How Physical Therapy Might Help Your Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The pain of carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of a nerve in your wrist. The compression can be caused by a number of factors, so this sometimes makes the condition difficult to treat. Treatment for the early stages of carpal tunnel may involve wearing a wrist brace. Advanced cases may require surgery. Physical therapy is also sometimes recommended for carpal tunnel syndrome and it may lead to recovery or the delay of surgery. Here's how physical therapy might help your carpal tunnel syndrome.

Do Hand Stretches And Exercises

You may need to attend physical therapy sessions for a few weeks to learn the proper techniques for stretching and strengthening your hand muscles. Once you learn to do the exercises properly, your physical therapist will instruct you on how often to do them at home to speed healing and prevent future problems. The exercises are easy to do and they shouldn't cause your pain to get worse. Plus, you usually won't need any special equipment.

Physical therapy exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome might include forming a fist to strengthen your grip and to stretch the muscles and tendons in your hand. You may also stretch your fingers as far apart as you can and alternate between stretching your fingers and making a fist. The exercises will probably target your wrist, thumb, and fingers so your entire hand gets a workout. The stretching helps increase blood circulation and relaxes tight tendons that may be pressing on your nerve and causing pain.

Get A Brace

When you go to the physical therapy clinic, you might be fitted for a wrist brace to help with your pain. You may need to wear this brace at night when you sleep so your wrist is held in a straight position that keeps the irritated nerve from being crowded. Although the brace may seem annoying, you may also need to wear it during the day while you're at work and while you do chores around the home because the brace could keep pressure off the nerve and reduce your pain.

Learn Better Body Mechanics

Carpal tunnel syndrome might be caused by repetitive motion, such as typing all day while having bad posture. Carpal tunnel can also be caused by nerve damage caused by a condition such as diabetes. No matter what the cause, you might reduce pressure on the nerve by changing the way you sit or stand while you work or do chores. Your physical therapist can help you learn better posture to use while typing and doing other activities with your hands so there is no excess strain or pressure on your hands and wrists.