START HERE

Blog

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Physio
"

Learn More

Introduction

Carpal tunnel syndrome …it’s a lot like Zumba. You’ve heard of it but you’ve no idea what it is! Well, I’ve no idea what Zumba is, but it looks a bit like this…

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Lots of women in brightly coloured clothes, sweating, smiling, and then sweating some more all in the pursuit of physical fitness! A somewhat limited understanding I will admit so lets just stick to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

What is the Carpal Tunnel?

As you’ll see from the diagram, the carpal tunnel is a structure comprised of the small bones of the wrist (carpal bones) and a thick ligamentous structure called the flexor retinaculum. Through this tunnel passes blood vessels, tendons and the median nerve. The carpal tunnel provides a degree of protection to these structures.

carpal tunnel syndrome anatomy

So what is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that develops when the median nerve is compressed within the tunnel itself. This can be as a result of mechanical pressure or because of pressure build up due to fluid in the space.

Causes

It can affect anyone, but it’s more prevalent in females in the 40+ bracket. The causes are relatively unknown.
There are some factors that increase the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • pregnancy
  • thyroid disease
  • wrist trauma

Symptoms

The main feature is pins and needles extending into the hand. Specifically into the thumb, index and middle finger. Commonly the symptoms are worse at night and have a tendency to wake you up. The symptoms can also appear after long periods of compression like prolonged working postures.
Due to the nerve compression it’s possible for the muscles around the base of the thumb to waste, and in severe cases a person can lose strength and control.

How can physiotherapy help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

We can offer advice with regard to activity modification and work postures. Often some of the simplest and most straight forward alterations to posture and work position will have dramatic effect on symptoms.

Utilising a splint to maintain good wrist position can be helpful. This will open up the space in the carpal tunnel and reduce pressure on the structures within it. Particularly useful at night to prevent the wrist from adopting a flexed position. It is important to get professional advice regarding this so that the fit and position of the brace is appropriate.

Functional movement screening  – this helps us to assess movement patterns and faults that may predispose a person to injury. For example, with regard to carpal tunnel syndrome there be a fault around the elbow or shoulder girdle which causes the wrist to be overloaded.

Acupuncture can help to give a degree of symptomatic relief in a lot of cases. However, it should be taken on a case by case basis and is by no means a ‘cure’ for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It is useful to include as part of a treatment plan.

What about surgery?

In some cases the symptoms will not settle and surgery is required. The operation is performed as a day case procedure and generally speaking offers a good deal of success. We would refer to Mr Mike Hayton and you can find more information about the surgical options on his website.

So… Carpal Tunnel Syndrome isn’t half as mysterious as Zumba, and whilst it may not be the easiest problem to treat, there is certainly a lot of benefit with physiotherapy treatment long before you consider surgical intervention!

Request a Callback   Book Online

Related Posts

Top Tips on How to Manage an Ankle Sprain

Lets face it… most of us have been there, whether its rolling your ankle playing 5-aside, tripping off the curb, a few too many in high heels, or even just falling over the dog, ankle sprains are fairly common and very painful! What is an ankle...

read more
How to manage a sports injury

Last year in the premier league there were 327 significant injuries sustained with an estimated 67, 025 days lost to injury in total. That averages out at 204 days lost to significant injury per player last year! And that’s professional elite level...

read more
How to Fix Your Foot Pain

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain that we see here at The Physio Lounge. It can be severely debilitating, preventing you from continuing with your hobbies and can even make the simplest of tasks, such as walking, hard...

read more

WHERE TO FIND US

Our Reviews

I would like to thank The Physio Lounge for the recent help i received. I had hurt my lower back and was in extreme pain. I thought due to the covid 19 restrictions I would have to suffer. However i contacted the Physio Lounge and a video call was set up.

- Jo

I have been attending The Physio Lounge since September 2019 twice a week after a serious motorcycle accident with very complex injuries. I have nothing but admiration for Craig and his colleagues dealing and treating me. They have shown me total respect, and without doubt have made my recovery better and quicker than I could of ever expected.

- Karl Halton

I have been treated by Craig at the Physiolounge several times over the last few years for various different running injuries. I’m always impressed by his knowledge, dedication and skill. He even managed In the last few weeks to remotely diagnose and cure a knee problem I had! I would highly recommend Physiolounge.

- Richard

I’ve had many injuries over the past few years including shoulder, hamstring and ankle to name a few. I’ve used Physio Lounge consistently and they’ve done a tremendous job.

- Jimbag Ant

Accepted Insurance

We accept all major healthcare insurers, if you don't see yours listed don't worry, we may still be able to help, just get in touch and we'll do what we can to help!