Welcome for all you new readers, and hello to all the people who frequent my column each month. My name is Tristan Hill, I’m an osteopath practicing in Bingham. This month I’d like to discuss another common complaint with you, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a horribly irritating condition that is very debilitating to the sufferer.
First off, what is it?
The carpal tunnel is the arch of bone that is formed from the carpal or wrist bones, of which there are eight. The arch formation is held together by a strong structure called the Transverse Carpal Ligament, (pictured below) which also serves to hold all your tendons in your wrist, along with the blood vessels and nerves.
There are so many structures packed into this small space that there is a lot of possibility of compression on the weaker structures, the most common of these being the Median nerve. When this nerve is compressed it causes tingling in the fingers, which can even develop into pain. It is most common in females, and is even more common during pregnancy, however males do suffer it as well. Symptoms are most commonly felt at night with a desire to shake ones hands and wrists, which can relieve the pain. However any period of rest is likely to see the symptoms return as the stasis allows swelling and pressure to build.
There are many causes for the carpal tunnel to narrow. Most are related to inflammation around tendons and ligaments in the wrist through repetitive strain. If the forearm muscles that move the wrist and fingers are too tight for long periods the tendon-coverings will become inflamed and swell causing pressure. This type of irritation is usually treated very successfully with Osteopathy, where we would look to massage the muscles and improve the movement of the wrist. Acupuncture can also help to reduce the swelling initially. For more severe cases or where a more lasting compression is causing symptoms surgery or injection can help, however physical therapy is still recommended to reduce early causative factors.
For more information on the clinic, to discuss a particular case, or to book and appointment please call Tristan Hill on 07835596870 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to visit www.binghamosteopath.co.uk