Carpal tunnel syndrome, also called median nerve compression, is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand. This happens because of pressure on your median nerve, which runs the length of your arm, goes through a passage in your wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in your hand.
Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with physical therapy or surgery. Although surgery may be considered when the symptoms are severe, more than a third of patients do not return to work within 8 weeks after an operation. Based on the potential side effects and risks of surgery, patients often ask if they might try physical therapy first.
According to the Journal of Orthopedics and Sports Physical Therapy, research shows that after 1 year, patients who had physical therapy that focused on manual therapy of the neck and median nerve, combined with stretching exercises, had outcomes similar to those of patients who had surgery. However, the physical therapy patients experienced faster improvements at the 1-month mark than did patients whose condition was treated surgically. This research supports the decision of patients who wish to try physical therapy first before considering surgery.
For those diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, physical therapy offers strong evidence-based treatment options to help them recover. Evidence indicates that physical therapy is not only as effective as surgery to treat this condition, but the patient will see improvement up to two months faster. Do you suffer from CTS? Are you looking for the tunnel to relief? Schedule your physical therapy evaluation with us today for therapy so good, it’s elite!