Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Physiotherapy Treatment

carpal tunnel physiotherapy treatment in downtown toronto

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Physiotherapy Treatment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Physiotherapy Treatment

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed in the carpal tunnel. The median nerve travels from through the forearm into the palm and innervates the thumb, index finger, middle finger and the top half of the ring finger. The carpal tunnel, also known as the carpal canal, is a passageway for the median nerve and contains bones, connective tissue and tendons. This passageway is located on the palm side of your wrist. The canal is quite narrow and becomes even smaller when any swelling is present, thus compressing the median nerve. When the nerve is pressed, it is common to feel pain, weakness or numbness in the hand or wrist which can radiate up the arm. Usually, symptoms arise in the dominant hand and can also be more severe in that hand compared to the other.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:carpal tunnel physiotherapy treatment in downtown toronto

There are many possible causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, but normally anything that narrows the carpal tunnel passageway will contribute to the symptoms. Thickening of tendons or swelling of any structures in or around the passageway will cause the area to narrow and press on the median nerve. Another cause of carpal tunnel syndrome can be a dislocation or fracture of the wrist, which can change the normal structure of the joint, thus putting pressure on the median nerve. Diabetes has been shown to increase an individual’s risk of developing nerve damage, including the median nerve. Inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, can cause the tendons in the carpal tunnel to swell, also putting pressure on the nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women because they tend to have a smaller passageway than men. Also women who are pregnant or going through menopause retain fluid, which can increase the pressure in the carpal tunnel and affect the median nerve. Individuals who spend a lot of time at work with their wrist flexed or working with tools that vibrate are also put at an increased risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.  Other causes include trauma to the wrist or forearm such as a motor vehicle accident.

Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

  • Numbness, tingling or burning sensation in the hand and/or wrist
  • Symptoms usually appear at night when people sleep with their wrists flexed
  • Stiffness in fingers in the morning
  • Weakness in the hands
  • Reduced grip strength
  • If the condition goes untreated, you can have muscle wasting away

Medical and Early Intervention with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Seeking early treatment is extremely beneficial when it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome. When symptoms begin it is important to take breaks to rest your hands from your activities. If swelling is present, ice can be applied. If symptoms continue to occur, you can move on to wrist splinting which places your wrist in a straight position and does not allow any movement to keep the median nerve free of irritation. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin and ibuprofen, can be taken to help with the pain that is experienced.

Physiotherapy Treatment of Carpal Tunnel

Physiotherapy can be a highly effective treatment for those suffering from carpal tunnel.  Physiotherapists can provide proper guidance and advice on the correct strengthening and stretching exercises.  Physiotherapists can also use modalities such as; ultrasound, acupuncture, gua sha massage, laser therapy, and shockwave therapy to reduce the pain and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and correct the underlying cause.

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome contact us today to book an appointment  with one of our Physiotherapists at Ace Physio by calling 416 900 6653.

About the Author

Brad SaltzBrad is a Registered Physiotherapist at Ace Physio, a highly respected Physiotherapy clinic in downtown Toronto. Ace Physio provides high quality one on one Physiotherapy that combined state-of-art technology such as; Shockwave Therapy, Laser Therapy, and Spinal Decompression with traditional Physiotherapy.View all posts by Brad Saltz