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carpal tunnel syndrome


YOUR INJURY Carpal tunnel syndrome is a form of repetitive strain injury (RSI) and is the result of damage to soft tissues (e.g. tendons) and sometimes bones in the wrist which causes inflammation and swelling in a very restricted area. This swelling creates pressure on the median nerve in your wrist which may result in pain, tingling and numbness in your hand, wrist and also your thumb and fingers. In addition to injury of structures of the wrist, this swelling may also be caused by medical conditions such as arthritis and diabetes and may also occur during pregnancy, which in the latter case is likely to disappear after delivery. The condition is particularly common in people who use their hands repetitively such as those working on computers or assembly lines. The pain may get worse the more you use your hands. If you do repetitive work with your hands it is important to make sure you are comfortable during this work. Your physiotherapist will be able to help you.


YOUR REHABILITATION PROGRAMME The exercises on this leaflet are designed to improve the flexibility and strength of your wrist and also stretch other muscles which may be putting pressure on the median nerve supplying your wrist. Make sure you are pain-free at all times and take care not to progress too quickly. Where possible stop any activities which make your symptoms worse. We have given suggested sets and repetitions, but everyone is different so your practitioner may give guidance that is more specific to you.


WHY YOUR REHABILITATION PROGRAMME IS IMPORTANT Because the problem may be caused, or made worse, by structures as far up as the neck, your practitioner will be keen to address these problems as well as the ones at your wrist. Treating the cause of a problem is always more effective than treating the symptoms alone if the condition is to be resolved. Your practitioner will be relying on you to perform the exercises correctly and at the frequency prescribed in order to reach a successful outcome.


HOME EXERCISE PRODUCTS


Therapy Bands - unlooped http://spxj.nl/zA8cs3 Therapy Bands - looped http://spxj.nl/zg9k8V Gym Balls http://spxj.nl/xwcImU


Median nerve supply to the thumb


Median nerve


View showing the palm of the hand and wrist including the median nerve.


TREATMENT OPTIONS ■ Applying an ice pack for 5-10 minutes every 1-2 hours in the early stages of the pain/numbness may help reduce swelling and the pressure on the nerve.


■ Try and keep your wrist elevated to reduce the potential for swelling in your wrist. When you lie down this may mean resting your hand on pillows.


■ A wrist splint will help limit movement of your wrist which may help reduce the pain and risk of further swelling.


■ Where possible stop any activities which make your symptoms worse.


■ Ask an occupational health advisor how you can modify your work station and/or the activities that cause the pain.


■ A medical professional may suggest a treatment involving a steroid injection to reduce inflammation.


■ In some cases surgery may be necessary but only after all non-surgical methods have been tried.


All products are accompanied by video demonstrations online. For other products visit the PhysioSupplies website http://spxj.nl/ykRdi5


Wobble Boards http://spxj.nl/zlM2aM Ice Packs http://spxj.nl/A5tglZ Exercise Mats http://spxj.nl/yvsAOw


Hand Weights http://spxj.nl/xHElIQ Home Fitness http://spxj.nl/wxL1ae Orthopaedic Supports http://spxj.nl/y2aePC


The information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case. To the extent permissible by law, the publisher, editors and contributors accept no liability for any loss, injury or damage howsoever incurred (including negligence) as a consequence, whether directly or indirectly, of the use by any person of the contents of this article.


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