The carpal tunnel is a narrow channel on the palmar side of the wrist. This tunnel houses several tendons along with the median nerve. Pressure on the nerve from inflammation or narrowing of this tunnel can cause pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in professions with repetitive motions such as assembly-line work, jobs that require use of hand tools and excessive keyboard and mouse usage. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also result from an injury to the wrist, fluid retention, diabetes and arthritis.
Physical therapy is often prescribed as a conservative method from injections or surgery. Treatment may include education about posture, body mechanics, proper use of hand tools or keyboard and breaks from repetitive motions. It will also most likely include use of ice or heat, stretching and strengthening exercises, and taping or bracing/splinting. Chiropractic can be ordered if the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are resulting from pressure on the median nerve in the neck (cervical spine) rather than at the wrist.