Are you experiencing tingling and pain in your arms, wrists and hands due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Total Motion Physical Therapy can diagnose and rehabilitate problems related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so that you can get back to enjoying a pain-free life.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a painful, yet highly treatable condition. There are a wide range of people who are at risk for developing CTS including those who work in assembly lines and in industrial settings, those that spend a lot of time typing on a computer and others who are active in sports that require repetitive motion, such as running.
CTS develops as the result of pressure that gradually builds up on the median nerve near the palm of the hand and the tendons in your fingers. Over time, this continued pressure leads to a great deal of pain and weakness in the affected fingers, hands and arms.
Certain health conditions can lead to the development of CTS, including:
- Wrist strains, sprains, dislocations or fractures.
- Metabolic or hormonal changes, typically found in those who are pregnant, entering menopause and those who suffer from a thyroid imbalance.
- Excessive fluid retention.
- Rheumatoid and degenerative arthritis.
- Swelling and inflammation in wrist tendons.
- The overuse of some medications (including steroids).
What are the Signs of CTS?
Most patients diagnosed with CTS report similar symptoms, including the gradual onset and worsening feelings of burning, pins and needles, and tingling sensations in the fingers and hands. CTS can make even the simplest activities challenging and you may find that your muscles are easily fatigued after doing basic things like brushing your hair or performing household chores.
The Physical Therapist CTS Examination
When you visit a physical therapist for CTS treatment, we’ll take a look at your lifestyle, activities and basic health profile in order to properly evaluate all of the circumstances that could be contributing to your condition. By taking a look at the entire picture, we can best evaluate your condition and determine if CFS is the culprit.
What Your Physical Therapist Will Test for
We will conduct a variety of tests to determine if you have CTS, including:
- A thorough examination of the upper body, including the neck and head to rule out any other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
- Range of motion and grip strength tests.
- The Phalen Test (a simple test for wrist strength).
- X-rays (typically only in cases of where trauma to the area has occurred).
- Tinel’s Sign Test: When the median nerve in the wrist is gently tapped in a certain spot with a finger or small rubber hammer, it typically produces a tingling sensation in those with CTS.
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Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Through Physical Therapy
We can help to not only properly diagnose CTS, but also with identifying lifestyle changes that can improve your symptoms. The following training and treatments are often used to help relieve the pain:
- Ergonomic training & tips on setting up your computer and improving your workstation.
- Light strength building and stretching exercises to help rebuild sore, weak muscles.
- Hot and cold treatments with heating pads, ice packs and specialized machines that can help alleviate painful symptoms.
- Manual therapy, including massage therapy, to help reduce inflammation in the joints.
CTS is a serious and painful condition, but it can be controlled if it’s caught early. If you’ve been experiencing pain in your hands and fingers that doesn’t seem to be improving, let Total Motion Physical Therapy help restore the strength and flexibility you once had. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation.