Do you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
As defined by the Western Australian Department of Health, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disorder of the hand caused by pressure on the median nerve as it runs through the wrist. The Department reports that last year in Australia 195,000 cases were diagnosed.
The syndrome may occur due to:
- Overuse and repetitive hand movements
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Pins and needles, especially in the thumb, index, and middle fingers
- Radiating or referred pain into the forearm or upper arm
- Weakness of the hand
- A decrease in grip strength
- Pain and problems with thumb movements
- Clumsiness and loss of hand coordination
There are several components to diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, it is important to note that an early diagnosis and treatment are important to try and avoid permanent damage to the median nerve. Assessment can involve a physical exam, blood tests, specific wrist tests, a nerve conduction test, and diagnostic imaging.
The management of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involves more than just considering what is happening at the wrist. The ‘big picture’ needs to be considered, namely what repetitive movements are happening, particularly at work; what exercises are carried out in the gym; if there are any repeated vibratory forces travelling through the wrists; the history of any trauma in the area; is there any recent fluid retention; and any recent diagnosis of diabetes or metabolic conditions that directly make the nerves more susceptible to compression.
To confirm the diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, to consider the ‘big picture’, and to receive evidence-based treatment, visit Next Generation Physiotherapy, located in Greenwood and Woodvale. To make an appointment, visit www.ngp.net.au or call 9203 7771.