Wrist

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Definition: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression or pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. This is the nerve that supplies the thumb side of the hand with feeling and movement.

Causes: Probably the most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is typing on a keyboard. Other causes include: use of tools, painting, sewing, sports such as racquetball or handball.

Signs and Symptoms: Numbness or tingling in the palm of the hand. Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers. There may be pain to the elbow, and poor finger coordination. There is commonly a weak grip and trouble carrying bags. In severe cases there may be wasting of the muscle on the underside of the thumb.

Treatment: Wearing a splint at night for the first few weeks may be helpful. Hydrotherapy (hot/cold treatments) is helpful for increasing circulation, as well as modifying the workplace to reduce the stress on your wrist. An occupational therapist could assess the workstation and make effective recommendations. Physiotherapy treatments such as ultrasound, nerve gliding exercises and carpal bone mobilizations are indicated, as well as massage therapy for the forearm muscles. For more information, or to book an appointment call 604-524-4446.

Sources:

1). Wikipedia.org.

2). PubMed Health.