Numbness and tingling in the fingers? Burning sensation or pain that extends from the fingers to even above the elbow? Weakness in your grip?
One of the most common causes of these symptoms is compression (entrapment) of one of the nerves passing through the wrist area called: The Median Nerve. This condition is called: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or CTS.
This nerve provides sensation to your thumb, index and middle fingers and to half of your fourth finger. As you can see from the picture the median nerve is positioned within a canal in your wrist area (carpal tunnel) and passes below a tough ligament (transverse carpal ligament).
Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect anyone. In the U.S., roughly 1 out of 20 people will suffer from the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome. Women suffer more from CTS than men with a ratio of 3:1 between the ages of 45-60 years. Only 10% of reported cases of CTS are younger than 30 years. Increasing age is a risk factor. CTS is also common in pregnancy.
There are several ways for someone to treat CTS but one of the newer and extremely effective ways to treat it is Neuromobilization. The technique is completely painless and is applied by a Manual Physical Therapist with specialty to treat such problems.
Nerves have viscoelastic properties and they are designed in such a way to be able to slide and glide freely within the various canals in the body. When they become compressed, the free movement of the nerves becomes very restricted and this causes decreased blood supply in the nerve and displacement of the protection cover of the nerve, the myelin sheath.
Neuromobilization techniques and its more advanced form Neurodynamics is a system of evaluative diagnostic maneuvers that are performed by the therapist along with a set of movements of the wrist, forearm, arm and even the neck that have as purpose to restore the free movement of the nerve within the carpal tunnel and even below and above it.
Neuromobilization is a non-invasive technique and is considered one of the first line treatments for carpal tunnel pathology. For additional information consult your doctor or your physical therapist at www.handsonpt.org