Carpal Tunnel

What is it?

The carpal tunnel is a tunnel between the wrist bones and the flexor retinaculum (a band of connective tissue). Through this tunnel passes the majority of the tendons of the hand, vessels and the median nerve.

When any of the structures in this tunnel become inflamed or the tunnel is reduced in size, the median nerve can be compressed. When a nerve is compressed the feeling of the skin and the strength muscles it supplies is reduced.

What do I look for?

  • Pain, sometimes a burning sensation and often tenderness in the wrist and palm regions. Pain may radiate into the forearm elbow and shoulder region.
  • Loss of sensation and/or pins and needles in the ring, middle, index fingers and thumb.
  • Loss of sensation in the hand over the night.
  • Pain with writing, lifting and other repetitive activities.

What causes it?

  • Muscle imbalances around the wrist joint
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Overuse of the wrist muscles
  • Pregnancy

When do I see the physio?

  • Physiotherapists can assess your condition, use a variety of treatment techniques, correct muscle imbalances and provide you with an appropriate exercise program. Feel free to ask any of our friendly physios about your problem.

Do I see my doctor?

  • If symptoms persist, your doctor may be able to assist with issues such as anti inflammatory medications. Your LifeCare Practitioner will also advise you when you need to see a doctor.

For more information, click here to find your closest LifeCare clinic

For more information talk to a specialist at a Lifecare clinic near you.

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