Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Great Neck & Farmingdale, NY

How Can Physical Therapy Help My Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

 

The carpal tunnel is a narrow channel which contains important structures in our hands including nerves. Excessive pressure on these nerves can cause severe irritation leading to pain, tingling and numbness sensations and ultimately leading to weakness. Extreme wrist positions, as well as a lot of finger use, especially with a lot of force or vibration (such as holding the steering wheel when driving heavy machinery),  can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is common among professionals needing intricate use of the hands such as artisans, construction workers, and assembly-line work, particularly meatpacking and people who operate any form of machinery, especially tools that vibrate. Some leisure activities which also requires intricate use of the hands can predispose you to carpal tunnel syndrome. These include sewing, sports such as racquetball and handball, and playing string instruments such as the guitar and violin.

Some health conditions can create carpal tunnel syndrome in some individuals, these include:

  • Inflammation and swelling of the tendons of the wrist
  • Injuries to the wrist (strain, sprain, dislocation, fracture)
  • Hormone or metabolic changes (pregnancy, menopause, thyroid imbalance)
  • Fluid retention (eg, during pregnancy)
  • Diabetes
  • Degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis

Physical therapy strategies for treating your carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Education regarding:
    • Proper wrist positions
    • Proper neck and upper back posture
    • Proper use of equipment and utensils
    • Breaks for stretching during one’s daily routine
  • Strengthening exercises for muscles in the hand, forearm, and arm
  • Exercises to improve flexibility in the wrist, hand, fingers, forearm, and hand
  • Use of heat/cold treatments for pain relief
  • Splinting to decrease discomfort
  • Education regarding an ergonomic workspace

The aim of physical therapy is to alleviate your symptoms as much as possible thereby eliminating the need for surgery, making you functional, active and returning you to work and leisure tasks.

 


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