Your wrist contains a pathway known as the “carpal tunnel”, which connects the wrist to the forearm. Via this pathway, an important nerve known as the median nerve passes, which branches off into the thumb, index and middle finger. When this nerve is compressed in the carpal tunnel, an individual is diagnosed with the carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). They will usually feel needle-like pain in the thumb, index and middle finger, and less likely but still possible, numbness in the hand.
The incidence of CTS appears to be on the rise as the usage of computers increases, and it is already the most common repetitive motion injury in the work place. CTS is more common in females than males (5:1), and most prevalent from age 40-60.
Potential risk factors of CTS include
- Diabetes, pregnancy or obesity
- Repetitive finger/wrist motion at the workplace (typing on computer, cashier)
- Athletes (weightlifting, gymnastics)
- Wrist dislocation
The severity increases with chronicity and age, so it is critical that the condition is appropriately managed, and complete treatment is received. At the Canadian Muscle and Joint Pain Clinic, we perform many orthopedic tests to identify the problem and its severity, and then begin the suitable treatment plan that includes:
- Osseous manipulation and mobilization at the wrist joint
- Massage therapy to stretch out the elbow and wrist
- Deep tissue massage
- Electrotherapy and ultrasound