Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Read This Before Doing Surgery

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Image result for carpal tunnelCarpal tunnel is a tunnel in the wrist, through which multiple structures of the hand pass by, including the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the irritation of the median nerve due to increased in pressure in this tunnel.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include: numbness/tingling/pain at the palm and first 4 fingers, weakness, clumsiness/dropping things, . People with carpal tunnel syndrome often find themselves shaking their hand to decrease the discomfort. Prolonged and repetitive use of the hands usually increases these symptoms.

The most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive use of the hands (computer work, seamstress, gardener, etc.).



Before Surgery…

Image result for median nerveCertain conditions can mimic carpal tunnel syndrome. Make sure that this is the right diagnosis before you go through surgery. It is not uncommon for me to see clients in clinic, who have gone through directly to carpal tunnel release surgery, and finding out that it did not change their symptoms at all. We find, during our physiotherapy assessment, that we were able to relieve the symptoms these clients had, by moving and mobilizing the neck.

The nerve that is compressed in the carpal tunnel (median nerve) comes out of the neck and goes to the fingers (see picture). If more than part of the nerve is compressed (i.e: at the neck and at the carpal tunnel), the pain and other symptoms can be intensified. This is called Double Crush Syndrome.

Surgery is an effective treatment method for carpal tunnel syndrome, but it is a more invasive procedure. Before you go through with it, be sure that you have tried the more conservative treatment first in physiotherapy, or at least have a physiotherapist assess you to make sure that there is nothing else contributing to your symptoms.

Physiotherapy Treatment

Treatment in physiotherapy for carpal tunnel syndrome may include:

More Interesting Articles:

Understanding Back Pain

There are many reasons why someone might have back pain. I will be listing below 2 more common scenarios for Low Back Pain and what might be causing them. These 2 presentations of low back issues make up a BIG percentage of low back patients in my physiotherapy practice. Read More…

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is the inflammation of the attachment of the wrist extensor muscles. Pain is usually located on the outside of the elbow, on the bony protrusion illustrated below. Pressure on that bone will often be very painful. Read More…

Is The Pain In My Leg(s) Coming From My Back?

Did you know that one can have pain in any part of the leg(s) referred from the low back, without necessarily having noticeable discomfort in their low back? Read More…


About the Author:

Lily ZhangLily Zhang is a registered physiotherapist with training specializing in the McKenzie Method.  She graduated from McGill University and is currently working in Barrhaven (Ottawa, ON). She has over 10 years of professional training/clinical experience in orthopedic physiotherapy.  You can Follow Her Blog @PhysioVive Facebook Page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *