Injuries Unpacked #7: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is irritation or compression of the median nerve as it runs through a ligament in your palm. Usually this irritation occurs due to inflammation in the passage where your nerve runs known as the carpal tunnel.

How is Carpal Tunnel caused?

The cause of the inflammation in this passage can vary widely but includes:

  • Repetitive actions of the wrist and hand such as gripping
  • Arthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Symptoms below usually appear gradually and worsen over time without treatment.

  • Pins and needles or burning in the middle finger, index finger and thumb
  • Numbness in fingers when sleeping
  • Weakness in gripping activities
  • Muscle wasting in the palmar region

How will a physio diagnose your condition?

A good history of the presentation of your hand and wrist pain is important in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel. A physio can also perform several tests that may provoke your symptoms indicating carpal tunnel is present.

How will your wrist be treated?

Treatment will involve looking at the cause of your condition and modifying your activities to reduce the stress placed in this area. A night splint may also be prescribed to reduce the prolonged wrist bending that may be occurring when you sleep. A combination of strength training, stretches and some hands on treatment is effective in reducing the irritation of the median nerve and thus the pain being experienced.

If this sounds like something that you may be experiencing, give the clinic a call and we can help you get back on track and moving pain free.