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Carpal Tunnel Uncovered: The What, Why, and How of This Common Condition

The Anatomy

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs through the carpal tunnel in your wrist, becomes compressed. This tunnel is made up of small bones called carpal bones and a ligament known as the transverse carpal ligament. The median nerve controls sensation and movement in your thumb and first three fingers. Finger tendons also run through the tunnel alongside the median nerve.


Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in your thumb and fingers

  • Pain or discomfort in your wrist, hand, or forearm

  • Weakness or clumsiness in your hand, making it difficult to grasp objects

These symptoms often worsen at night or when you're using your hand and wrist repetitively.


Carpal tunnel syndrome is typically caused by factors that increase pressure on the median nerve, such as:

  • Repetitive wrist motions or gripping that cause in increase in swelling around the wrist

  • Pregnancy or hormonal changes

  • Health conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid disorders

  • Wrist injuries or bone spurs that increase swelling or change the shape of the tunnel

  • Other tendonitis injuries that cause swelling in the wrist area


At Riverina Hand Therapy, we offer a range of treatments to help manage carpal tunnel syndrome and support your recovery. These include;

Night Splinting

Wearing a wrist splint at night can help keep your wrist in a neutral position, reducing pressure on the median nerve and alleviating symptoms.

Swelling Management

We can recommend strategies to reduce swelling and these can be as simple as a compression sleeve at night to help move swelling out of the hand and wrist area.

Exercise and Tendon Gliding

We'll guide you through gentle exercises and tendon gliding techniques to improve your hand's flexibility and function. Gliding of tendons can help to move the fluid from the wrist and alleviate the carpal tunnel symptoms.

Sensory Review

As your symptoms improve, we'll monitor your progress with regular sensory reviews to ensure your recovery is on track. Some people find that their numbness or altered sensation impacts on their ability to do the things they need or love, such as holding a cup of tea. We can perform a sensation assessment and measure this over time to track your improvements.

Rebuilding Strength

Once your symptoms have settled, we'll work with you to strengthen your hand and wrist muscles, helping you regain full functionality and prevent future issues.

At Riverina Hand Therapy, we're committed to providing personalised, expert care in a friendly and caring environment. Our range of services, including scar tissue treatment and custom splints, cater to all ages and needs. Trust us to guide you on your journey to recovery.


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