Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is probably the best known of the repetitive motion and nerve entrapment disorders. It is an ailment caused by the thickening of the transverse carpal ligament covering the tendons within the carpal tunnel, a narrow tunnel running through the wrist. The carpal tunnel also contains the median nerve, which transmits both sensory and motor signals to the hand. When the ligament or tendons thicken, the tunnel becomes more narrow, putting pressure on the median nerve resulting in numbness or tingling in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers (usually not the small finger), and more severe cases can result in weakness making it hard to do things like button your shirt, pick up change, etc. Some people seem to be genetically inclined to CTS, but others at risk include people who have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that involves pressure or stretching of the ulnar nerve (also known as the “funny bone” nerve), which can cause numbness or tingling in the ring and small fingers, pain in the forearm, and/or weakness in the hand.
Certified Hand Therapy Treatment Plan: After careful evaluation by the physical therapist, the first step in treating this condition is to reduce pain and inflammation. Treatments may include ice, ultrasound, supportive splint fabrication, education on certain wrist exercises to make you less susceptible to injury, and posture and ergonomic assessment specific to your daily needs.
After your initial prescription for therapy is completed, your physician and therapist will decide if you need to continue therapy or if you will be discharged to a home exercise program.
This information is provided as a learning resource for the benefit of our patients. It is NOT INTENDED to replace personal consultation with your medical professionals.