If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in one or both of your hands or wrists, it’s tempting to take a wait-and-see approach and hope the issues abate. However, early treatment of hand problems like carpal tunnel syndrome may help you avoid surgery, so it’s critical to address concerns as soon as they arise. Here’s what you need to know about carpal tunnel syndrome, and how doing a search for “physical therapy near me” will put you on the path to recovery.
Understanding the Carpal Tunnel Area
Located on the palm side of your wrist, the carpal tunnel is a narrow canal that houses several tendons along with the median nerve. The proper functioning of these structures permits you to move your hand and fingers in both broad and specific ways. It’s what allows you to firmly grab onto a large object or perform a finely detailed task like threading a needle.
When the median nerve is pinched or compressed, normal hand and arm movement is compromised, and simple actions become difficult to complete. This compressed nerve condition is what’s called carpal tunnel syndrome.
Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
When you notice your grip weakening, experience tingling in your fingers, and/or feel pain or numbness in your hands, it’s tempting to brush these issues off as temporary impairments. However, signs like these could indicate you’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Even if your symptoms seem minor don’t delay addressing them, as the sooner you get to a doctor for a diagnosis the sooner you’ll get relief.
Your physician may prescribe medications to alleviate your pain and suggest lifestyle and work modifications to reduce strain. He or she will likely refer you for rehabilitative treatment, so doing a search for “hand physical therapy near me” before your first doctor’s appointment means you’ll be prepared with a list of the best rehab centers in your area.
PT Exercises That Can Help
Either on its own or as a complement to medications and surgery, physical therapy is key to restoring comfortable hand and wrist movement. When you begin your treatment, you’ll be given a regimen of stretches and exercises to perform during your sessions and on your own at home. The exercises you’re prescribed might include:
- Wrist rotations that involve moving only your hands.
- Fist releases in which you clench your hand and then release it into a “stop” motion.
- Thumb touches, when you touch each fingertip to your thumb one at a time to create an “O” shape.
- Hand grips, which entail repeatedly clenching and releasing a soft ball.
Regardless of which exercises you’re instructed to do, always execute them exactly as shown to prevent worsening your condition.
Now that you’ve learned about recognizing and treating carpal tunnel syndrome, you understand the importance of addressing hand problems. Even if your concerns seem minor, getting a diagnosis and doing a web search for a physical therapist near me before your problem progresses is key. So hop online, do your research, and take control of your hand health today!