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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Repetitive use of the wrist and hand can lead to a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome which can cause pain, weakness, numbness and a tingling sensation in the fingers. This is a common condition associated with activities that subject the wrist and fingers to excessive or repetitive forces, vibrations, and abnormal posture. It can affect people who work in assembly lines, use hand tools, drive heavy machinery, play racquet sports, the violin or other stringed instruments.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in the wrist through which the median nerve and tendons pass from the forearm to the hand. The tunnel is as wide as your thumb and lies close to the surface of the palm. Inflammation and crowding of the structures within the carpal tunnel narrow the passage and compress on the median nerve. This leads to symptoms that may vary in severity and initially are more pronounced at night. Gradually your grip strength is weakened causing you to drop objects and have difficulty with routine activities.

Conditions that increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome include a previous wrist injury, tendon inflammation, arthritis, diabetes, fluid retention, hormonal changes and certain medications.

Although surgery may be necessary for severe carpal tunnel syndrome, many cases can effectively be managed by physiotherapy and other non-surgical modalities.

Non-Operative Treatment

Non-surgical treatment for various orthopaedic conditions including carpal tunnel syndrome. Analgesics, anti-inflammatory medication and night splint may be useful. Modifications of activities may also be useful.