What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Related Treatment Options

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses carpel tunnel syndrome and various treatment options.

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Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses carpel tunnel syndrome and various treatment options.
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Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses carpel tunnel syndrome and various treatment options.

Everyone’s heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, but a lot of people don’t really know what that means.

The carpal tunnel is the area through which the median nerve, which is a nerve that comes from the forearm and goes into the hand, the carpal tunnel is right here. It’s formed by a band or a retinaculum on the top of the wrist.

And so the median nerve runs like this up into the second, third, and fourth fingers. When there is swelling in this area, that puts pressure onto that retinaculum, and that’s what puts pressure onto the nerve, and that’s what leads to the symptoms in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Typically the symptoms would include numbness and tingling as well as pain. Often people have more pain when they wake up first thing in the morning as opposed as throughout the day.

As they are moving their wrist around, sometimes the symptoms can get better, but often the symptoms can be the result of things like constant movement of the wrists through the day like typing, for example.

A lot of pregnant women develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a consequence of the swelling that they have through pregnancy. So that swelling happens in the wrists and of course in other places when women are pregnant.

The typical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome would include splinting. So these are hard splints that help to immobilize the wrist and decrease the pressure that is being applied to the wrist through the night. So it’s the most common practice to have the splints on at night time.

If the symptoms are worse, it can be treated with cortisone injection. Cortisone is just an anti-inflammatory, but in this case we would deliver that anti-inflammatory directly into the carpal tunnel with a needle. In various severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery may be recommended.

If you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome or have other questions, you could consult a physiotherapist, your family doctor, or a sports medicine physician.

Video shot in conjunction with http://www.aesmphysiotherapytoronto.ca/

Presenter: Dr. Grant Lum, Sports Medicine Physician, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Sports Medicine Physician

Hand and Wrist Injury Video Quiz ( 11 participated.)

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome

Questions
True
False
0

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome can cause numbness and tingling in the hand.

1

Carpel tunnel tends to feel worse during the day compared to at night time.

2

In some cases it is recommended to wear a brace to improve symptoms.

3

Carpel tunnel can be caused by repetative actions such as typing.

4

Carpel tunnel can occur in women that are pregnant.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.