Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most common entrapment neuropathy, where common peripheral nerves become compressed. This results in pain and paraesthesia due to increases in pressures along the carpal tunnel region (wrist) which causes compression and inflammation of the median nerve, which is most commonly affected.
People typically report feelings of numbness, tingling, weakness, and need to “shake their hand out”. In addition, many report pain and loss of feeling in the thumb, index, middle finger, and some portion of the ring finger. Some may complain of dropping items and notice atrophy or muscle wasting along the base of the thumb.
- Women are 3x more likely to develop carpal tunnel than men
- Greater than 30 years old
- Obesity (BMI)
- Renal Disease
- Inflammatory Arthritis such as Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Tumors such as lipoma or ganglion
- Occupation: Computer work, Carpenters, Dental Hygienist, Jobs with Hand held Vibration tools, etc.
- Physical Therapy! This is a great way to decrease soft tissue restrictions, improve joint mobility, and improve neural mobility via nerve glides/sliders. Furthermore, teach proper body mechanics, work ergonomics and posture, and improve functional strength and ROM of wrist flexors/extensors and shoulder rotator cuff and periscapular muscles. This allows for improved movements up the chain to decrease compensatory patterns and allow for return to prior level of function.
- Splints to position the wrist in neutral (mainly worn at night) to avoid further damage and compression of the affected structures.
- Superficial Heat and Class IV Laser technology (offered at Core Performance! Click Link for more information: https://corenewport.com/deep-tissue-laser-therapy/ )
- Surgery if conservative treatments fail
How can you set up your work environment to reduce CTS?
-Dr. Nicole Aho PT, DPT