Physical Therapy Helps Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

November 7, 2017

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects millions of Americans each year. Factors attributed to the condition are so varied that experts are not entirely sure what causes it. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes squeezed at the wrist.
Physical Therapy Helps Relieve Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There is no known way to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, however manual therapy may minimize the chances of surgery (Journal of Pain).

Common symptoms include:
  • acute pain,
  • numbness,
  • stiffness,
  • weakness in the fingers, wrist and hand
Any repetitive movement can result in wrist and hand pain. If physical therapy treatments fail, surgery may be the next option. Muscle weakness or nerve atrophy may necessitate surgery.
Treatment should be decided on a case-by-case basis, mild cases may be treated by applying:
  • cold packs,
  • taking frequent breaks,
  • splinting your wrist,
  • cortisone injections,
  • manual therapy
  • and activity modification.
Manual therapy techniques have improved hand and wrist function and reduced pain in effectively treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Simple stretch exercises movements throughout the day are easy and have proven to protect your wrists and hands from this condition.
Wrist Exercises To Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
HAND STRETCHES
Hand Stretches

Hand Stretches – This exercise stretches the palmar fascia, carpal tunnel structures, and median nerve, the nerve that gets irritated.
1. Start with your hands together in prayer position.  
2. Spread fingers apart as far you can, then “steeple” the fingers by separating palms of hands, but keeping fingers together.

SHAKE HANDS OUT
Shake Hands Out

Shake Hands Out – Shake hands like you’ve just washed them and are trying to air dry them. This will keep your hands flexor muscles and median nerve from getting cramped and tight.

STRETCH AMRSTRONG
Stretch Armstrong

Stretch Armstrong Do this two to three times on each side, and try to do this stretch every hour:
1. Place one arm straight out in front of you, elbow straight, with your wrist extended and fingers facing the floor.
2. Spread your fingers slightly and use your other hand to apply gentle pressure to the downward-facing hand, stretching your wrist and fingers as far as you’re able.
3. When you reach your maximum point of flexibility, hold this position for about 20 seconds.  
4. Switch hands and repeat.

Stretching is an important part of any healthy routine. These are three easy exercises your physical therapist can develop a program suited for your specific condition. Talk to your doctor if you experience pain in your hands and wrists. Don’t live with pain, more than likely it’s a warning signal that something is out of balance. Prompt treatment will help you relieve symptoms and keep the syndrome for getting worse.
To learn more about physical therapy treatment programs for carpal tunnel syndrome, set up a free exploratory examination with one of our doctors today. 
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Moriarty Physical Therapy is the premier physical therapist provider here in the Hudson Valley with centers located near you. To find out more about physical therapy or to book your first appointment with a physical therapist, visit our website at www.moriartypt.com or contact Moriarty Physical Therapy at (845) 454-4137.
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