What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome otherwise referred to as CTS is a medical condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain in your hand and wrist. These symptoms are due to pressure put on the median nerve. The median nerve and several tendons run from your forearm to your side through a small space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel.

Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel

The pain in your carpal tunnel is due to excess pressure in your wrist and on the median nerve. Inflammation can cause swelling. The most common cause of this inflammation is an underlying medical condition that causes swelling in the wrist and sometimes obstructed blood flow. Some factors that can cause CTS are heredity, repetitive hand use, hand and wrist position, and health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.


Symptoms of CTS may include numbness, pain and tingling sensations, weakness and clumsiness in the hands. Many people find that their symptoms come and go at first. However, as the condition worsens, symptoms may occur more frequently or may persist for more extended periods of time.

The problem is the symptoms of carpal tunnel are present with many other conditions, which leads to misdiagnosis in many cases. Mainly if burning, tingling or numbness occurs in areas other than your wrists, you probably don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Physical Therapy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Often clients will come to a therapist stating they have carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is well known and accepted as a condition; because of this the focus usually hones in on the carpal tunnel when hand symptoms are mentioned. For example, the client may mistakenly report symptoms that affect the ring and little finger as CTS. Often their physician hasn’t given them a formal diagnosis and is experiencing symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. A therapist does not have the same diagnostic tools as a physician, and they are basing their treatment of the symptoms based on what the client is telling them, pain level, and working through the soft tissue.

How Physical Therapy can help

Physical Therapy can relieve CTS symptoms by breaking down scar tissue and adhesions in the muscles of the wrist and forearm, caused by trauma or overuse. Specific exercises can also help reduce pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. These exercises are incorporated with bracing and/or splinting and activity changes to relieve symptoms. Whether or not you have carpal tunnel or other conditions of the hand, sometimes all it takes is one appointment with our Physiotherapists, Osteopaths or Massage Therapists to provide pain relief.

All of the therapists at Prairie Therapy can comfortably work with carpal tunnel issues. Call 403-200-2190 or book online at https://prairietherapy.janeapp.com/