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What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition which impacts the median nerve at the level of the wrist joint.  The median nerve is one of the three main nerve supplies to the hand.

carpal-tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to compression of this nerve which can result in:

1) pain
2) tingling and/or numbness (usually of the thumb, index, and middle fingers)
3) weakness
4) decreased and/or loss of fine motor function of the hand

Treatment scenarios for this condition can include the following:


1) night splinting
2) physical therapy
3) cortisone injections
4) in severe cases, surgical release of the carpal tunnel

Treatment “tips” to minimize carpal tunnel include the following:

1) Avoid prolonged repetitive tasks which include the wrist, digits, or both
2) Avoid extremes of wrist range of motion – either wrist extension (backward motion) or wrist flexion (forward motion)
3) Rest periods of just a few seconds for the hands can go a long way to the prevention and/or minimization of carpal tunnel syndrome

For more information or to be assessed to see if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, please contact our Grange location and book an appointment with Gail Hamilton.  Gail has over 40 years of experience and specializes in treating hands.

Osteoarthritis – Joint Disease

With the return of colder weather, those with arthritis are suffering. Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease and it is possible to have arthritis in any synovial joint; however the typical areas affected are the hips, knees, hands, low back and neck.

knee-osteoarthritis

Knee Osteoarthritis – source: canadadrugstop.com

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in a joint begins wearing down; this results in pain, swelling and stiffness. Sometimes the wear and tear can continue until the cartilage is gone, resulting in “bone-on-bone”. At that stage, osteoarthritis is very painful and many people opt for a joint replacement or other surgical intervention.

Before surgery becomes desirable there are many other options for treatment. You can and should consult with your physician to discuss options for pain management. 

Physical therapists can help too! Your Physical Therapist can make a plan to help manage the pain, and provide you with an exercise program to manage the swelling and stiffness. Your therapist can also assist you with options such as custom bracing. 

Unfortunately there is no cure for osteoarthritis but with proper management you can continue to lead an active and healthy lifestyle!

 

Alissa Hemsley is a physical therapist at our Callingwood location. To schedule an appointment to be assessed or if you have further questions on this condition, please feel free to contact the clinic.