This painful condition can affect anyone. You might feel pain or a tingling / numbness in the thumb and forefinger region and your thumb grip may also be weakened.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is generally due to the irritation of the median nerve within the bones of the wrist (the carpal tunnel) and it’s irritation that causes the painful symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is therefore often treated by targeting the carpal tunnel itself. Conservative treatment generally involves bracing the wrist (particularly at night) and if this doesn’t work then surgery may be offered in order to try to reduce the pressure within the carpal tunnel, with the hope of alleviating the symptoms.
Sometimes however the ‘carpal tunnel’ symptoms may actually be being caused by an irritation of the nerve further up the nerve pathway – for example in the shoulder or neck. If this is the case then surgery on the carpal tunnel is unlikely to have any effect as it won’t be targeting the cause.
As Osteopaths, when we suspect a patient may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome we assess and treat all the way along the nerve pathway to ensure that all of the possible sites of irritation have been addressed – not just the carpal tunnel itself.
Our aim is to help our patients recover from this debilitating condition without the need for surgical intervention – and, in particular, avoid surgery on the carpal tunnel which won’t actually end up alleviating the symptoms. That’s not to say that surgery is never an option for us – sometimes it may be unavoidable – however we endeavour to ensure that we have exhausted all the non-invasive options before surgery is resorted to.’