If you frequently feel pins and needles, numbness, or pain in your hand and wrist and you’re not sure why then it could be a case of carpal tunnel syndrome. This is a condition we’re used to treating at our Auckland physiotherapy clinic as it affects a lot of people for different reasons. The sooner you seek advice the better, as it may cause permanent nerve damage if left untreated. You may want to get it checked out by your GP, or come and see us; our physio services might be all you need to alleviate the discomfort.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve as it runs through the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway formed by bones and ligaments in the wrist, which then opens out into the hand. The median nerve runs through this tunnel and provides sensation to the thumb, index, middle and half the ring finger. Other structures also run through the carpal tunnel which includes tendons to the fingers. When anything happens that reduces the volume and/or increases the pressure in the tunnel, the median nerve can become squashed. When this happens, you’ll notice the symptoms we spoke of earlier i.e. pins and needles, numbness, pain and in extreme cases, a significant loss of strength in the hand and wrist.
Common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
These are not necessarily the only causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, so if you experience any of those uncomfortable symptoms, get them checked out. Physiotherapy treatment options may include soft tissue massage, as well as the use of a brace or a splint to help rest your joint. Mobilisations (stretching) to your wrist joint can be effective, with acupuncture also known to have good results with some patients. We can also work out an ongoing exercise programme for you to follow at home, and advise you on modifying the way you carry out certain repetitive activities.
As you can see, there is no shortage of physio treatment options available to you. In more extreme cases, you may need medical treatment, including surgery. Hopefully, our physiotherapy treatment will relieve the symptoms before those steps are required, so contact us and let’s see what we can do in the first instance.