Have you found that your hands are hurting from consistent hours of typing on a keyboard? If so, you potentially could be dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Unfortunately, this condition has become increasingly common in the modern workplace, with many developing it from the daily typing that they do. Statistics have found that approximately three to six percent of adults are affected by it.
However, how can someone find relief beyond a wrist bandage from your local drugstore? Some have said that looking into physiotherapy can potentially help this issue. If you’re curious to see if seeing a physio might help with your carpal tunnel pain, continue reading to see if it’s worth doing so!
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Some might have a vague idea that carpal tunnel syndrome is a pain in your hands. Yet, some might not know exactly how the pain develops and what areas beyond your hand are affected. In actuality, carpal tunnel causes pain and elicits tingling and numbness that reaches your hand and forearm. This reaction occurs when one of the major nerves of your hand (the median nerve) is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist. That’s what creates the pain or numbness symptoms associated with the condition.
Yet, carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t just develop randomly. There are various ways for people to develop this condition. Here are a few reasons for how carpal tunnel syndrome can develop:
Interestingly enough, carpal tunnel syndrome is rooted in genetics. The possibility of anatomical differences that change the amount of space for the nerve is a plausible factor, and such traits can run in families.
Repetitive Hand Use
Repetition isn’t good for hands. Doing a task or activity for a long time can seriously aggravate the tendons in your wrist. When you’re continuously using the same hand and wrist motions, it causes swelling and puts pressure on the nerve.
For potential moms, the hormone changes that come with pregnancy can cause swelling, which results in pressure on the nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome sometimes indicates other potential health problems such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance.
If carpal tunnel is left untreated, you can expect the pain to only get worse with time. Furthermore, it can result in long-term issues like permanent damage to your hands, such as loss of sensation in your fingers or weakness.
What Does Physiotherapy Do?
What physiotherapy entails is helping to restore movement and function to a certain part of someone’s body that’s been affected by an injury, illness, or disability. Physiotherapy doesn’t only provide short-term relief but also long-term care to reduce any physical issues from occurring again.
You can expect during physiotherapy to try to reduce any pain or swelling through various means once they inspect your particular physical ailment
The physiotherapist will recommend a treatment plan that works for you through the following:
- Manual therapy
- Techniques (i.e. heat, cold, water, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation)
The goal is to help your joints move better and restore or increase your flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, or balance. Physiotherapy is an appropriate avenue if your affliction makes it hard to move around and do daily tasks. In which case, it’s to make doing such tasks and activities easier and pain-free.
Can Physiotherapy Ease Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Short answer: yes! Through physiotherapy, various nonsurgical treatments can help to improve carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here are a few of the nonsurgical means of treating carpal tunnel:
Bracing or Splinting
Wearing a brace or splint is helpful as it can prevent you from bending your wrist as you sleep. Keeping your wrist in a straight position can reduce pressure on the nerve in the carpal tunnel. An added benefit is to continue wearing it throughout the day to avoid irritating symptoms.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Carpal tunnel is all about swelling that extends to your hand and forearm. You can bet anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve pain and inflammation.
Switch Up Repetitive Tasks or Activities
As established, your hand and wrist being in the same position for too long can aggravate carpal tunnel symptoms. If you notice anything you do that falls in line with prolonged use of your hands and wrists too much, consider taking breaks from it or making changes that won’t be so hard on them.
Nerve Gliding Exercises
The idea behind this is to help the median nerve to move more freely within the confines of the carpal tunnel. In this case, it’s imperative to find an exercise that would work the best from your physiotherapist.
Interestingly enough, steroid injections can do so much for treatment. It’s full of corticosteroid (cortisone) – a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can be injected into the carpal tunnel. Often they help to relieve painful symptoms or calm a flare-up of symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition. However, it can severely impact one’s everyday activities. Thankfully, if you need nonsurgical treatment, you can turn to physiotherapy to help with the pain from carpal tunnel syndrome!
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