Carpal Tunnel & Overuse Injuries

  • Carpal Tunnel

    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (median nerve compression) is a common condition that causes numbness, tingling or weakness and pain in the hand and wrist as a result of pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve is a major nerve to the hand that runs the length of the arm, goes through the carpal tunnel and ends in the hand. It provides feeling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger and inside half of the ring finger, as well as controlling the muscles around the base of the thumb. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist that protects the median nerve and nine flexor tendons that bend the fingers and thumb.

    Who can get carpal tunnel?

    Carpal tunnel occurs more frequently in people between the ages of 30 and 60. It can be caused by overuse, repeated movements that overextend the wrist, prolonged exposure to vibrations from power tools or a variety of conditions including:

    • Diabetes
    • Thyroid disorders
    • Fluid retention due to pregnancy or menopause
    • High blood pressure
    • Autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis
    • Fractures or trauma to the wrist

    What are the symptoms?

    Carpal tunnel symptoms may include:

    • Numbness, tingling and pain in the thumb and first three fingers of the hand
    • Pain and burning sensation that radiates up the arm
    • Nighttime wrist pain that interferes with sleep
    • Hand muscle weakness that can cause a person to drop objects

    How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

    In 2008, the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons released guidelines for the effective treatment of carpal tunnel, which was to try to manage it without surgery, if possible.

    Non-surgical treatments include:

    • Physical therapy
    • Avoiding positions that overextend the wrist
    • Wrist splints that hold the hand and wrist in a neutral position
    • Aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen
    • Treatment of any underlying conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis
    • Steroid injections into the carpal tunnel area to reduce inflammation

    Surgery is a last resort option if there is severe damage to the median nerve.

    Are you suffering from carpal tunnel pain? Call us today to set up an appointment.

  • Physical Therapy for Overuse Injuries

    If you are experiencing discomfort or pain in your hands, wrists, arms, or any part of your upper body due to repetitive movements, you may be suffering from an overuse injury. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss overuse injury, its causes, diagnosis, and the role of physical therapy in providing effective treatment and relief.

    Understanding Overuse Injuries: Overuse injury is a common condition caused by repetitive movements, typically associated with occupations or activities that involve excessive use of the same muscles or joints. These repetitive motions strain the tissues, leading to inflammation and discomfort. Activities such as typing, using a computer mouse, playing musical instruments, or engaging in sports like tennis or golf can all contribute to the development of overuse injuries.

    Who is at Risk? Overuse injuries can affect individuals of all ages and occupations, from office workers to athletes, musicians to assembly line workers. If your daily activities involve repetitive motions, you may be at risk of developing overuse injuries. Poor posture, improper ergonomics, and inadequate rest breaks can also increase the risk.

    Diagnosing an overuse injury: Accurate diagnosis is crucial to ensure proper treatment and effective management of overuse injuries. Diagnosing overuse injuries involves collaboration with your medical doctor and a comprehensive evaluation by our physical therapy team member. During your initial consultation, the physical therapist will discuss your medical history, daily activities, and any symptoms you may be experiencing. A thorough physical examination will also be conducted to assess your range of motion, strength, and flexibility.

    Why Choose Physical Therapy for Overuse Injury Treatment

    Physical therapy is a highly effective and non-invasive approach to treating overuse injuries. Our team of skilled and experienced physical therapists at Pt Plus Physical Therapy & Wellness Centers is trained to address the root causes of your condition and develop personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs.

    1. Comprehensive Assessment: Your physical therapist will conduct a detailed evaluation to understand the extent of your overuse injury and identify contributing factors. This assessment helps design a treatment plan focusing on your unique condition.
    2. Targeted Exercise Programs: Your physical therapists will guide you through targeted exercises to strengthen and stretch the affected muscles and joints. These exercises are essential in restoring mobility, reducing inflammation, and promoting healing.
    3. Ergonomic Recommendations: Your physical therapist will educate you on proper ergonomics and body mechanics to prevent future strain and injury while performing your daily activities, whether at work, home or with recreation.
    4. Manual Therapy: Our skilled therapists may use manual techniques, such as massage and joint mobilization, to alleviate muscle tension and improve tissue health, accelerating the healing process.
    5. Pain Management Techniques: We utilize various pain management techniques, such as heat or cold therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, or other modalities to help relieve discomfort and expedite recovery.
    6. Lifestyle Modification: Your physical therapist will work with you to identify and modify any habits or activities that may exacerbate your overuse injury, ensuring long-term improvement and prevention.
    7. Patient Education: Understanding your condition is crucial to its successful management. Our physical therapists will provide valuable information about overuse injuries and how to manage it effectively, empowering you to take control of your health.

    Don’t Let Overuse Injuries Hinder Your Quality Of Life

    Take the first step towards recovery by scheduling an appointment with Pt Plus Physical Therapy & Wellness Centers today.

    Our dedicated team is committed to helping you regain pain-free movement and get back to doing what you love. Remember, seeking timely treatment for overuse injuries is essential to prevent further complications and ensure a speedy recovery. We look forward to assisting you on your journey to wellness!

    Contact us to book your consultation.