If your job requires you to spend a lot of time in front of a computer, one if the biggest health risks that you may face is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). A common wrist condition often seen in individuals who work sedentary jobs, CTS can affect the whole arm and cause numbness, stiffness, and pain in the fingers and hand. If you suspect that you have CTS, learn more about the condition with the information below.

Causes of CTS

CTS symptoms begin when pressure on the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel at the base of the palm becomes too high. This results in the compression of the median nerve which can lead to painful symptoms.

That said, the median nerve can be compressed elsewhere along its length. Aside from the carpal tunnel, another common area where median nerve compression can occur is the neck. Any sort of pressure on the median nerve predisposes it to develop CTS symptoms.

There is no known way to prevent CTS. Nearly half of all work-related injuries are linked to it, and many people who suffer from it have an increased risk of missing work. The condition can be treated with physical therapy or surgery.

CTS is a Painful Condition that Can Be Treated with Physical Therapy

Before surgery, try physical therapy first

Although surgery should be considered in severe cases, the downside of surgery is that recovery can take a while, and more than a third of patients are unable to return to work within eight weeks of receiving surgical treatment. If your symptoms are not severe, you may want to visit a Newmarket physio clinic and try physical therapy first. Here are CTS-targeting exercises designed to help alleviate the pain from the condition.

Finger pushups

To do finger pushups, start by putting your palms together, then press each finger firmly to their counterpart in the other hand. Start pushing on the fingers and make them do “pushups,” Make sure to spreading the fingers as far apart as you can when your palms come together.

Wrist shake

Fan of Taylor Swift? Then you’ve already seen how this is done. Shaking your hands vigorously is an effective way to increase blood flow to the hands and keep the muscles and median nerve from cramping.

Hand bends

Raise your affected arm in front of you. Keep your elbow straight, with the hand and fingers pointing to the ground. Use your other hand to apply a gentle pulling pressure on the back of your hand and make your hand and fingers point towards you as much as you can. When you reach your maximum point of flexibility, hold the position for about 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise again, this time with your hand and fingers pointing upwards. Repeat the entire exercise on the other hand if you must.

Physical therapy from a Newmarket physio facility

Due to the fact that the median nerve emanates from the neck, a Newmarket physio will often complement CTS stretching exercises with physical therapy treatment that may include manual therapy of the neck and median nerve, hand traction devices, and splints. Physical therapy for CTS is provided by Newmarket physio facilities such as The Institute Of Sport Physiotherapy.

Exercises for Treating Carpal Tunnel, Healthline.com