Physical Therapy For Hand/Wrist Pain Glendale AZ
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common pathology we see in the United States, this is due to a ligamentous band (flexor retinaculum) that runs across the palmar aspect of the wrist. This creates a ‘tunnel’ with your wrist bones making the bottom of the tunnel and the ligament the roof. Within this tunnel we have our 9 finger flexor tendons as well as one nerve, the nerve is the median nerve that comes from your C5-C8 cervical spine levels. When we over use our finger flexors this causes them to swell and become inflamed, since the tunnel creates a confined space the tendons then begin to compress on the median nerve through the carpal tunnel. This causes the hand to go numb and eventually cause pain and weakness. The numbness is in a hallmark carpal tunnel syndrome pattern that covers the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger.
Who is at risk
Patients that have inflammatory pathologies such as Diabetes Mellitus are at particular risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. This combined with working long hours typing on a computer or using our hands excessively to lift and grip puts you at risk for carpal tunnel.
How Pt can help
Typically Carpal Tunnel can be treated conservatively with great success, however, in severe cases it is treated with a surgical procedure where they release the ligamentous flexor retinaculum, providing pressure relief off of the median nerve. PT treatment will include flexor tendon stretching and mobilizations, median nerve glides and potentially restrictions on the nerve up further in the arm.