Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm which is due to the compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel.
There are more than one factors that contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Overuse of the wrist in activities can contribute to development of the condition.
- Repetitive wrist movements
- Prolonged awkward wrist positions
- Prolonged firm grip or pressure on the palm
- High speed or forceful finger movements (e.g. typing)
Signs And Symptoms
There is usually pain, numbness or a tingling sensation, or a combination of these three sensations in your hand and fingers.
You might first notice that your fingers "fall asleep" and become numb at night. That usually happens in the evening because of the relaxed position of your hand and while sleeping.
In the morning, you may wake up with numbness and tingling in your hands that may run all the way to your shoulder.
The symptoms can occur while doing effortless and simple tasks such as holding the telephone or reading the newspapers. You may experience a weaker grip and in severe cases, the numbness may be permanent.
If the symptoms are mild, you may be given oral medication, asked to wear a splint brace or given an injection of steroids into the carpal tunnel.
If the symptoms are more severe and persistent, you may be required to undergo minor surgery at day surgery clinics. Carpal tunnel surgery such as the open and semi-open techniques and the minimally invasive endoscopic carpal tunnel release could be done, Upon completion a Post operation Hand rehabilitation would be require to aid in the recovery.
How to Rehab Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
1) Rehab Exercises & IASTM by @yourchirosteph
You can do these exercises all day, but if you really want to FIX it (without surgery), fix the daily, repetitive habits that caused it. We type, text and click all day. Make sure your wrists are neutral, and take breaks to do these exercises. A chiropractor can help with active release and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisatio (IASTM) on the inflamed soft tissue. .
Fixing it early can prevent further damage and the long-term need for potential surgery.
2) Perform this Median Nerve Glide by @joetherapy
If you start to feel symptoms then back off of the stretch!
- Side bend the head towards the side you’re working on.
- Straight the arm out to the side of you with palm facing away.
- At the same time, side bend the head to the other side and flex the wrist.
- Reverse the motion.
- Give reps a try and don’t over do it! It could irritate the nerve even more!
Prayer Stretch by @stjoechiro.
3 variations of the prayer stretch, which helps hit all movements of the wrist. This is important, since we'll maximize the amount of tension relief off the forearms, wrists, and the carpal tunnel.
If we think about how we sit, work, and type etc.. it's in a position that's constantly palms down. This is what we call pronation. We're going to focus on stretching the wrist in the opposite direction, called supination.
By doing these, the wrist will not be stuck in the same position all day, leading to less issues like discomfort, irritation, and tightness. Also, it helps build more flexibility in the wrist.
How long does it take to recover from carpal tunnel syndrome?
If condition worsen, surgery maybe requires. Upon undergoing surgery, Recovery may be gradual and complete recovery may take up to a year.
If condition do not improve and you still experience significant pain and weakness for more than 2 months, your doctor may refer you to a hand therapist who can help you maximize your recovery.
Occasionally, carpal tunnel syndrome can recur, although this is rare. If this happens, you may need additional treatment or surgery.
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Burton, C; Chesterton, LS; Davenport, G (May 2014). "Diagnosing and managing carpal tunnel syndrome in primary care". The British Journal of General Practice. 64 (622): 262–3. doi:10.3399/bjgp14x679903. PMC 4001168. PMID 24771836.
"Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet". National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. January 28, 2016. Archived from the original on 1 February 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
Graham, B; Regehr G; Naglie G; Wright JG (2006). "Development and validation of diagnostic criteria for carpal tunnel syndrome". Journal of Hand Surgery. 31A (6): 919–924.