Do your hands and wrists often hurt after a long day at work or after playing with the kids? If so, you may be experiencing signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. Common symptoms include pain, stiffness, tingling, and numbness that extends from the fingertips all the way to the elbow.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive movements of the hand, wrist, and forearm are the most common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. Typing, lifting, twisting, and grasping can cause excessive wear and tear on the joints and connective tissues that control the movements of the fingers, hand, and wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is named for the narrow tunnel that travels through the wrist connecting the hand and the forearm. The cubital tunnel in the elbow is similar in both form and function. Both tunnels are the pathways through which the nerves and blood vessels travel.

During CTS, inflammation can put pressure on the tunnel, causing it to narrow considerably. This can cause a dramatic decrease in both blood flow and the transmission of signals along the nerves. Women who work in offices or factories and are between the ages of 34 and 60 are most likely to develop the condition. Early diagnosis and the introduction of physical therapy will help to reduce the inflammation as well as the severity of the symptoms. If treatment starts early enough, you may be able to avoid having surgery. Exercises that build strength and encourage flexibility and stability in the wrist joint are extremely beneficial. Your physical therapist will also provide exercises that are designed to stretch the carpal ligaments and tendons. The therapist can also teach you ways to perform certain activities that will reduce the amount of pressure placed on your hands and wrists.

Other Conditions That Affect the Hand, Wrist, and Elbow

CTS is not the only condition that affects the hand, wrist, and elbow. We treat a variety of injuries and disabilities that affect the hand and arm, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Wrist sprains, elbow sprains, and hand sprains
  • Fractures
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfers elbow

No matter what type of injury or chronic condition you are dealing with, physical therapy can provide relief in the form of reduced inflammation and pain. You will be able to regain both flexibility and range of motion as well.

What are Effective Treatment Options?

In order for our physical therapists to provide you with the best possible treatment, the first thing they need to do is determine what is causing your pain. In most situations, the primary physician who is handling your case will have already uncovered this. There are instances, however, when your pain isn’t the result of an injury but a result of an illness or possible stress-related event. During the therapist’s evaluation, they will assess your level of strength in the area and what exercises will be needed during therapy.

Once the cause of the pain has been determined, the next step is to effectively manage your pain. Massage therapy and various other therapeutic exercises will be used to increase your flexibility and range of motion. The last step is to include exercises that increase your strength and work to restore proper function to the affected area.

If you are ready to get back on track and begin the recovery process, call our office today and schedule an appointment with one of our therapists. They will be able to provide you with the relief you need and the long-lasting results that will allow you to work and play without pain.

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