Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Feeling a burning, tingling, or numbness in your hand, wrist, or arm? It might be carpal tunnel syndrome. This common condition makes up 90% of all neuropathies and is most common in female adults ages 36-60. However, we see it on a regular basis at MOTUS in athletes of all ages who have injured their wrist through overuse and poor form.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is named for the carpal tunnel, a channel that protects the flexor tendons and the median nerve. The median nerve runs down the forearm to the hand on the palm side of your wrist. Certain things — such as genetics, obesity, pregnancy, and repetitive wrist movements — can put pressure on the carpal tunnel, which in turn compresses the median nerve, causing pain and tingling along the arm, wrist, and hand.

In our sports-specific clinic at MOTUS, we’ve treated many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome for athletes in sports like tennis, golf, rowing, bodybuilding, and rock climbing. Any sport that requires a lot of hand and wrist movement can cause carpal tunnel syndrome to develop from overuse. It can also develop in athletes after an injury that irritates the wrist and carpal tunnel.

For athletes that develop carpal tunnel due to repetitive wrist motions, the onset is usually gradual. Early on, you may start to notice some pain in different areas of the hand, or a little tingling and numbness. Most of the time, symptoms will be present in the thumb index finger,

middle finger, and the half of the ring finger that’s closest to the thumb. As the condition worsens, symptoms might move up the forearm. If carpal tunnel syndrome is left untreated, it can weaken the hand and damage motor coordination.

Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome is relatively easy. We will want to learn about your background and your activity level as well as learn about how and when the pain started. We will also complete a full exam to make sure the pain isn’t sourcing from another area in the body. Your grip strength, wrist range of motion, and flexion will help us confirm that it’s carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are a lot of ways to treat and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from affecting your athletic performance. We can teach you better techniques, form, and posture that will not only help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome but can improve your performance and overall well-being.