Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: How Physiotherapy Offers Relief and Recovery

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a prevalent and often debilitating condition characterised by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers, CTS can significantly impact daily activities and quality of life. While various treatments exist, physiotherapy emerges as a highly effective and non-invasive approach to managing CTS symptoms and promoting long-term healing.

Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist through which the median nerve and several tendons pass. When the median nerve becomes compressed or irritated within this tunnel, it can lead to the symptoms characteristic of CTS. Contributing factors include repetitive hand and wrist movements, prolonged use of vibrating tools, certain medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, and wrist injuries.)

How Physiotherapy Can Help:

Physiotherapy offers a multifaceted approach to management, addressing both symptom relief and underlying causes. Here are several ways in which physiotherapy interventions can benefit individuals with CTS:

  1. Splinting and Immobilisation: Physiotherapists may prescribe wrist splints to immobilise the wrist in a neutral position, relieving pressure on the median nerve and reducing symptoms, particularly during sleep and activities that exacerbate CTS.
  2. Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques such as soft tissue mobilisation, joint mobilisation, and nerve gliding exercises can help alleviate soft tissue restrictions, improve wrist and hand mobility, and reduce nerve compression, thereby relieving CTS symptoms.
  3. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises: Specific stretching and strengthening exercises targeting the muscles and tendons of the hand, wrist, and forearm can help improve flexibility, stability, and muscle balance, reducing strain on the median nerve and promoting optimal hand function.
  4. Postural and Ergonomic Education: Physiotherapists educate individuals on proper wrist and hand posture, ergonomic principles, and modification of work and daily activities to minimise stress on the median nerve and prevent exacerbation of CTS symptoms. Identifying and modifying activities that exacerbate CTS symptoms is crucial for symptom management and prevention of further injury. Physiotherapists work with individuals to develop strategies for pacing, rest breaks, and alternative techniques to reduce repetitive strain on the wrists and hands.

The Importance of Early Intervention and Compliance:

Early intervention is key to effectively managing CTS and preventing progression to more severe symptoms. Individuals experiencing symptoms of CTS should seek prompt evaluation by a physiotherapist or general practitioner to initiate appropriate treatment. Additionally, consistency and compliance with prescribed physiotherapy exercises and interventions are essential for achieving optimal outcomes and preventing recurrence of symptoms.

Privacy Policy