Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Early diagnosis and treatment is important in order to avoid any kind of permanent damage to the wrist nerve. As they say, prevention is better than cure, one should take care of their wrist positions while working. Alteration of activities is important. This includes taking frequent breaks from repetitive activities, and stretching before and after activities. A therapist may be helpful in reviewing ergonomic tips or performing a work place evaluation. For people with mild CTS, stopping or doing less of a repetitive movement may be all that is needed. Physiotherapy is often recommended as part of your treatment plan to reduce the pain, swelling and help in stretching the muscles and retinaculum around and strengthening them. A good physiotherapy program would include Navi Mumbai and Thane.
Physiotherapy is often recommended as part of your treatment plan to reduce the pain, swelling and help in stretching the muscles and retinaculum around and strengthening them. A good physiotherapy program would include
- Carpal bone mobilization and flexor retinaculum stretching to open the carpal tunnel
- Nerve and tendon gliding exercises to ensure full unrestricted nerve motion is available.
- Muscle and soft tissue extensibility.
- Comprehensive upper limb, wrist and hand ROM strengthening and endurance exercises.
- Grip and pinch, thumb and forearm muscle strengthening in later phases.
A wrist splint can be worn to support and brace your wrist in a neutral position so that the nerves and tendons can recover. Splinting can work the best when done within three months of having any symptoms of CTS.
Generally, surgery is only an option for severe cases of CTS and if the other treatments have failed for a period of at least six months.
Physiotherapy at Reliva involves three main components -: passive treatments, active treatments and education and self management. Passive treatments like heat/cold packs and electrotherapy (Ultrasound, TENS) are used to decrease acute pain and swelling. If you're experiencing acute pain, you'll most likely start with passive treatments as your body heals and/or adjusts to the pain. However, our goal is to take you towards active treatments which are therapeutic exercises including nerve gliding and stretching exercises with the strengthening of the muscles around prescribed in accordance with your overall condition and with changing dosage as you become stronger.
We also spend time in educating you about your condition, home exercises and dos and dont's, so that you can continue to remain healthy at your home even after the treatment is complete.
ReLiva physiotherapist will help you to:
- Quickly relieve pain and swelling
- Nerve gliding exercises
- Loosen stiff muscles and ligaments
- Strengthen your wrist and hand muscles
- Improve your everyday living
What is carpel tunnel syndrome?
Our wrist is made up of eight small bones. A ligament (also called retinaculum) lies across the front of the wrist. Between this ligament and the carpal bones is a space called the carpal tunnel. This carpel tunnel is a cramped up space, crowded with the muscle tendons attaching the forearm and the fingers and a median nerve.
The median nerve gives sensation to the thumb, index and middle fingers, and half of the ring finger. It also controls the movement of the small muscles at the base of the thumb.
Any tension in this canal due to various reasons can compress the median nerve giving rise to the symptoms. This is known as Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
The main symptoms are pain, burning sensation, numbness and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring finger. Pain may extend up the arm. Weak grip strength may occur and after a long period of time the muscles at the base of the thumb may waste away.
Typically, burning, acing, tingling sensations in the hand are present in the night. It is relieved by shaking or massaging the wrist.
What causes carpel tunnel syndrome ?
As stated above, the symptoms occurring in carpel tunnel is due to the nerve compression leading to inflammation. This in turn produces pain, swelling and at times obstructed blood flow. Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome are:
Congenital: the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others
- Repetitive movements: repeated use of vibrating hand tools; poor positioning of the wrists while using keyboards, mouse; repeated movements at the wrist such as playing piano, typing
- Development of a cyst or tumor in the canal.
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause
- High blood pressure
- Fractures or trauma to the wrist
Something you may not know:
Women are three times more likely to have CTS than men. It may be that the wrist bones are naturally smaller in most women, creating a tighter space through which the nerve passes. Women also deal with strong hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause that makes them more likely to suffer from CTS.