24 Mar 16

Do you ever shake your hands to rid pain or regain sensation in your hands?

  • Do you find yourself waking at night with hand pain or numbness?
  • Are you frequently shaking your hands due to lack of sensation?
  • Do you get shooting pain up your forearm?

If so, you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more common than you may think and we’ve been seeing it (to varying extents) in a large proportion of our patients. It can also be a highly debilitating condition impacting many aspects of daily life.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is damage or irritation to the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel (a ring of bones in the wrist). The result of damage to the nerve is commonly pain, pins & needles or numbness in the hand (typically the palm side of the hand, including the thumb, index and middle fingers). These symptoms can occur at any time, although they are often worse at night with people frequently waking with a dead hand sensation as well as having severely disrupted sleep.

If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is left untreated, it can result in:

  • Persistent pain, tingling and/or numbness in the hand,
  • Weakness in the hand, which may lead to functional impairments (including reduced grip strength and hand dexterity),
  • Additional nerve damage further up the arm and even in the neck,
  • Permanent damage to the median nerve.

Those with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will tell you that they will do anything to get rid out it. Why wouldn’t you want a pain-free, fully functioning hand with normal sensation? Or perhaps an uninterrupted night of sleep, the ability to open jars again or not having to shake your hand to “wake it up”?

Tailored physiotherapy programs can treat the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that you may have. Physiotherapy treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:

  • Splinting, which involves wearing an appropriate brace to ease the strain and reduce the irritation on the median nerve.
  • Nerve gliding exercises, which are specific exercises to get your median nerve moving well through the carpal tunnel as it often gets “stuck” when it is irritated.
  • Wrist and forearm stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Addressing postural concerns and neck issues which can be associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Our physiotherapists are well-versed in identifying and assessing for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, as well as differentiating this from other similar conditions.

If you are waking in the night with hand pain or think you may be experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a consultation with one of our physios will help put a plan together to put an end to it. Phone 8850 7770 or click here and we’ll help you get on top of it ASAP.

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