From the moment you wake up to before you fall asleep at night, you are making use of your hands continuously. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that can affect your hand and arm. In its early stages, the pain, numbness, and tingling may come and go. Once the condition progresses, however, the symptoms become constant and can limit your ability to use your hands.
If possible, have your problem evaluated early, so you learn what could be contributing to your condition. In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with non-surgical methods. A hand specialist can help improve your symptoms, so you can complete your daily tasks.
What Does a Hand Specialist Do?
A hand specialist has training in the diagnosis and treatment of pathological upper-extremity conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. To become certified, the specialist needs to have at least three years of clinical training and pass an examination of skills and theory.
A certified hand therapist (CHT) can provide the following services:
- Patient education – A CHT can educate you on proper posture, the correct wrist positions, and techniques for cooking, using tools, and other implements. A CHT can perform a worksite assessment, where they examine your chair, desk, and keyboard and provide ergonomic recommendations on how to avoid working with the wrists in a bent position.
- Exercises – A CHT can guide you through stretching and strengthening exercises that improve hand, wrist, and finger flexibility and build stronger muscles. Wrist flexion and extension exercises are easy enough to do by yourself, but a hand therapist can teach you more focused exercises that may involve weights and balls. You are encouraged to take stretch breaks throughout the day. Once the symptoms have improved, you can begin strengthening exercises.
- Wrist Brace – The hand therapist may recommend the use of a brace, which you should wear before going to bed. The purpose of the wrist brace is to keep your wrist in a neutral position. Carpal tunnel syndrome tends to get worse at night as we become unconscious of our wrist position. A wrist brace can also be worn during the day. The brace will keep the wrist in a neutral position, relieving symptoms and allowing you to complete your tasks unbothered.
- Other modalities – There are several modalities that a CHT can use to help improve your symptoms. These include manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, dry needling, electrical modalities, behavior management, and wellness education.
A hand therapist designs treatment programs that are individualized to each patient. You may receive treatments listed here as well as others, as several techniques are often combined to bring optimal results.
Hand Therapist in Austin, TX
If carpal tunnel symptoms are making your life difficult, reach out to one of our certified hand therapists at Endeavor Physical Therapy. We have two CHTs on staff who can provide personalized treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome for immediate improvement of symptoms and a fast recovery.
To schedule an appointment, call us at (512) 284-7192 or use our appointment request form. In addition to Austin, we have clinics located in Round Rock, Manor, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Bee Cave, Lakeway, and Hutto.