How It’s Caused and Treated
We use our hands for many different tasks throughout the day, from driving to eating and typing to twisting doorknobs. It’s no surprise that the hands and wrists are some of the most common areas where people experience pain. One of the most well-known hand and wrist injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition can worsen over time, so it’s important to treat it as soon as you can. Here are some important things to know about carpal tunnel syndrome.
Surrounded on all sides by bone and sturdy ligaments, the narrow passageway known as the carpal tunnel holds nine flexor tendons and the median nerve. The bones below and on the sides of the carpal tunnel are called the carpal bones, and the band of tissue on top of the carpal tunnel is called the transverse carpal ligament. These boundaries do not give the carpal tunnel a lot of room to stretch or swell.
The median nerve is essential for providing feeling and making motion possible in the hands and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when swelling in the tendons surrounding the tunnel puts pressure on the median nerve. This causes numbness, pain, or tingling in the hand and wrist. A number of factors can increase the likelihood of experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, including a family history of the condition, repeating the same hand and wrist motions over an extended period of time, or other health conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis, among other factors.
Short of surgery, which is necessary in the most extreme cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, there are a number of treatment options. Sometimes it’s necessary to wear a brace or splint, avoid certain activities that might aggravate the condition, take over-the-counter pain medications, or try physical therapy. Our physical therapists can help you understand the pain you’re feeling in your hands and wrists, as well as help you recover and improve their mobility. Give us a call today.