invasive treatment options.

If you’re in need of carpal tunnel treatment in The Woodlands, then look no further than the experienced team at The Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers.

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