What is Carpal Tunnel?

The Carpal Tunnel is a narrow area formed between the bones and ligaments of the wrist through which the median nerve and tendons of the wrist muscles pass. Constant use or over-use of tendons may cause thickening or swelling. This narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed, resulting in the symptoms described below.


Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

Symptoms for Carpal Tunnel vary from person to person, but may include:

  • pain in the hand and fingers
  • grip weakness
  • numbness in the hand and wrist
  • pain which may radiate up the arm
  • burning, tingling, itching or numbness in the palm or fingers


More about Carpal Tunnel

Symptoms often first appear during the night; the dominant hand is usually the first and the one most affected by pain.

This condition is only seen in adults and occurs 3 times more frequently in women than men, possibly due to the fact that the carpal tunnel is smaller in women.

Carpal Tunnel also occurs more frequently with conditions such as:

  • diabetes
  • some metabolic disorders
  • pregnancy


Carpal Tunnel in Pregnancy

Once Carpal Tunnel symptoms become severe during pregnancy, splints are required for the remainder of the pregnancy. Carpal Tunnel may become worse with subsequent pregnancies.


How Gordon Physiotherapy Sports and Spinal can help Carpal Tunnel

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel should begin as early as possible. Your doctor will first treat underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis.

Your physiotherapy will begin with:

  • resting the hand and wrist for at least 2 weeks in a splint
  • avoiding or modifying activities that worsen symptoms
  • ultrasound to help settle inflammation
  • TENS for pain relief

Only once the pain and tingling have settled should any strengthening or stretching exercises begin. Any exercises should be strictly supervised by a physiotherapist.


Products Stocked by Gordon Physiotherapy Sports and Spinal for Carpal Tunnel

  • Wrist splints
  • Ice packs
  • TENS machines