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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a prevalent condition affecting the hand and wrist, leading to pain, numbness, and tingling in the affected area. To understand CTS, it's essential to grasp the anatomy of the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of the wrist. This tunnel is enclosed by bones on three sides and a thick band of connective tissue, known as the transverse carpal ligament, on the other. Inside this tunnel lie the median nerve and several tendons that control finger movement. The median nerve provides sensation to the thumb, index, middle, and part of the ring finger and controls some small muscles in the hand.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome Anatomy.jpg

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome arises from compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel. Various factors can contribute to this condition:

  • Repetitive hand movements, especially with prolonged wrist flexion or extension

  • Anatomic variations that narrow the carpal tunnel

  • Swelling and inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions

  • Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause

  • Thyroid disorders, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders

These factors increase the pressure within the tunnel, compressing the median nerve and leading to the symptoms of CTS.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often include:

  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in the thumb, index, middle, and part of the ring finger

  • Night-time symptoms that can awaken the patient

  • Weakness in the hand or difficulty holding objects

  • A tendency to drop objects due to diminished hand function

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome aims to relieve pressure on the median nerve and alleviate symptoms. Initial approaches include:

  • Wrist splinting, especially at night, to keep the wrist in a neutral position

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation

  • Corticosteroid injections to decrease inflammation and swelling within the carpal tunnel

  • Activity modification to avoid motions that exacerbate symptoms

  • Ergonomic adjustments to work and living spaces to reduce strain on the wrist

Physical therapy may also play a crucial role, focusing on exercises that stretch and strengthen the wrist and hand muscles, along with techniques to improve posture and wrist alignment. In cases where conservative treatments do not provide sufficient relief, surgical intervention may be considered to cut the transverse carpal ligament and relieve pressure on the median nerve. As with disc herniation management, an individualized treatment plan is critical for effectively addressing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Toronto's Revita Therapy provides a comprehensive treatment program tailored to the individual's specific needs and lifestyle for effectively managing Scoliosis and promoting long-term symptom relief.

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