Raise your hand if you have ever had any elbow, wrist or hand concerns!
Here at 4 Life Physiotherapy, we can help all the above. In particular, common hand issues we would see are; trigger finger, De Quervain’s, carpal tunnel, arthritis of the fingers and thumb, a fractured wrist and many more.
One of the many upper limb concerns is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
It has been described as tingling into the fingers, having to shake your hand a lot to get rid of the sensation, thumb and index finger altered sensation, pain at night (sleep is often disturbed) and first thing in the morning, muscle wastage or weakness with your grip. Sometimes pain in the whole hand and up the arm. Activities with a lot of gripping like driving or holding a mobile phone or drying your hair can become a struggle
Carpal tunnel syndrome presents when the median nerve gets ‘trapped’ in the tunnel at the wrist. If the tunnel becomes smaller or tighter from any cause, the median nerve can be compressed.
In most cases of CTS, there is no obvious cause. Women are three times more likely to develop the condition than men, maybe due to the carpal tunnel size.
We do however know of some potential causes:
- Fluid retention may occur in pregnancy
- Injuries to the wrist
- Repetitive activities using the hands
- Thyroid problems
- Inflammation of the tendons
It is important to be assessed by a Physiotherapist to rule out any neck, shoulder or elbow patterns or concerns.
If your CTS symptoms are mild or if you are pregnant, we would work with you to aid your symptoms, to help sleep disturbance and/or activities of daily living (ADLs). We would help when symptoms are worsening by giving appropriate treatment and exercises.
If more severe, nerve conduction tests would be recommended to confirm the diagnosis and have a specialist opinion, which may lead to surgery.
If you have undergone Carpal Tunnel surgery, you will most likely require some help to regain mobility and strength in your hand. Physiotherapists can aid your journey before and after many surgeries and Carpal Tunnel surgery is one of them. Whether your goal is to return to golf, swimming, or burpees, we are here to help.
Book in today if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed, our Physiotherapists are happy to help.
By Eimhear O’Doherty