What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition most often characterised by unpleasant tingling, numbness, and/or weakness in the thumb and first two fingers of the affected hand. It occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed by something else (a ligament or tendon, for example), which can send pain signals to the other nerves in the hand. The condition most commonly affects people between the ages of 30 and 60, and is three times more prevalent in women than it is in men.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be incredibly frustrating in everyday life, making simple tasks like writing, sitting at a computer, or lifting utensils and beverages painful or difficult. The pain tends to get worse at night, so many with the condition find themselves unable to sleep properly when their pain is not managed. Thankfully, in spite of how common the condition is, it’s highly treatable. We at Hand in Hand (Central Victorian Hand Therapy) are here to help you regain regular, pain-free function of your wrists, hands, and fingers.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pressure on the median nerve can be caused by any number of things:
- Repetitive motions like constant writing, typing, or cutting day after day
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Fluid retention
- Extended exposure to vibrations from hand tools or other such items
With such a wide range of activities and conditions that can cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it’s important to keep an eye out for the symptoms so you can find treatment as soon as possible. With so many options available, there’s no need for you to suffer longer than necessary.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are often very similar to those of hand arthritis, and the treatments can be similar as well. If you’re experiencing any or all of these symptoms and feel that your quality of life is suffering because of them, contact us to discuss what we may be able to do to bring you relief. The symptoms are:
- Numbness in the hand, wrist, thumb, and first two fingers. Burning sensations in the same areas.
- Shooting pain in affected areas, especially at night.
- Pins and needles sensations.
- Weakness of those fingers and the wrist.
- No effect on the pinky and ring finger.
Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There is a wide variety of treatments available for this condition that range from simple rest to surgery.
- Resting the affected wrist and ceasing repetitive motions.
- Splinting the wrist.
- Cortisone injections and other anti-inflammatory treatments.
- Hand therapy to improve movement and alignment of ligaments, tendons, and nerves.
I Have An Upper Limb Sports Injury - What Should I Do?
If you have a sports related injury that is affecting your ability to continue to play sport or is hindering your ability to play sports at the level you wish to be able to, do not hesitate to contact Central Victorian Hand Therapy.
Please note, patients who want to refer themselves are welcome to do so. You only need a referral if you are funded under Workcover, TAC, The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), or you are on a Management Plan such as the Enhanced Primary Care Plan from your doctor.