Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition of the hand and fingers caused by compression of the Median Nerve where is enters the wrist through a small ‘tunnel’ formed by the carpal ligament and the carpal bones of the hand.
Pressure on the median nerve can be caused by swelling or anything that makes the carpal tunnel narrower. Some examples include:
- Rheumtoid Arthritis
- Repetitive movements, especially where the wrist is flexed (hand moved in a ‘palmar’ direction).
- Lower neck stiffness / injury (the Median Nerve originates from nerves exiting the lower part of your neck)
Patients often describe the following symptoms
- Pain, tingling, numbness, ‘dead’ sensation, weakness in the fingers or hand.
- The thumb, index finger and middle finger are more affected than the digits
- Symptoms become worse at night / in the morning and are relieved by moving the hand / arm.
- Soft tissue, myofascial and nerve mobilisations to help relieve any tension affecting the Median Nerve along its pathway from the neck down to the hand.
- Spinal mobilizations to the lower cervical spine / neck.
- Specific exercises and stretches
- Wearing a night splint to prevent pressure being placed on the wrist and nerve during the night.
- Acupuncture for pain / symptom relief.
- Ergnonomic advice to help address any causes.
- If conservative therapy does not fully resolve symptoms, corticosteroid injections have been found to be effective at reducing inflammation and compression.
- There is also the option, in some cases, to surgically release the transverse ligament.
The main advice with this condition is to not let it go untreated for a prolonged period of time. Pick up the phone or drop us an e-mail – we would be more than happy to help you in any way we can.
Want to speak to one of our staff about this this symptom / condition? Get in touch via our contact form or by calling us on (01) 853 2788.