Debunking 5 Myths About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It is estimated that roughly 3% of the Canadian population suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful disorder caused by pressure on the median nerve which is located in the wrist. At HealthMax Physiotherapy, we treat carpal tunnel and we often get questions pertaining to the painful condition. Today, we will divulge into carpal tunnel syndrome, clearing up the myths and making sure you understand the treatment options for this very painful condition
Myth: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is solely caused by heavy computer usage.
Incorrect. Dr. Barry Simmons of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital states that “roughly 90% of carpal tunnel syndrome is idiopathic, meaning no one knows where it came from.” It’s true that heavy computer usage may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome but it’s important to be informed that anyone could get this disorder. Even if you have never sat in front of a computer in your life, you can still be diagnosed with CTS.
Myth: CTS affects males more than females
Another myth is that males who work with their hands are more likely to be diagnosed with CTS than females. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, females are three times more likely to be diagnosed with CTS than men. According to researchers, women over the age of 50 are the most likely demographic to be diagnosed with the condition. It’s also important to note that there is no correlation between this group and computer usage, further proving the fact that CTS is idiopathic.
Myth: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Only Affects the Hands and Wrist
Many people believe that carpal tunnel only affects the hands and the wrist but Dr. Danny Park of the Swedish Covenant Hospital has been researching CTS for a long time and has some surprising facts. His research discovered that severe CTS could be felt in areas as high as the neck and all the way down to the shoulder. He states that it may be difficult to locate this numbing sensation, however, severe neck and shoulder pain may be a result of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Myth: The damage caused by CTS is permanent
Many patients believe that the damage caused by CTS is permanent, however this is a myth. With physiotherapy, CTS may be reversed. It’s important to discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional because every case is different and physical therapy can indeed reverse the damage depending on the severity. Custom braces may be the recommended treatment option to alleviate pressure on the median nerve.
Myth: Surgery is the only treatment option
If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome then you may be reading up on different surgical procedures and feel as though that this is the only treatment option. Physical therapy is an effective method when it comes to treating CTS. At HealthMax Physiotherapy, our experienced staff will assess the severity of the condition and recommend a treatment option designed to fix CTS. It may be something as simple as correcting your sleeping habits or custom wrist braces designed to relieve pressure on the median nerve.
If you have recently been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to relieve your symptoms, please visit a HealthMax Physiotherapy Clinic near you or call (416) 431-4000. You will be treated with the highest care possible, ensuring the injury is successfully rehabilitated and function is restored.