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Carpal tunnel physical therapy: 4 PT techniques your program may include



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Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve in the carpal tunnel passageway in the upper wrist and lower hand becomes compressed. Compression of the median nerve can result from muscle tension, repetitive strain, hormonal changes or genetic predisposition. Researchers estimate that nearly 10 million people in the U.S. have carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition can limit the use of your hand in severe cases and may cause chronic hand and wrist pain when left untreated. Find out why you should consider physical therapy to improve your carpal tunnel syndrome and what techniques physical therapists can use to help you.

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Here are some indicators of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Weakness in the hands — One of the top symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome is weakness in the affected hand. Someone with this condition may have difficulty using their hand to pick up objects and grip them tightly. This can make activities like typing, writing, and tying shoes feel challenging.
  • Pain or numbness in the hands — Another symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is pain and numbness that occurs in the thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. Some people experience burning sensations and even tingling in their fingers. The severity of these sensations may vary from person to person but can cause significant discomfort nonetheless.
  • Pain or numbness that gets worse at night — These sensations, like burning and tingling, can intensify at night for many people with carpal tunnel syndrome. The pain and numbness can make sleeping through the night difficult.
  • Swelling in the fingers — Another symptom that many people with carpal tunnel syndrome notice is swelling in their fingers and hands. This swelling can cause visible changes and can also limit movement and functionality of the hands.

While some symptoms may be more bothersome than others, if you notice any symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s a good idea to consider starting physical therapy. It’s possible for this condition to heal on its own, but it usually takes several months and may recur.

What PT techniques can be used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome?

Several physical therapy techniques can be used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome at its root. Some of these techniques include:

  • Manual therapy — One key technique that physical therapists may use to treat carpal tunnel syndrome is manual therapy, meaning manual manipulation of the tissue and muscles in the hand. Manual therapy can break up the tension in the muscles and potentially relieve some of the pressure being placed on the median nerve. It’s also helpful for encouraging blood flow to the hands to reduce pain and swelling.
  • IASTM — Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization is another technique that provides many of the same benefits to carpal tunnel syndrome that manual therapy can. IASTM uses specialized tools to not only target any areas of muscle tension pressing against a nerve but also to promote blood flow to the hands.
  • Dry needlingDry needling is a technique that many physical therapists prefer because it can treat inflammation and pressure on nerves in pinpointed areas of the body. Thin, hollow needles are inserted into the muscles around the median nerve to release some of the pressure on that nerve. They also help blood flow around the area and can promote faster healing.
  • Stretching and exercise — Stretches and exercises have the potential to build muscle strength in the hands and relieve stress being placed on the hand muscles. One example of a physical therapy stretch that can help carpal tunnel syndrome is called the prayer stretch. This stretch specifically targets the muscles in the hand and helps reduce tension in them.


Our REPAIR SI physical therapists can treat your carpal tunnel syndrome

At REPAIR SI, our range of services includes physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture and fitness training. When you come to us for carpal tunnel treatment, you can achieve your best physical, mental and spiritual life. We value whole-body treatment. This means your treatment will branch out to more than one area of your life. Each of our patients matters to us. For this reason, we’ve partnered with our community to provide you with the treatment and resources you need to improve your carpal tunnel syndrome.

Our team members are committed to serving our community in a professional manner. We strive to ensure that every patient we treat is happy with their care. Are you experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome? Do you need treatment from a qualified physical therapist? You can look to us for high-quality care.

If carpal tunnel syndrome is causing you significant discomfort, consider REPAIR SI. Let us be the physical therapist to provide you with the treatment you deserve.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.