Ever wondered what an accountant, painter, and tennis player might have in common? Each of these professionals has a high chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome later in life.
Repetitive movements involving the wrist are one of the many ways they might trigger carpal tunnel syndrome. When this happens, the numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers make typing, painting, and playing sports an uncomfortable experience. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the major causes of workers’ compensation claims in the United States today.
The carpal tunnel refers to a narrow pathway on the inside of your hand that is surrounded by ligaments, like the transverse carpal ligament, and carpal bones. If the median nerve becomes pinched in this area, you experience numbness, tingling and general discomfort in the wrist and hand. The sensation might occur when you hold items, such as your phone or a steering wheel. It might even wake you at night.
Ultimately, you might begin to experience weakness in the hand. This might reduce your ability to make a fist or use the pinching muscles in your thumbs. That might result in you dropping and breaking items at work or around the home. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can keep you from working and doing what you love.
When you choose Bayside Physical Therapy to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and secure treatment, we consider a wide range of factors before prescribing treatment options. We consider how far the condition progressed, the likelihood of it worsening, your lifestyle choices, and the most appropriate options. These are some of the many treatment options we might explore.
If your symptoms range from mild to moderate, wrist braces present a harmless solution worth trying. This does not work for everyone, but your doctor might recommend trying it for four weeks before making a decision regarding whether it works for you.
Working at your desk for hours on end might seem like an excellent way to remain productive, but take breaks to maintain the health of your wrists. You could also look into getting a more ergonomic work setup that keeps your wrist in a more natural position. We review your habits and recommend changes.
Physical therapy might have excellent benefits for carpal tunnel syndrome. Our professionals in these fields can teach you how to change your seated posture and the posture of your hands to reduce pain and carpal tunnel syndrome risks. We also provide exercises to help you strengthen your muscles again.
If six months of treatment yields no results, your doctor might refer you for carpal tunnel surgery, or carpal tunnel release. The two main options include endoscopic surgery or open surgery. Both options can cure mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. People with more severe cases might experience a reduction in the severity and frequency of symptoms after carpal tunnel syndrome surgery, but they might not go away completely.
Ask your Bayside carpal tunnel doctor if he or she recommends any alternative medicine options. These might include using ultrasound therapy to generate heat or using yoga to improve circulation and reduce pain. Some patients also report great success with acupuncture.
If you need to ease the pain but prefer to avoid medication, some patients report great success with ice baths and cold compresses as a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Try it for up to 15 minutes once or twice per hour when pain is at its worse.
Not everyone has a high tolerance for cold, so warm baths are also worth considering. Patients report success with placing their hands in water at around 100 F. It is usually safe to try this up to three to four times per day.
Sometimes, carpal tunnel syndrome might resolve itself over time. For some people, this is worth the risk, but if you use your wrist and hands for work, reconsider putting off a visit to the doctor. Carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed earlier may be easier to treat, so see a doctor as soon as it begins to interfere with everyday activities or it disrupts your sleep.
Keep in mind that, without carpal tunnel treatment, you might experience permanent damage to the muscles and nerves. Consequently, beginning treatment for carpal tunnel could preserve your career and hobbies.
At Bayside Physical Therapy, we have dedicated our professional careers to helping our patients achieve wellness and pain-free lives. Schedule your appointment online to begin carpal tunnel treatment today.