Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve gets compressed in the carpal tunnel. The nerve gets compressed by bending the wrist all the way forwards or backwards repetitively, external pressure or trauma over the the carpal tunnel.

Symptoms:

People experience many different symptoms but commonly report the following:

  • ‘Funny feeling’ in the thumb, pointer finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger
    • tingling
    • numbness
    • burning
    • itching
    • pins and needles
  • Pain over the front of the wrist
  • Dropping things
  • Unable to feel things properly

Diagnosis

Health professionals can perform a number of different tests to diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

  • Provocative Tests:
    • Tinel’s Test
    • Phalan’s Test
    • Scratch Test
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Ultrasound over the carpal tunnel
  • MRI

Treatment

We have very good success rates with conservative treatment, and I would always recommend trying conservative treatment first. Some of the things a hand therapist can do are:

  • Finding out how the nerve is getting compressed in the first place and working with you to prevent this
  • Splinting – either at night time only or at risk times, to prevent ongoing compression of the median nerve
  • Median nerve exercises
  • Tendon gliding exercises
  • Pain management
  • Activity modification

Should the condition be too severe for conservative treatment we can help to refer you to the best specialist to help. Some of the next steps can include:

  • Surgical release of the flexor retinaculum to allow the median nerve more room
    • Open release
    • Endoscopic release
  • Corticosteriod injection

 

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Come and see us at our Townsville Hand Therapy Practice!

0459 772 660

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