Recovering from Neck Pain

Understanding Physiotherapy Options For Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

by Janet Burns

When your doctor diagnoses you with carpal tunnel syndrome, he or she may recommend that you visit a physiotherapist to evaluate the condition and determine your best treatment options. Although severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome may require surgery, many patients can achieve symptom relief through physiotherapy treatments. Here are a few things you should know about physiotherapy and what it can do for your carpal tunnel condition.

Carpal Tunnel Basics

The narrow channel of bones and ligaments that run through your wrist, including the tendons that attach to your hand, is known as the carpal tunnel. When the tendon in that space is irritated and swollen, it can compress your median nerve. That nerve runs from your neck to your hand. It is connected to the spinal nerves, and when compressed, it can make it difficult for you to move your hand and wrist. When this occurs, the symptoms caused are known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

What Can Physiotherapy Do?

A physiotherapist can utilize a variety of treatments to improve your range of motion.

  • Stretches – Stretching your fingers and hand may help to encourage movement in the tendons and the nerves of the carpal tunnel space. Sometimes, stretching these muscles can help improve your grip strength. For example, activities like clenching a tight fist followed by slowly opening your hand and stretching your fingers out can help. When followed by bending your wrist backward and stretching your thumb out away from your palm, this works all of the major muscle tissue in that area. With your hand fully outstretched, roll your arm so that your palm faces up. The combination of movements will help the tendons to roll and shift in place as you stretch the muscles. This can help reduce carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
  • Traction or Splints – Hand traction devices are often incorporated in physiotherapy treatment when you need to keep your tendons still. Wearing a traction device like this will keep the tendon in place and keep it from binding further. You may also be advised to wear a splint or a wrist and hand brace when you're not performing your stretching exercises. This way, you don't cause further damage during your daily activities.

With the support of a physiotherapist who understands your condition, you may be able to manage an early diagnosis sufficiently to avoid surgery. The more consistent you are about following the instructions for your stretches and brace use, the better your chances will be.

For more information, contact Physiotherapy by Edge Sport Physical Therapy Inc or a similar organization.