Do you suffer with carpal tunnel syndrome?

In this blog, we will look at Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS):

              What is it?

              What causes it?

              How do we know its CTS?

              If it’s not CTS, what could it be?

How do we treat it?

What is it?

CTS is a condition that commonly affects females (10:1) aged between 40 and 60 years old. It is a condition that involves the nerve that runs downs the front of the forearm and through the tunnel in the wrist where it is being compressed. The compression results in pain, tingling and/ or numbness in the fingers, palm and can even extend to the forearm.

What causes it?

CTS is usually related to one of the following:

  1. Overloading the wrist and/or fingers,
  2. Previous wrist fracture,
  3. Pregnancy,
  4. Diabetes,
  5. Arthritis.

How do we know its CTS?

The most common factors for CTS are:

  1. Previous history of CTS,
  2. Clinical symptoms,
  3. Changes in the dimensions of the hand,
  4. Imagery,
  5. Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire.

The most accurate way to confirm diagnosis is using nerve conduction tests which show the size and character of the nerve and can determine the stage of the CTS.

If its not CTS, what could it be?

If CTS is not the cause of your symptoms, differential diagnosis include:

  1. Spinal cord or brachial plexus injury,
  2. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome,
  3. Median nerve compression in the upper limb,
  4. Degenerative changes.

How do we treat it?

Generally the recovery for CTS is good, the injury responds well to treatment and can begin as soon as possible in avoiding aggravating activities, taking breaks from repetitive wrist work such as typing. If there is swelling seen to the wrist, ice can be applied.

Treatment for CTS includes: manual therapy, neuromobilisations, exercise therapy, if conservative management has not made an effect on symptoms, surgery maybe considered.

If you are suffering with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact us now to arrange an initial assessment here.