Man holding his wrist

Do You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Repetitive Strain in the Hand?

Carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain are common conditions caused by pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. It is often associated with computer keyboard work all day. According to 2017 data at Statistics Canada, 4.5 million Canadians had carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or repetitive strain of the forearm. But that number has likely doubled over the past four years due to the ever-increasing use of computers and personal devices at work or home.

 

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are usually in the dominant hand and include numbness, tingling, or burning pain, primarily in the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers, but it may also radiate into the forearm. There is also weakness in the intrinsic hand muscles.


Carpal tunnel syndrome is covered by WSIB when it develops due to activities in the scope of employment. Symptoms must either occur because of work-related duties or have worsened because of them, no matter if it resulted from a single injury or developed slowly over time.


How do you know you have carpal tunnel? Your medical practitioner performs the Phalen’s test, also known as the wrist-flexion test. When you press the backs of your hands and fingers together with your wrists flexed and fingers pointed down and stay in that position for a minute or two, your fingers tingle or get numb, you have carpal tunnel syndrome.


If the condition is diagnosed early, it is possible to stop or slow the progression. Treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome are either conservative or surgical. At Bloor Jane Physiotherapy, we offer a wide range of conservative treatments including acupuncture, laser, EMS (muscle stimulation), ultrasound, or shockwave treatments, stretching and strengthening exercises, or nerve gliding exercises. Our physiotherapists can order night splints or wrist braces fitted just for you. They allow you to continue your work without worsening the condition.


Surgical carpal tunnel release is a minimally invasive procedure done with a local anaesthetic and post-operative treatments at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy can aid in a speedier recovery.


Email or call Bloor Jane Physiotherapy to speak with a physiotherapist and schedule your appointment for an assessment and treatment.

 

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