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How Beneficial is Manual Therapy for Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Manual Therapy for Carpal Tunnel SyndromePhysical therapy at Brooklyn, NYC, can bring about considerable relief from pain and discomfort caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by numbness, tingling, weakness and other problems in the hand due to pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. The main causes for this condition are:

  • Diabetes, hypothyroidism or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause
  • High blood pressure
  • Fractures or trauma to the wrist

Certain lifestyle factors can increase the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. These are smoking, high salt intake, a sedentary lifestyle, and a high body mass index (BMI). Usually, people employed in assembly line work, keyboarding occupations, construction work, manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, and meat, poultry, or fish packing develop this condition. Several studies show that women have a significantly higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome than men.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The following signs indicate that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Numbness or pins and needles feeling in the fingers
  • Pain and/or numbness that gets worse at night or interrupts sleep
  • Burning or tingling in the thumb, index, and middle fingers, or pain that moves up to the arm to the elbow
  • Difficulty gripping objects with the hands or dropping objects
  • Difficulty handling small objects
  • Difficulty making a fist
  • Swollen feeling in the fingers

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In most patients, carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse over time, so early diagnosis and treatment are crucial. Generally, surgery is a common approach to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Meanwhile, a new study published in the March 2017 issue of the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy highlights the fact that physical therapy is as good as surgery for this condition. Researchers found that physical therapy that comprised manual therapy (hands-on approach) improved hand and wrist function and reduced pain as effectively as a standard operation for the condition. For this study, 100 women with carpal tunnel syndrome were selected. Half of them were treated with physical therapy and half underwent surgery. The therapy patients received weekly half-hour manual therapy sessions for three weeks. The physical therapists focused on their neck and the median nerve. They also provided manual physical therapy to the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist and fingers while the patients themselves performed neck-stretching exercises at home. After one month, the physical therapy group reported greater daily function and greater “pinch strength” between the thumb and forefinger compared to the surgery patients.

In fact, manual physical therapy techniques are commonly used in the United States. The benefit of manual therapy over a surgery is that it is cost-effective. Physical therapy can be used as the first therapeutic option for almost all patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

A Reliable Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center Is an Important Consideration

Reliable multispecialty healthcare and rehabilitation centers in Brooklyn, NYC provide effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. With a team of experienced healthcare professionals they provide physical therapy, TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), exercises, NSAIDs, pain management injections, ice and heat application and massage therapy to ease your pain. They would offer individualized treatment and care based on your specific health condition and severity of illness.

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