A common condition treated at European Massage and Physiotherapy Center is carpal tunnel. Mississauga residents can experience carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of repetitive motions, like typing or writing, in the wrists. This repetitive motion causes the major nerves in your hand, the median nerve, to be squeezed and compressed. As a result, carpal tunnel can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand and arm.
Carpal tunnel may seem like a simple issue that will go away with time. However, if left untreated, the symptoms can last a long time, getting worse until addressed. The earlier carpal tunnel is treated the better.
Carpal tunnel causes a variety of symptoms in the fingers, hands, wrists, and arms. Some common symptoms include:
Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in the hand: This is the most common symptom. It usually manifests in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers.
Shock-like sensations: You may experience shock-like sensations in your fingers, especially the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers.
Pain or tingling in the forearm: Sometimes the symptoms travel beyond your hand and into the forearm towards the shoulder.
Weakness and clumsiness: The pain and tingling in your hands can cause weakness, making it hard to perform fine movements like buttoning up clothing.
Poor grip: In addition to struggling with fine movements, carpal tunnel can make it harder to grip things thanks to weakness or numbness.
There are a number of ways to detect carpal tunnel syndrome. Some diagnosis methods include:
Electrophysiological tests: These tests include nerve conduction studies and EMG (electromyogram) measurements. These types of tests measure how well your median nerve is working.
Ultrasounds: Using high-frequency waves, an ultrasound can take pictures of your bone and tissue to determine the condition of your median nerve. Your doctor will specifically be looking for signs of compression.
X-rays: If you have limited wrist motion or pain, an x-ray can take images of your bones to see if carpal tunnel is the cause or some other issue like arthritis, fracture, or ligament injury.
MRI scans: For a better look at your body’s soft tissues, an MRI scan can help. MRI’s can detect abnormal tissues that may be impacting your median nerve.
Carpal tunnel should be treated sooner rather than later to keep the condition from worsening over time. At European Massage and Physiotherapy Center, we can evaluate your carpal tunnel and determine the best course of action. While surgery is one method of correcting carpal tunnel in Mississauga, common non-surgical treatments include:
Bracing or Splinting
A brace or splint can be worn at night to keep your wrist from bending. By maintaining a straight and neutral pose of your wrist, this treatment can reduce the pressure on the median nerve. The splint may also be worn during the day when doing activities that could aggravate the symptoms.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
This medication treatment uses a combination of drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen to help relieve pain and inflammation.
Change in Activity
Carpal tunnel is often the result of having your hand and wrist in a particular position for too long. You may be asked to change or modify your activities in order to slow down or stop the spread of carpal tunnel. You may have to make changes to your work site or station.
Nerve Gliding Exercises
Just as changing your activity is important to reducing carpal tunnel pain; specific exercises like nerve gliding exercises can help reduce symptoms, too. The technique can help the median nerve move more freely while you still have the syndrome.
A steroid injection may relieve symptoms for a short while. The injection is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, but it can be temporary.