Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), also known as Median Nerve Compression is a painful disorder of the hand caused by increased pressure on the median nerve as it runs through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Anything that causes swelling inside the wrist can cause CTS symptoms. This can occur when the median nerve, blood vessels and tendons enlarge such as during pregnancy, after a wrist injury, partial subluxation of the carpal bones, fracture or tenosynovitis.
Signs and symptoms
Primary causes are those of a repetitious nature such as typing, pruning and using a screwdriver etc. Symptoms are normally localized to the palmar aspect of the first to the fourth fingers and the distal palm.
CTS affects as many as one in three pregnant women and symptoms are greater at night and usually first thing in the morning. Symptoms include;
- Burning sensations in the fingers.
- Clumsiness with fine movements such as doing up buttons.
- Difficult to shampoo hair/brush teeth.
- Frequently dropping objects.
- Morning stiffness or cramping of hands.
- Numbness in hand while driving.
- Sharp pains that shoot from the wrist up the arm.
- Thumb weakness.
- Tingling or numbness in part of the thumb, index, middle or ring fingers.
- Unable to open jars.
- Waking at night with hand pain and/or numbness.
The median nerve commences at the cervical vertebrae and travels along the arm. Compression anywhere along the path may replicate carpal tunnel symptoms. Your Myotherapist will assess and confirm the site of your nerve compression. Many patients over the years have had carpal tunnel surgery performed without benefit because the carpal tunnel symptoms originated from nerve compression elsewhere.
Rest and modification of lifestyle are key factors together with Myotherapy treatment. Your therapist will discuss your physical activity and work, and conduct range of movement assessments to establish the cause and most suitable treatment for your condition. They will then use a variety of techniques such as Myofascial Release, Cupping, Dry Needling, TENS and Trigger Point Therapy. Following treatment, your Myotherapist will establish ongoing options with you. If an underlying pathology is suspected, your Myotherapist may refer you to an Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Sports Doctor for further assessment.
Mild to moderate sufferers of CTS have a favourable prognosis with improvements within the first month of treatment. For further information and to find out how Spectrum Health and Wellbeing can tailor treatment to assist with your condition, contact the clinic today.
Spectrum Health and Wellbeing is unique in that it incorporates knowledge and skills derived from Myotherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Oriental/Sports and Relaxation Massage, Psychotherapy, Strength and Condition, Fitness, Exercise Prescription, Martial arts and Asian philosophy together with Western medicine to maximise the effectiveness of your treatment.
Myotherapy incorporates techniques from other disciplines such as Osteopathy and is similar to Physiotherapy in many ways, focusing on the assessment of the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, fascia etc.) to eliminate dysfunction and aid recovery. Techniques from Asian therapies and other manual therapies (e.g. Dry Needling, Cupping, Manual Lymphatic Drainage etc.) are included, as well as utilising exercise prescription, stretching and electro-therapy to maximise results.