General | September 29, 2023
Finding Relief: How Physiotherapy Can Help Ease Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can be an unwelcome companion for those who spend their days typing, writing, or engaged in repetitive hand movements. The tingling, numbness, and pain it brings can disrupt your daily life.
Physiotherapy is a proven method to alleviate CTS symptoms and improve your overall hand and wrist health. Let’s take a look at how it works and how it can help:
- Strengthening Exercises: Physiotherapists are experienced in designing targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the wrist and hand. These exercises help stabilize the wrist joint and reduce the pressure on the median nerve, which is the main culprit behind CTS symptoms. By building strength, you can regain control and minimize discomfort.
- Stretching/Nerve Gliding Techniques: Gentle stretching and nerve gliding are key aspects of physiotherapy for CTS. Stretching and nerve gliding exercises can help alleviate the compression of the median nerve, providing relief from the numbness and tingling sensations. These techniques, when performed correctly, can greatly improve your range of motion and flexibility in the wrist and hand.
- Ergonomic Assessment: Your physiotherapist will assess your workspace and daily activities to identify ergonomic issues that may be contributing to CTS. They can recommend adjustments to your work setup, such as keyboard and mouse placement or chair height, to reduce strain on your wrist and promote a healthier posture. Proper pacing of tasks and taking occasional breaks is another concept that is encouraged to better manage through your symptoms.
- Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques like soft tissue massage and joint mobilization can be invaluable in reducing pain and inflammation associated with CTS. Your physiotherapist will use their expertise to alleviate tension and enhance blood flow in the affected area.
A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2019) found that physiotherapy interventions, including strengthening and stretching exercises, significantly improved CTS symptoms. Additionally, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) highlights physiotherapy as a non-surgical option for managing CTS.
So, if you’ve been grappling with the discomfort of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, remember that physiotherapy can be a tool to help manage your symptoms. It offers a holistic approach to easing pain and discomfort, enhancing wrist and hand function, and improving your quality of life. Book in for a consultation to get started with a tailored program for your recovery.
- Pichonnaz, C., Léger, B., & Vuistiner, P. (2019). Effectiveness of Physical Therapy for Patients With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Systematic Review. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 49(9), 543-553.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). (2021). Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Retrieved from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/