Hand Pain and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
One of the leading causes of hand and wrist pain is not prompted by an injury at all, but instead is a result of a chronic condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a debilitating syndrome that causes severe pain in the hand and wrist area. The pain typically feels similar to a deep and intense hand cramp, but is not actually caused by any cramping and so it’s not as easily resolved.
Carpal tunnel syndrome develops as a result of heightened stress on the median nerve, often caused by highly repetitive movements with the hand and wrist. Some of the most common tasks in today’s society are among the leading causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, including typing, writing, playing video games, gardening, and anything else that requires repetitive lifting or other hand movements. The condition causes severe pain in the hand and wrists, and may often cause numbness or tingling to develop in the fingers. Those who are most at risk of developing CTS are those who work in a capacity that requires them to constantly engage in repetitive movements with their hands, but those who may be experiencing hormone fluctuations, are at a heightened risk of developing the syndrome.
There are many people who require surgery to overcome carpal tunnel syndrome, but in the majority of situations, surgery can actually be avoided by taking early intervention with targeted physical therapy. Wearing a brace, working with a physical therapist to counteract the repetitive motions and taking other steps to reduce stress on the median nerve can make dramatic improvements in the quality of life and experience of pain for an individual with carpal tunnel syndrome. While many of these strategies are something you can do at home once you are properly trained, it is important to not attempt to engage in these exercises without guidance from your physical therapist, as improper form or movement could lead to increased discomfort or further injury. For more information, contact us at our Bedford, NH center, around the greater Manchester area.