Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when the median nerve in the wrist joint (the connection between the hand and the forearm) is compressed. Various factors can contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, including genetic predispositions, repetitive hand movements, injuries, hormonal changes, or certain conditions such as arthritis, which contribute to the development of the disease.

Physical therapy is the primary form of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and leads to a reduction in hand pain.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve passes through a narrow passage known as the carpal tunnel, located in the wrist joint along the underside of the hand. When this nerve is compressed, various symptoms occur. Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Hand and wrist pain
  • Forearm pain
  • Hand pain that occurs, especially at night
  • Tingling sensation in the fingers, especially the thumb, index finger, or middle finger
  • Weakness in the hand when gripping objects or performing precise finger movements
  • Swelling of the wrist joint
  • Increased sensitivity to touch or pain when pressing on the affected area

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome During Pregnancy

Carpal tunnel syndrome is slightly more common in females than in males. Women are more prone to developing carpal tunnel syndrome, especially if they have a narrow wrist joint. The risk of developing the condition increases during pregnancy and menopause.

The main reasons for this are differences in wrist anatomy in women, which are smaller compared to men. In addition, an increase in body weight during pregnancy and fluid retention in the body cause tissue swelling, including around the carpal tunnel, increasing pressure on the median nerve.

Professional Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Development

Individuals who perform repetitive hand movements at work are at increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. People exposed to prolonged computer use during the day, especially if they have an "unnatural" hand position when using the keyboard or mouse, are particularly at risk.

In addition, jobs such as assembly line workers, assemblers, or technicians also increase the risk of developing the syndrome. Hairdressers, through repetitive hand movements during work, increase pressure on the wrist. Musicians whose instruments require long periods of hand holding in a certain position, especially in combination with fast finger movements during playing, are also at increased risk.

Tips for Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome involves adjustments and changes in daily activities to reduce pressure and strain on the wrist. Regular breaks during work help reduce wrist strain. It is recommended that shorter breaks become part of the daily routine during working hours, as well as stretching and relaxing the hands. Proper positioning of the desk, chair, and keyboard reduces the pressure on the hands during work. Make sure your workspace is tailored to your needs.

Regulating Body Weight

In addition to adapting the work environment and timely taking breaks during work, one of the main preventive measures is certainly regulating body weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight reduces the strain on the joints and ligaments.

Excessive body weight increases the load on the joints, including the wrist joint, leading to increased friction and pressure on the soft tissues in that area, increasing the risk of nerve compression. It is extremely important to treat carpal tunnel syndrome in a timely manner because prolonged and intense pressure on the median nerve weakens the hand muscles. For this reason, people with this problem may experience general limb weakness and objects slipping from their hands.

How to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The diagnosis is based primarily on a clinical examination, then considering the present symptoms. Sometimes additional tests such as electromyography are needed to confirm the presence of nerve compression.

In addition to people engaged in the mentioned professions, it is important to emphasize that people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing neuropathic disorders due to the influence of this disease on nerve health. The first step in treating carpal tunnel syndrome is physical therapy, which will alleviate existing symptoms. In severe cases, if physical therapy does not yield satisfactory results, surgery is performed.

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Physical Therapy, and Exercises

After the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is made, physical therapy is usually recommended, which can alleviate existing pain. A physiotherapist may recommend tailored exercises to help reduce pressure on the nerve. If there is swelling in the wrist area, the therapist may recommend swelling reduction techniques, such as applying ice, or cryotherapy.

In addition, the therapist will provide you with advice on proper workplace setup or recommendations for wearing certain orthopedic aids. Physical therapy is often combined with other treatment modalities such as medication, injections, or in some cases, surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. In any case, a physiatric examination is recommended to receive accurate advice and a treatment plan for carpal tunnel syndrome, and then physical therapy if the doctor deems it necessary.




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