Treating Carpal Tunnel with Physical Therapy

Carpal Tunnel treatment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, commonly referred to as carpal tunnel, refers to pressure on the nerves and tendons in the middle of the inner side of your wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome may develop when the median nerve in the carpal tunnel grows irritated and overcrowded. The goal of carpal tunnel treatment is to reduce your symptoms and help you resume daily activities.  

Common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically caused by holding the wrist in awkward or difficult positions for long periods of time, but it can also be inherited genetically. Here are some possible causes of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Improper typing posture
  • Driving for long periods of time
  • Operating heavy machinery, especially equipment that vibrates
  • Genetics  that cause some people to be born with a more narrow carpal tunnel
  • Pregnancy hormones that cause swelling and put pressure on the carpal tunnel
  • Diabetes, arthritis and other conditions that can cause swelling and put pressure on the median nerve

If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, you should visit a medical professional for carpal tunnel treatment. Ignoring symptoms can lead to further problems, such as loss of motion and increased pain.

How a physical therapist can help with carpal tunnel treatment

In many cases, a physical therapist can diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. In some cases, like those involving trauma, you may require an X-ray for a complete diagnosis.

During an examination, your physical therapist will typically test your grip, range of motion and your sensory ability. Your physical therapist may also give you an electromyogram (EMG) test to find out how well your median nerve is performing and how bad your carpal tunnel syndrome is.

After diagnosis, your physical therapist will begin treatment. Typical carpal tunnel treatment includes:

  • Exercises aimed at strengthening and stretching the muscles around your median nerve
  • Education about wrist position, proper back and neck posture, as well as recommended changes in use of equipment
  • Hot/cold treatments to aid in reducing pain

Finding a physical therapist for carpal tunnel treatment

Start your journey of carpal tunnel treatment with the team at Advent Physical Therapy. Our licensed experts are trained and experienced in helping treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Contact Advent Physical Therapy today to schedule an appointment at one of our 13 locations across West Michigan.