Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common nerve entrapment disorder in the United States. The area in your wrist where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel. It is normally narrow, so any inflammation can pinch the nerve and cause the symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is pressure on the nerve in the wrist (median nerve) that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand, specifically the thumb area. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling, weakness or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
Carpal tunnel syndrome has a variety of causes, from congenital differences (some people’s carpal tunnel is simply narrower than others), to work or activity-related (repetitive use, such as computer work), retaining fluid during pregnancy or the presence of a cyst or a tumor.
Physical Therapy for Carpal Tunnel
Following various testing to determine the accurate diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, a physical therapist may prescribe any number of treatments, including rest, strengthening, flexibility and mobility exercises, and use of modalities. In the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, at Arrow Physical Therapy patients receive vital behavior modification education, including work and recreational tips as well as sleeping postures.
Modalities: Cold laser and/or infrared light therapy, ultrasound, electric stimulation, icing, possibly a wrist brace.