Don't let Carpal Tunnel Syndrome get you Down

Don't let Carpal Tunnel Syndrome get you Down

31st Aug 2021

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful disorder of the hand caused by pressure on nerves that run through the wrist. Symptoms include numbness, pins and needles, and pain (particularly at night). Anything that causes swelling inside the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, including repetitive hand movements, pregnancy and arthritis. Possible treatments include rest, splinting, cortisone injections and surgery.

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The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Include:

  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Pain, particularly at night
  • Darting pains from the wrist
  • Radiated or referred pain into the arm and shoulder
  • Weakness of the hand
  • The little finger and half of the ring finger are unaffected

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In some cases the cause cannot be found. Sometimes there is a combination of factors such as:

  • Arthritis – various types of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis, can cause inflammation and swelling
  • Pregnancy – the hormones associated with pregnancy cause general fluid retention, which can compress the nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome triggered by pregnancy usually goes away soon after birth
  • Wrist fractures – bone fragments can irritate the tenosynovium or reduce the amount of space in the carpal tunnel
  • 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.

Risk Factors of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Some people are at higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, including:

  • Women between the ages of 40 and 60 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People with certain types of arthritis
  • Anyone who experiences a period of rapid weight gain
  • People who use their hands repetitively in their day-to-day activities, such as typists or assembly line workers.

Non-surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome

You cannot ‘work through’ carpal tunnel syndrome. At first, the pain and stiffness may be slight. But they may increase until your hand hurts all the time. You can suffer permanent damage if the cause is not addressed.

Non-surgical treatments can include:

  • Plenty of rest for the affected hand
  • Physiotherapy
  • Wearing splints on the affected wrist and hand at night
  • Diuretic medications to reduce your body’s retention of fluid by increasing the amount of urine passed
  • An injection of local anaesthetic and a corticosteroid medication into the affected area to reduce the swelling.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Physiotherapist
  • Australian Physiotherapy Association Tel (03) 9092 0888

Gateway Sports and Rehab stock a range of high-quality splints, hand, wrist and thumb braces.
Click to view the range. Contact us today for more info on 1300 982 259 or