Do you ever wake up with your fingers feeling numb? Do you ever have tingling in your middle and ring finger or thumb pain? Do you find it hard to grip and hold small objects? Are you experiencing muscle weakness or wasting? If you said yes to any of the questions above, you might be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel- a narrow, rigid passageway between your carpal bones and connective tissues on the top of your palm. This passageway can get too tight for nerves to fit due to tendon thickening and swelling caused by overuse of your hand muscles.
Who is prone to carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can happen to anyone, but is actually 3 times more common in the female population because of the smaller size of their passageway. Pregnancy, having diabetes, hormonal issues, trauma to the wrist and/or hand and performing repetitive manual work is also making individuals more prone.
What you can you do if you have carpal tunnel?
Physical therapy is the most efficient, natural and safe treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a great alternative to having surgery and/or taking medication which can be invasive and cause harmful side-effects.
Forearm stretching and joint mobilization will normalize mechanical dysfunction of the wrist and decrease pressure on the nerve. Hand strengthening improves hand and thumb strength and decreases muscle wasting. Bracing will prevent further injury and protect median nerve during daily activates and sleeping. Postural work helps improve position of neck, shoulder, elbow and wrist and prevent “double crush” injury. Deep tissue work and releasing flexor tendons and connective tissues creates more elasticity in the “roof “of the carpal tunnel.
Body mechanic and ergonomics education improves wrist comfort, prevents further damage with use and improves endurance with activites. Frequent rest breaks and work station stretching is beneficial in preventing repetitive strain injury caused by tendon irritation from constant use.
Cold laser therapy is very beneficial in treating carpal tunnel syndrome because it helps heal nerves by decreasing inflammation, normalizing chemical balance and re-establishing normal cell charge as well as provide the energy needed for the healing process to occur. Cold Laser gives good results even with complex cases (eg patient with diabetes and thyroid disease working in industrial setting). There are numerous studies demonstrating efficiency of cold laser in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. The double blind study conducted by General Motors indicated significant improvement in grip strength and range of motion while Houston Medical School research indicated 70% improvement is symptoms related to carpal tunnel syndrome with use of cold laser alone.
The good news is that at Lilly Physical Therapy, we provide comprehensive treatment plans for healing carpal tunnel syndrome including all of the techniques mentioned above. We use advanced manual skills, cutting edge technology and out-of-the-box solutions and our patients love it!
Call today to make appointment. We can help you feel better fast! (425) 224-2476