Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition associated with the compression of the median nerve as it runs through the wrist.

These nerves run through a passage that’s referred to as the ‘carpal tunnel’. There are many tendons that also run through this tunnel and if the sheaths around these tendons become inflamed it causes swelling.

This swelling equates to the space in this tunnel being reduced, which can compress the symptoms.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are usually felt in the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger and they include:

  • Numbness

  • Pins and needles

  • Pain, particularly at night

  • Shooting pains from the wrist

  • Radiated or referred pain into the arm and shoulder

  • Weakness of the hand

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a combination of factors:
Overuse injury – the tendons in the carpal tunnel can become irritated and inflamed by awkward postures or repetitive hand movements. People who use their hands repetitively in their day-to-day activities, such as spending large periods of time typing or doing assembly line work, are more at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Arthritis – various types of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, can cause inflammation and swelling.

Pregnancy – the hormones associated with pregnancy cause general fluid retention, which can compress the nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome triggered by pregnancy usually resolves soon after birth.

Wrist fractures – bone fragments can irritate the tendon sheath or reduce the amount of space in the carpal tunnel.

Neck Tightness – tight neck muscles and poor head posture can also compromise the nerves of the neck to create problems throughout the path of the nerves.

Treatment options
Severe cases of carpal tunnel may be treated with cortisone injections or even surgery, but it is highly recommended that less invasive treatment options be explored before these measures are considered.

You may wish to discuss with James how they can help you but treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome may include:

Preventative strategies and ongoing management:

  • Rest from any positions or movements that make the symptoms worse

  • Wearing a wrist splint, especially at night to

  • Soft tissue treatment to ensure your forearm muscles are not working under strain and enabling inflammation in their tendons to be reduced.

  • Do strengthening exercises – your Myotherapist can prescribe the correct exercises for you.

  • Regularly stretch forearm muscles before beginning any potentially stressful activity. We can prescribe the correct exercises for you.

  • Application of ice after completing tasks that work the forearm muscles.