Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes numbness and tingling in the hands, but do you have carpal tunnel or something else?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition where the median nerve gets compressed as it passes through the wrist. There are several factors that can contribute to getting carpal tunnel:

  • Increased age
  • Gender more common in females
  • Being overweight
  • Certain activities

Activities that increase your chances of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:

  • Lots of force put through the wrist for a long period of time (eg. heavy lifting or pushing/pulling/grasping in your job)
  • Keeping the wrist bent forward or back for a long period of time
  • High amounts of repetitive wrist movement (eg. typing, playing video games, playing guitar or piano, sewing)
  • Exposure to vibration (eg. using a jackhammer or similar machinery)

The most common mistake in diagnosing Carpal Tunnel is thinking that the numbness and tingling in the hand is due to carpal tunnel when it may be due to a nerve being irritated in the neck. These two conditions can cause very similar symptoms, but with a thorough examination, an osteopath can distinguish between the two.

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can involve:

  • Osteopathy massage, stretching and joint mobilisation techniques to give the nerve more space
  • A wrist brace to support the wrist and reduce excess movement
  • Weight loss
  • Stretches and lifestyle advice to reduce compression and irritation of the nerve
  • Surgery is a last resort and does not always fix the problem, but works in some cases

If you are experiencing pain, numbness, pins and needles or tingling in your hands, an osteopath can help! Call us today for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.