Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | What is it?
The carpal tunnel is a small pathway made of bones, tendons, and ligaments, creating a channel for the median nerve to travel through the wrist into the hand. Because of the limited space and structures surrounding it, the median nerve can be compromised, compressed, or irritated, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome, givings the feeling of numbness and tingling in the thumb, index and part of the middle finger. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common peripheral compressive neuropathy in the body.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Symptoms
Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent pain, tingling, or numbness in the palm of the hand and first three fingers, the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Some of those that suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome mention their fingers feel weak or swollen, even though little or no swelling is visibly apparent.
The symptoms can first appear in one or both hands during the night, if someone is known to sleep with their wrists curled up. They also may wake up with the need to “shake out” the hands. These symptoms may also be experienced with those who work at a desk, typing on a keyboard for hours in a day.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Therapy
With carpal tunnel syndrome, we assess the entire kinetic chain of the upper extremity to find the root cause of the numbness and tingling in the hand. This is most likely due to adhesions in and around the pathway of the nerve, which originate at the neck. The median nerve courses from the neck, through the shoulder, elbow, forearm, and wrist. We examine all possible structures that may be causing the issue and work to remove any adhesions in the muscles or fascia around path of the nerve. If you’d like to learn more, visit our page on Active Release Techniques, our go to muscle therapy for symptoms like carpal tunnel syndrome.