There are a number of ways that you can get carpal tunnel syndrome. Certain sports or occupations have a higher risk of developing carpal tunnel. One frequent culprit that causes carpal tunnel syndrome is prolonged computer use with poor ergonomic principles. Depending on the angle of your wrist, typing on a computer can be damaging. Carpal tunnel usually develops over weeks, months, or years of repetitive motion. Because this is a condition that takes so much time to develop, it makes sense that it would take time to overcome it in a non-invasive way.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Many people quickly turn to surgery and consult with an orthopedic surgeon first but surgery never corrects the underlying problem which is how we use our hands and wrists throughout the day. Most people who have surgery will always have the symptoms always come back because they don’t know how to manage the repetitive stresses that their hands/wrists endure on a daily basis.
When consulting with a doctor of physical therapy first practical solutions can be implemented to reduce further damage and avoiding surgery. Treatment will include the use of hands-on muscle work, tendon work, dry needling, laser therapy, massage, stretching, and heat. By providing these interventions in a one on one treatment environment, range of motion will improve decreasing stress on the carpal tunnel and therefore reducing symptoms. The best part is you’ll get to learn how to treat this yourself independently successfully avoiding surgery!
Carpal Tunnel Prevention
Carpal tunnel syndrome arises due to repeated movements. We can override the progression of carpal tunnel syndrome by interrupting those repetitive movements. Taking frequent rest breaks when working at a desk or on a computer will help to give the muscles and tissues time to relax. Proper ergonomic techniques will allow you to have a living or workspace that is custom fit to your body.
Your physical therapist may have other specific recommendations for your treatment, such as a splint to keep your wrist properly aligned during daily activities. Physical therapy utilizes evidence-based practices, meaning that the methods recommended will be tried and true. Take control and avoid carpal tunnel surgery by having physical therapy first!
Dr. Adam M Cramer, PT, DPT is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy and the founder of MyoFit Clinic in Ashtabula, Chardon & Middlefield, Ohio. www.myofitclinic.com