Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that physical therapists see quite often.
Though it is normally thought of as a wrist condition, CTS can actually affect your entire arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on your median nerve. Although repetitive hand motions can result in CTS, they are not the only cause. Other diseases can also lead to its development. Regardless of its cause, surgery is often recommended as a treatment for CTS. Fortunately, surgery is not always necessary. Physical therapy alone can help most patients with CTS manage their symptoms effectively, relieving pain and restoring the normal use of the arm.
Once Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has been diagnosed, if your doctor recommends physical therapy, your therapist will begin with some education and exercise. The education will mostly revolve around how to take care of your wrists going forward, as well as instruction on any exercises your therapist recommends you engage in at home. He or she will also lead you through some exercises right there in the office intended to increase your muscle strength. As always, heat and ice packs are often used during this process in order to make it more comfortable for you. Your therapist may even visit your work site in order to assess it and recommend adjustments to your daily routine.
If surgery is recommended, you will probably still need physical therapy as well. In fact, assistance in post-operative recovery is one of the physical therapist’s most important roles. A lot of the techniques we’ve already described will also be utilized in this type of case. In addition, there will be some scar management, which will help to make sure that your skin remains supple and flexible. When you’re first beginning to recuperate from your surgery, it may feel like you may never be able to use your hand and fingers normally again. Rest assured, you will, and your physical therapist will be right beside you every step of the way.
As I mentioned before, patient education is one of the benefits of physical therapy. When it comes to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a lot of that education will pertain to ways to prevent this disease from becoming a problem again in the future. Reducing the use of force, taking frequent breaks, and maintaining a neutral wrist position are all important preventative measures. Though physical therapists are wonderful people, you probably don’t want to see them any more than you have to.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact a local physical therapist.