Carpal tunnel syndrome

Written by willem van der Meijden | 05/05/2016

WP Physio | Wrist pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a relatively common condition that causes a tingling sensation, numbness and sometimes pain in the hand and fingers.

Usually, these sensations develop gradually and start off being worse during the night. They tend to affect the thumb, index finger and middle finger.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of one of the nerves that controls sensation and movement in the hands (median nerve).
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in your wrist made up of small bones and a tough band of tissue that acts as a pulley for the tendons that bend the fingers.

Treating carpal tunnel syndrome

In some cases, CTS will disappear without treatment, or simple self-care measures will reduce the symptoms.
CTS in pregnant women often gets better within three months of the baby being born, although it may need treatment. In some women, symptoms can continue for more than a year.

Non-surgical treatments, such as wrist splints and corticosteroid injections, are used to treat mild or moderate symptoms. Physiotherapy has been shown to be of great value in relieving CTS symptoms in some cases. This includes tendon gliding exercises.

Surgery may be required if non-surgical treatments fails to relieve the symptoms. It may also be used if there is a risk of permanent nerve damage.

Tendon gliding exercises are often a useful tool to manage the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Try the following tendon gliding exercises to help decrease the pain and tingling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. You can also use the exercises to help prevent future problems with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Start with your hand opened up, like you are telling someone to stop. After each subsequent position, return to this open hand position for 2-3 seconds.

Carpal tunnal exercises
Slowly bend your fingers down until each knuckle is bent and the tips of your fingers are touching the pads at the base of your fingers. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, and then return to the starting position. Move on to the next step.

rom the open hand starting position, slowly make a fist and squeeze gently. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, and return to the open hand position.
Next, slowly bend your fingers forward, but be sure to keep the knuckles of your fingers straight. Only the joint where your fingers meet your hand should bend. Your hand should now be in the shape of an “L.” Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then return to the starting position.

Finally, bend your fingers at the first and middle joints only. The tips of your fingers should rest gently on your palm. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, and return to the open-hand starting position

Repeat this series of tendon glides five times, three times per day to help relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and to help prevent future problems with carpal tunnel syndrome.

By keeping your tendons moving and gliding properly, you can be sure to keep your hand and wrists moving properly.

If the problem continues, contact us for assistance!