Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

Most people have heard of this condition and probably know somebody who has had surgery to rectify it.  What people do not always know is that this debilitating, painful condition of the hand and wrist can often be treated by osteopaths.  So what is it exactly?

The carpal tunnel is a tunnel in the wrist which is formed by the wrist bones at the bottom and sides and a tough connective tissue across the top.  When the tendons of the forearm muscles become overworked they become inflamed and they slowly enlarge to take up more space in the tunnel giving pain and restrictions in the wrist and then entrapping one of the nerves to the hand.  This nerve entrapment leads to pain, pins and needles, numbness and weakness in our fingers and thumb often causing us to become 'clumsy' and drop things.

People often report not being to write properly or pick up any heavy objects.  These symptoms are often worse at night and especially in the early hours of the morning.

So what can we as osteopaths do to help? Depending on the length of time that the symptoms have been around and how badly damaged the tendons and nerve actually is, we can often reverse this condition and prevent the need for surgery. If caught early enough, we can treat the forearm muscles as well the bones/joints of the wrist and hand and by relieving tension and relaxing these structures, allow more space in the carpal tunnel. This takes the pressure off of the tendons and nerves and often alleviates the symptoms. Daily wrist and hand exercises will be prescribed to continue to increase the mobility of the wrist which again allows more space in the tunnel. We also spend time discussing the patient's working conditions, hobbies or sporting habits to ascertain what activity/position could have led to the repetitive strain in the first place. Once we have a good idea of the cause of the condition, we can then offer help and advice on ways to adapt things to help speed up the healing and to also prevent it occurring in the other wrist or reoccurring in the same wrist.

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Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic

The Lords wood Osteopathic Clinic was established and is run by Sue Jennings, BSc (Hons), Osteopath. The Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic is situated on the ground floor of Lordswood Leisure Centre, North Dane Way, Chatham, with plenty of free parking and disabled access. The clinic is open during the daytime on Monday to Friday, evening appointments available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings. Lordswood Osteopathic Clinic staff are all registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).