Carpal tunnel syndrome is an injury that can be pretty disabling. But what should you do about it? When people want to answer that question, they probably go online to search for answers. But if you start searching for things online, you will see a lot of bad and untrue information. So in this blog, we will debunk the five most seen myths around carpal tunnel syndrome that you will find online.
MYTH 1: It’s permanent
If you know what carpal tunnel syndrome is, you know that it affects the median nerve. This nerve is being compressed in the carpal tunnel in the wrist. And if you take a stroll online, you’ll find websites that say that a carpal tunnel is permanent. But that’s already myth number one. Carpal tunnel syndrome is not permanent. Because if we take the compression away, people will feel a release of their symptoms. So it’s not permanent. And there are multiple ways of releasing the pressure on the nerve. And to answer that question, we need to know where the compression comes from.
Because if you know what the cause is, you can treat it. Here are some of the different causes for a carpal tunnel syndrome. One, a wrist fracture. If you fractured your wrist, there could be a chance that the median nerve is being compressed. Sometimes the compression is caused by the bones itself, but sometimes the swelling in the wrist is causing the compression. So reducing the swelling could help reduce the symptoms. If the bones are the problem, a splint or surgery could be the option. The second cause is pregnancy. If you’re pregnant your body is swelling up because of the fluid. So we need to reduce the swelling. A good nutrition plan but also enough exercising could help in reducing the swelling. But sometimes it isn’t that simple, and the only way of reducing your swelling is delivering your baby. So keep in mind that after you deliver your baby, and the cause of your symptoms was too much fluid in the carpal tunnel your symptoms will decrease.
MYTH 2: It’s only caused by hand movements
Another cause is too many repetitive movements with your hands. And this is already myth number two. Well, not the fact that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive movements, but the fact that people say that it’s only caused by using a computer keyboard or piano keyboard. But there are multiple repetitive causes for carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes it’s because you do too many repetitive movements at your work, or you’re holding your kid the wrong way. And these repetitive movements irritated the tendons, causing them to swell up. So again, too much swelling is the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. And there are many more examples of causes for carpal tunnel syndrome. If you want to know more about the causes, take a look at our other video about carpal tunnel syndrome.
MYTH 3: Symptoms only affect the hand
Myth number three is that the symptoms only affect the hand and wrist. And this also isn’t true. Because research shows that people who have carpal tunnel syndrome, can also have forearm and upper arm pain. And some only have symptoms in their first three digits and others have symptoms in their whole hand. So carpal tunnel syndrome can affect the whole hand, and arm.
MYTH 4: You only experience symptoms while using the hand
Myth number four is that you can only experience the symptoms when you use the hand or wrist. But you can definitely experience symptoms in rest. Most people even feel discomfort or symptoms at night, when the body is holding more fluid. They wake up and try to shake their hand to get rid of the symptoms. So again, myth busted!
MYTH 5: You always need surgery
The last myth is that you will be needing surgery if you experience symptoms caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Like I mentioned before, carpal tunnel syndrome has a lot of different causes. And every cause needs a different approach, sometimes splinting the wrist can already help, and sometimes you just need to deliver your baby or need to get rid of the repetitive movements with your hands. But surgery isn’t always needed. And keep in mind that the conservative approach is in most cases just as good or even better than the surgical release.
Alright, I hope this post was helpful in gaining your knowledge about carpal tunnel syndrome. And if you need more help, consider booking an online appointment with our physiotherapists!