Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that primarily impacts your fingers, hands, and forearms. It happens due to compression of the median nerve in the palm of your hand. This nerve plays a central role in your ability to feel in your thumb, index finger, middle finger, and some of your ring finger. Carpal tunnel syndrome can happen in one or both hands.
If your physician has diagnosed you with carpal tunnel syndrome or you are wondering whether you are experiencing it, seeing a physical therapist who has extensive experience in hand therapy can help you receive an assessment or treatment to restore your hand and wrist function. Hand therapy is a versatile and multimodal form of physical therapy.
Common Causes and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome can happen due to health issues such as:
- Fluid retention
- High blood pressure
- Inflammatory conditions
- Thyroid disorder
Certain lifestyle habits or professional activities can also impact your carpal tunnel and lead to the appearance or worsening of symptoms. Carpal tunnel aches can occur due to regular overextension of your wrists like playing the piano or typing, or repeated use of vibrating power tools for construction work. Bad positioning of your wrists when working on a computer can also result in developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can impact:
- Numbness and tingling in your fingers
- Muscle weakness in your hand
- Pain and a burning sensation in your forearm
- Chronic or acute wrist pain that can impact your sleep patterns
What Can I Expect During Hand Therapy?
At ProFysio Physical Therapy, we always review your medical history, including any diagnostic images and records from your primary care physician during your initial consultation. We also perform a thorough physical examination. You can also expect to discuss your symptoms, including duration, frequency, and severity. This helps us tailor a treatment plan to meet your specific needs.
Hand therapy can include a wide range of components and we can adjust them as we monitor your progress. It usually involves manual therapy and possibly therapeutic massage to alleviate your symptoms.
Pain management is a key aspect of hand therapy, and we can achieve this with different methods, including heat therapy and cryotherapy. We may also recommend Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT). In certain cases, the Graston Technique can offer additional benefits.
In certain cases, our providers may order you wear a splint for a specific time. We can also demonstrate certain exercises, such as nerve gliding ones, for you to do at home to improve and maintain your results in between sessions.
Benefits of Hand Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
No matter which components of hand therapy we include in your customized program, you can expect positive and lasting changes in your hands’ health.
Attending hand therapy with a licensed physical therapist can:
- Alleviate or eliminate aches and stiffness
- Improve hand and arm strength
- Increase range of motion and joint health
- Optimize fingers, hand, and forearm function
- Reduce sensitivity due to nerve damage
We can also provide you with practical tips and ergonomic recommendations to minimize further pain and nerve injury from carpal tunnel syndrome. This can include adjusting your office char settings or upgrading to a different keyboard and a vertical mouse.
Are you looking for treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome in Monmouth or Middlesex Counties? Call ProFysio Physical Therapy today at (732) 812-5200 to schedule an appointment!