Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which you experience pins and needles or numbness in the thumb and first two fingers. The condition is usually worse at night and can lead to frequent waking.


Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve leading into the hand is compressed. This usually happens in the wrist, although compression can happen at any point along the nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome commonly occurs during pregnancy, midlife, or after an injury. It can also occur as a result of aging, vibration, or prolonged highly repetitive work.

Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome report at least one of the following symptoms:


  • Night symptoms and waking
  • Tingling in the thumb and first two fingers
  • Loss of sensation in the thumb or fingers
  • Pain in the front of the wrist or thumb which can travel up the arm
  • Weakness when making pinching movements

How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Assessed?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is diagnosed with a thorough clinical examination of the arm and wrist. A nerve conduction study may also be required. A typical assessment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually involves:


  • A thorough evaluation of the arm and wrist
  • Thumb and pinch strength
  • Sensory testing of the fingers

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome requires treatment as it will not resolve by itself, unless it is pregnancy related. Pregnancy related CTS will normally reduce by 50% in the first two weeks after birth. If symptoms persist for any length of time beyond this, treatment is required.


Typical treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome includes:


  • Wrist splint in a neutral wrist position
  • Education around which wrist positions to avoid during treatment
  • Tendon gliding exercises
  • Nerve gliding and sliding movements
  • Ergonomic evaluation and advice in occupational situations
  • Surgery may be suggested if conservative treatments don’t work.

What’s next?

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, consult one of our hand therapy practitioners today.


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For enquiries and appointments please call 03 9458 5166 or conveniently book online.