CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)

– CTS is a form of repetitive stress injury.

– the most common nerve entrapment syndrome

– usually occurs in women between ages 30 and 60 but, men who are employed as assembly-line workers and packers who repeatedly use poorly designed tools  are just likely to develop this disorder.

– any strenuous use of the hands  sustained grasping, twisting or flexing aggravates this condition.

CAUSES

  1. Sprain or wrist dislocation.
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Obesity
  4. Nerve compression
  5. Rheumatoid arthritis

To sum it all up, Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. All the causes above or anything that can increase the tension of carpal tunnel can lead to this condition.

SIGN & SYMPTOM

  • Weakness, pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in one or both hands due to nerve and blood vessel compression.
  • Inability to clench the hand into fist
  • The skin dry and shiny
  • Pain spreading  to the forearm and, in severe cases as far as shoulder
  • Pain relief achieved by shaking or rubbing the hands vigorously or dangling the arms at the side.

 

PHYSIOTHERAPIST MANAGEMENT

  • Pain management

– modalities such as hotpack, wax therapy are used to decrease pain superficially.

– in some cases, swelling and increase in skin temperature will occur, then, ice pack or cryocuff  will become handy.

  • Ultrasound will be given for a quick healing process
  • Stretching exercises
  • Ball, theraputty exercises
  • Tendon gliding exercises
  • Home exercise programme
  • Patient education

 

PREVENTING CTS

 

  1. Take frequent break

– gently stretching and bending the hands and wrists every 15 to 20 minutes for a break when working with equipments such as computers and the one that vibrates or exerts a great amount of force.

  1. Watch hand and wrist positioning

-when using  a keyboard, bending the wrist all the way up or down should be avoid. A relaxed middle position is the best. The keyboard should be kept at elbow height or slightly lower.

  1. Improve posture

– poor posture can cause shoulders to roll forward, allowing neck  and shoulder muscle to shorten, which can compress the nerves in the neck

– this position can affect the wrists, hands, and fingers

  1. Keep hands warm

– hand stiffness and pain develop more frequently in a cold environment

– using fingerless gloves may help if the temperature cannot be adjusted at work

 

 

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