Saturday, August 13, 2022

Do You Need Therapy After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

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Can I Continue Working With Carpal Tunnel


In most cases, however, when you apply for Social Security disability benefits based on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you will need to show evidence that your condition makes it impossible for you to continue working at any job for which you are reasonably qualified or for which you could reasonably be trained.

Occupational Therapy In Northern Colorado

At OCR, our hand therapists are specialists in hand and upper extremity disorders, including carpal tunnel syndrome.

We have gyms at the Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, and Lafayette clinics. In addition, we have a variety of specialized equipment to help our therapists progress your program in the most efficient way possible.

If you have questions about our techniques or your home exercise program, please contact us. We want you to be fully informed so you can participate actively in your recovery from injury or surgery!

What’s Recovery For Carpal Tunnel Surgery Like

If you’re having surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s important to plan ahead: your recovery for carpal tunnel surgery may go quickly or last many months. Rarely, it can even last years.

No one can predict for certain how long your recovery will take because it’s different for everybody. But certain conditions are known to make your recovery time easier, instead of longer and more painful. These conditions are discussed below.

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First Month Of Aftercare

What a relief! Those itchy stitches and bandages are gone. Your patience has paid off, but you still you have:

  • a tenderness in the wrist
  • an itchy scar
  • pain when gripping or pinching

These feelings are completely normal and will lessen in the next few weeks.

At this point,scar managementbecomes important. Keep the scar clean and dry. You can gently massage the scar and surrounding skin with vitamin C + E cream.

In this period of aftercare for carpal tunnel surgery most patients report reduced grip and pinch strength. This is also normal. At first it will be too painful to grip or pinch anything firmly. Thats why you must do this slowly and work up to harder gripping strength. If you dont have the complication of nerve damage as a result of the surgery, grip and pinch strength should be back to normal in 3 months.

This is also the time to beginhand therapy after carpal tunnel surgery.Stretching, strengthening, and range of motion exercises are all part of the physical therapy your hand will need. The surgeon will give you instructions for all of these.

You will also do more vigorous activities with your hand. This is the period of aftercare for carpal tunnel surgery where most patients can return to work.

How Do You Know When Your Carpal Tunnel Is Bad

Fixing Carpal Tunnel without Surgery

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may include: Numbness, tingling, burning, and painâprimarily in the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers. Occasional shock-like sensations that radiate to the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers. Pain or tingling that may travel up the forearm toward the shoulder.

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Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

As the median nerve becomes crushed, it produces paresthesia,or abnormal sensations. These include feelings of pain, numbness, burning, pins & needles or weakness.

These feelings are distributed on the fingers and palm as shown in the illustration to the left. Note how only certain parts of the fingers and hand are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.

When it starts out, carpal tunnel syndrome usually only appears while you’re trying to sleep. As it progresses, symptoms seem to come and go during the day. Sometimes you feel shooting electric shocks in your hand.

More severe symptoms truly interfere with your daily life. They include much more intense paresthesia . They also include loss of dexterity, diminished grip strengthand loss of temperature sensitivity.

What To Expect After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel is a very painful syndrome, and once you experience symptoms, youll want to do everything you can to relieve the pain. After living with the flare-ups and pain for so long, the only option might be surgery. If your carpal tunnel leads to surgery, knowing what to expect after surgery will benefit your recovery.


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What Happens During Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel release is usually an outpatient procedure, which means that you can go home the same day as the surgery if all goes well. There are 2 types of carpal tunnel release surgery. The traditional method is the open release, in which the surgeon cuts open the wrist to do the surgery.

The other method is endoscopic carpal tunnel release, in which a thin, flexible tube that contains a camera is put into the wrist through a tiny incision . The camera guides the doctor as the surgery is done with thin tools put into the wrist through another small cut.

In either case, here is the general sequence of events in a carpal tunnel release surgery:

  • You will usually be asked to remove your clothing, or at least your shirt, and put on a hospital gown.
  • Typically, local anesthetic is used for this procedure to numb the hand and wrist.
  • In an open release surgery, the surgeon cuts about a 2-inch incision on the wrist. Then he or she uses common surgical instruments to cut the carpal ligament and enlarge the carpal tunnel.
  • In an endoscopic carpal tunnel release, the doctor makes 2, half-inch incisions. One is on the wrist, and one is on the palm. Then he or she inserts a camera attached to a narrow tube into one incision. The camera guides your doctor as he or she inserts the instruments and cuts the carpal ligament through the other incision.
  • The surgeon will stitch up the incision or incisions.
  • Frequent Question: Do I Need Physical Therapy After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    What You Need to Do Before Having Carpal Tunnel Surgery
  • How do you know if your carpal tunnel is severe?
  • Taking part in physical therapy after carpal tunnel surgery can help speed up your recovery. There are two therapy techniques in particular that can help after this type of surgery. As your wrist heals after carpal tunnel surgery, its likely that scar tissue will develop.

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    How Can You Give Your Wrists Some Rest

    Although a surgery can give you a permanent relief, you can follow certain steps to make sure you give your wrists some rest. You experience carpal tunnel syndrome when your median nerve is pressurized. The perfect time to give your wrists some rest is the time of sleeping, i.e. nighttime. It’s an important step before opting out for a surgery. By giving your wrists enough resting time you can avoid certain painful occurrences.

    • Make sure you have kept your wrists at a certain position that would allow you not to sleep on it.

    • The safest option for you if you experience painful symptoms is contact your doctor as soon as possible.

    Hand Therapy After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    2 Minute Read

    Have you ever experienced numbness, pain, or tingling in your hand? Although it may be caused by a temporary injury, ongoing pain and numbness could point to carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition affects approximately three to six percent of the adult population and symptoms usually begin gradually without any specific injury.

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    Rehab For Wrist And Hand Pain

    If you have pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand or hands, you may have a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome . This condition occurs when the median nerve in your wrist becomes compressed and irritated.

    The problem may become severe and limit your ability to use your hands normally during activities such as gripping and typing on your computer keyboard.

    If you have CTS, you may benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapy for CTS can help decrease your pain and abnormal hand sensations, regain strength, and improve overall hand and arm function.

    This article will describe carpal tunnel syndrome and the types of therapies that a physical therapist may employ in treating the condition.

    What To Expect After The Operation

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    Not everyone needs to see a physiotherapist after surgery unless there is a problem with scar pain or stiffness. Some general rules that are useful for everyone are:

    • Hand elevation is important to prevent swelling and stiffness of the fingers.
    • Remember not to walk with your hand dangling, or to sit with your hand held in your lap.
    • It is fine, however, to lower your hand for light use and you should get back to normal light activities as soon as possible as guided by common sense.
    • It is safe to use the fingers for day-today activities such as eating, dressing, brushing your hair. These activities all help to prevent stiffness and swelling.


    The pain and tingling you experienced at night before the operation should settle immediately. If you have established numbness, dryness, lost dexterity or wasting of the muscle at the base of the thumb, then recovery of these problems is uncertain, especially as you get older. Ideally, surgery should be performed before these problems develop.


    Your stitches will be removed at about 10 to 14 days after the operation.


    You will find that your grip is weaker than before the operation and slightly uncomfortable. This can be a bit frustrating but you should be back to full power by 6 to 12 weeks as healing occurs. Exercises such as squeezing balls will not speed up the process, and if overdone this can actually delay your recovery.


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    S You Might Follow After The Surgery

    • Wearing a splint or wrist brace for some weeks can provide you with support for your wrist. A doctor’s recommendation is required in this case.

    • You can be encouraged to put ice on surgical spots once or twice a day. This will give you some relief.

    • If the pain persists for a longer period of time after the surgery is over or if you feel weakness, you can take the help of a hand therapist.

    Recovery period may vary considering the individual difference. The condition of the median nerve plays an important role in case of carpal tunnel treatment surgery and recovery period can vastly be affected by this. Age, health and mental condition of an individual can also affect the recovery period.

    Do You Have To Have Physical Therapy After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    The recovery from carpal tunnel surgery takes time anywhere from several weeks to several months. If the nerve has been compressed for a long period of time, recovery may take even longer. Recovery involves splinting your wrist and getting physical therapy to strengthen and heal the wrist and hand.

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    Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented

    There is no single proven strategy for preventing CTS, but there are ways to reduce stress to your hands and wrists. Since there are several factors that can contribute to developing CTS, one single solution may not be effective.

    The following are effective ways to decrease stress to your hands and wrists:

    Range Of Motion Exercise After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Top 3 Exercises to Perform AFTER Carpal Tunnel Surgery (Release)

    Range-of-motion exercises rehabilitate and improve movement of your fingers and wrist after the carpal tunnel surgery. Example of these types of exercises includes tendon-gliding exercises, thumb exercises and wrist range of motion exercise. There are nine tendons which travel through your carpal tunnel and they connect muscles in the arm to the fingers that they move.

    Generally tendon-gliding exercises include following in sequential manner:

    • making a hook fist

    More: Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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    How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed

    First, your doctor will discuss your symptoms, medical history and examine you. Next, tests are performed, which may include:

    • Tinels sign: In this test, the physician taps over the median nerve at the wrist to see if it produces a tingling sensation in the fingers.
    • Wrist flexion test : In this test, the patient rests his or her elbows on a table and allows the wrist to fall forward freely. Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome will experience numbness and tingling in the fingers within 60 seconds. The more quickly symptoms appear, the more severe the carpal tunnel syndrome.
    • X-rays: X-rays of the wrist may be ordered if there is limited wrist motion, or evidence of arthritis or trauma.
    • Electromyography and nerve conduction studies: These studies determine how well the median nerve itself is working and how well it controls muscle movement.

    Recovery After A Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    During open carpal tunnel release surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is cut, which releases pressure on the mean nerve and alleviates the signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.

    A cut is made at the base of the palm of the hand. This enables the doctor to see the transverse carpal ligament. After the ligament is cut, the skin is closed with stitches. The space where the ligament was cut is left alone and ultimately fills with scar tissue.

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    Physical Therapy Not Surgery Should Be The First Option For Almost Every Patient

    Back surgery is the only kind of musculoskeletal surgery that is more common than carpal tunnel surgery.

    The above sentence sounds wrong, but it isnt. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration reported that about 8 million Americans suffer each year from carpal tunnel syndrome and about 230,000 of them had carpal tunnel surgery annually from 2007 through 2014.

    It turns out, though, that almost all patients with this condition should have chosen physical therapy rather than surgery, the lead author of a study by King Juan Carlos University in Spain involving 50 carpal tunnel syndrome patients who had physical therapy and 50 who had surgery told WebMD in an article entitledPhysical Therapy Equals Surgery for Carpal Tunnel.

    Researchers found that physical therapy particularly so-called manual therapy improved hand and wrist function and reduced pain as effectively as a standard operation for the condition, the article reported. Moreover, after one month, physical therapy patients reported better results than those who underwent surgery.

    The world-renowned Cleveland Clinicdescribes carpal tunnel syndrome as a medical condition that occurs when the median nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand via a narrow space called the carpal tunnel becomes compressed or pinched and, thus, causes numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and fingers.

    What Are The Risks Of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    8 Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome You Need to Try

    As with most surgeries, carpal tunnel release is not without its risks. Your wrist will be made numb and you may be given medicine to make you sleepy and not feel pain for the procedure. In some cases general anesthesia is used, this when drugs are used to put you into a deep sleep during surgery. Anesthesia poses risks for some people. Other potential risks of a carpal tunnel release surgery include:

    • Bleeding
    • Injury to the median nerve or nerves that branch out from it
    • Injuries to nearby blood vessels
    • A sensitive scar

    The recovery from carpal tunnel surgery takes time anywhere from several weeks to several months. If the nerve has been compressed for a long period of time, recovery may take even longer. Recovery involves splinting your wrist and getting physical therapy to strengthen and heal the wrist and hand.

    There may be other risks, depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor before the procedure.

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    Strengthening Exercise Post Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Strengthening exercises after a carpal tunnel operation mainly target three small muscles that are responsible for bending your thumb into your palm, oppose it against other fingers and move it out to the side.

    These muscles are controlled by the median nerve and nerve compression may result in weakening of these muscles. Grip-strengthening exercises are also included to improve your grip strength. These exercises are started usually after 3-4 weeks after the surgery and can be performed by using balls and various rubber bands, and various exercise equipment.

    Active Hands For Life It Is A Wonderful Concept

    I had a lot of hand pain that was waking me up throughout the night due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I purchased the Carpal Solution, followed the directions and after the fourth night my pain was completely eliminated.

    Since I use the computer daily as part of my job, I am going to purchase some additional Carpal Solution Therapy Pacs to have on hand when symptoms flare up. It is great to have a reliable therapy available, which I can depend upon.

    Patti Mortgage Broker Texas.

    Fantastic product! I now have feeling in my thumb and forefinger . I had been told by several doctors over the years that my only recourse was to have an operation which I would not give in to.

    No doubt, I made the correct decision over the years. I am telling everyone I know and come in contact with about the Carpal Solution.

    Billy, 3M Factory Worker. Wisconsin

    Fourteen nights in a row with sound sleep. It required a little more time with my left hand, but over a three week period both hands were feeling better. I am so pleased with this product.

    I wore the Carpal Solution for fourteen nights. My left hand is now fine, it is remarkable, but my right hand may still require surgery, I will keep doing the six week protocol and then make a decision

    Linda, Cashier Indianapolis, Indiana

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