Carpal tunnel syndrome is a pain-inflicting nerve disorder that has innumerable causes. Many common carpal tunnel treatment options including surgery, anti inflammatory medication, and immobilization fail to correct the root causes of carpal tunnel symptoms where they occur. Orthopedic solutions are an alternative that target the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome and treat it.
Many do not realize it, but carpal tunnel syndrome is one of those diagnoses that orthopedists have tremendous success in treating, despite never receiving referrals from doctors to handle. This is because medical doctors resolve to treat carpal tunnel syndrome by requiring patients to wear night splints on their wrists for six weeks while taking anti-inflammatories. If that does not solve the problem (which is rarely does, and you’ll soon learn why), then surgery is considered.
But why? Why have surgery or take medications to mask or minimize pain or immobilize wounds when specialists like those of us at Orthopedic and Sports PT are figuring out the cause of the problem and treating it?
Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpel tunnel of the wrist. Common symptoms include pain and weakness when gripping in addition to tingling and numbness in certain fingers of the hand. Symptoms are generally worse during the evening and can ultimately interfere with use of the affected arm.
Carpal tunnel can have many causes.
- Generally, median nerve compression is an overuse injury caused by excessive, repeated gripping or movements requiring specific, fine movements of the fingers (such as those required to operated a keyboard, a cell phone keypad, or a video game controller).
- Overuse of the finger tendons as they pass through the carpal tunnel causes swelling and subsequent compression to the median nerve.
- The underlying cause to the wear and tear on the carpal tunnel is most often due to brachial plexus restrictions as it passes through numerous tunnels between the next and the finger tips.
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that pass through and control the arm. The median nerve is one of the nerves in the brachial plexus bundle.
Diagnosing & Treating Carpal Tunnel
As nerves exit the neck, they can become restricted in the foramen of the cervical vertebrae; from there, they get compressed as the pass through the scalenes under the pectoralis minor as it passes through the pronator teres and finally through the carpal tunnel. The nerve can get compressed at any one of these given areas.
Once the nerve is compressed, blood flow becomes restricted,, which leads to numbness and tingling. So, if you are given night splints for your wrist, but if the compression is occurring anywhere else throughout the arm, then the intervention will not be successful.
Additionally, if the problem is loss of blood flow to the nerve bed, then it makes sense to improve blood flow to the nerve in order to resolve the symptoms. Immobilization of the wrist does nothing to relieve nerve compression nor does it do anything to improve blood flow to the nerve bed.
At Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC, our physical therapists are trained to treat carpal tunnel by:
- Looking at the areas where the nerve may become compressed
- Mobilizing the peripheral nervous system, which reduces nerve compression and helps improve blood flow
- Finding a course of action that does not rely on surgery, anti-inflammatories, splints or other invasive or immobilizing treatment regimens that generally result in carpal tunnel relapse.
Orthopedics presents an intelligent, viable option to treating the pain and malfunctioning associated with carpal tunnel. Before you defer to surgery or medication for help with your carpal tunnel pain, consider the alternatives to get you out of pain for good.
With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center has expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and treating the real issues that cause medical problems. Let Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC help you find a reliable, nonsurgical solution to your carpal tunnel syndrome and other ailments.