Does Carpal Tunnel Syndrome cause numbness or tingling in your hands?
If so, you’re not alone.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide, particularly those who engage in repetitive hand movements, such as typing, writing, or working with tools.
In this blog, we will delve into the fundamentals of carpal tunnel syndrome, including its symptoms, causes, and effective stretches and strategies for relief.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in your wrist through which the median nerve and several tendons pass.
When this tunnel becomes compressed or inflamed, it leads to a condition known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
This compression can cause various uncomfortable and often painful symptoms in the hand and wrist.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Numbness and Tingling: One of the hallmark symptoms of CTS is numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers, typically the thumb, index, middle, and part of the ring finger. This sensation can be particularly pronounced during activities that involve wrist flexion or repetitive hand movements.
- Weakness: Many individuals with CTS experience weakness in their hand, making it difficult to grip objects or perform tasks that require fine motor skills.
- Pain: CTS can also result in pain in the wrist and hand. This pain may radiate up the arm and become more pronounced at night.
- Burning Sensation: Some people report a burning sensation in the affected hand and fingers.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Understanding the causes of CTS is essential for effective management and prevention. Several factors can contribute to the development of this condition:
- Repetitive Movements: Repeated and forceful movements of the wrist and hand can put excessive pressure on the median nerve, leading to CTS. This is common in jobs that involve typing, assembly line work, or using vibrating tools.
- Anatomy: Some individuals may have a narrower carpal tunnel, making them more susceptible to compression of the median nerve.
- Medical Conditions: Conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism can increase the risk of developing CTS.
The Importance of Splinting
Splinting plays a crucial role in the management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Wrist splints help keep the wrist in a neutral position, reducing the pressure on the median nerve during activities. Wearing a splint at night can be particularly beneficial, as many people experience symptoms while sleeping.
Exercises to Relieve Carpal Tunnel Symptoms
In addition to splinting, specific exercises can help alleviate the discomfort associated with CTS. Here are some exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine:
Wrist Extension and Flexion with a Fist: Make a fist with your hand and then gently flex and extend your wrist. Hold for 30 seconds in each position. Complete three sets.
This exercise helps improve flexibility and circulation.
Ulnar and Radial Deviation: Hold your hand in a neutral position and then tilt it towards your pinky finger (ulnar deviation) and towards your thumb (radial deviation). Hold each position for 30 seconds and repeat three times in each direction.
Prayer Stretch: Place your palms together in a prayer position, with your fingers pointing upward. Slowly lower your hands toward your waist, keeping your palms pressed together. Hold for 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Complete a set of three.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can significantly impact daily life, but with proper understanding and management, you can find relief.
By implementing these strategies, you can take proactive steps towards a more comfortable and pain-free life.
Want help relieving your Carpal Tunnel symptoms?
Don’t struggle with daily or favorite activities because of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you’d like a personalized strategy to find relief, our team of Occupational Therapists is here to help.
Treatment is covered by insurance, no referral is required to start, and with flexible in-clinic and virtual appointments available, you can find a time that works with your schedule.
Call 716-458-1990 or use this button to schedule online: