Yes! Carpal Tunnel often times is fairly easy to treat without surgery. The important factor is that you treat it early rather than letting it go for a while and that you seek treatment with a Certified Hand Therapist. A Certified Hand Therapist has more expertise in this type of condition than a standard Physical Therapist.
So What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? The common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are numbness/tingling in the palmar side of the thumb, index finger, and sometimes middle finger. It also often causes pain in the palmar side of the wrist and thumb.
What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Well, the median nerve has to travel through the carpal tunnel and for a variety of reasons, it starts to get compressed through the tunnel. This means that the nerve can’t transmit the electrical signal properly and you start to develop the numbness and tingling.
The longer you allow the numbness and tingling to go on, the more and more damaged the nerve gets and it becomes harder to resolve the problem without surgery. But, when treated fairly early (within 3-6 months of symptoms starting), it is often possible to resolve the symptoms without surgery.
How do we do this? We start with a comfortable wrist brace at night time. The angle that the brace holds the wrist in is important, so consult with your therapist on that. Secondly, there are a few stretches that help improve how the nerve is moving and gliding through the carpal tunnel. Frequently, the bracing at night and a few exercises during the day are enough to fix the problem.
Of course, we also look at what activities caused the problem in the first place. This has to be addressed and can frequently be fixed with a few adaptations to how you are performing the activity.
Find a local Certified Hand Therapist if you think you may be developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!