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Sumita Dave

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common cause of wrist and hand pain. The Carpal Tunnel refers to a gap in the carpal (wrist) bones through which muscles, blood vessels and nerves pass on their way to the hand from the forearm. It occurs when the median nerve is compressed, causing changes in sensation, pain, and limiting the full use of the hand. It most commonly occurs in women, with women aged between 30 and 60 years having the highest rates of the condition.


  • Numbness, burning or tingling in your hand and fingers, especially the thumb and index and middle fingers.
  • Pain in your wrist, palm or forearm.
  • More numbness or pain at night than during the day. The pain may be so bad it wakes you up. You may shake or rub your hand to get relief.
  • More pain when you use your hand or wrist more.
  • Trouble gripping objects.
  • Weakness in your thumb.


  • Arthritis – especially rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pregnancy – the hormones associated with pregnancy cause general fluid retention, which can compress the nerve.
  • Wrist fractures.
  • Congenital factors – some people have a smaller carpal tunnel than others.
  • Overuse injury – the tendons in the carpal tunnel can become irritated and inflamed by awkward postures or repetitive hand movements.
  • Idiopathic.
  • Endocrine disorders such as diabetes and hypothyroidism

Physiotherapy offers several ways to treat and control carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Soft tissue massage
  • Conservative stretches and exercises
  • Techniques to directly mobilize the nerve tissue
  • Immobilizing braces.
  • Adopting a more ergonomic work and life environment.
  • Myofascial release
  • Application of Ice Packs.
  • Taping with stretch tape
  • Wearing a splint to support the wrist and prevent it moving into a position that further increases compression of the median nerve.
  • By giving electro therapy.

Physiotherapy treatment is very important to regain range of wrist motion, rebuild thumb muscle strength and to resolve stiffness. Exercises using hand Therapy Balls and Therapeutic Putty can be very helpful to regain mobility. Grip and thumb Strengthening Devices can also be useful to restore normal hand and thumb strength.

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