Improving Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With Physical Therapy

carpal tunnel syndrome
Source – Wikimedia Commons

Having to deal with carpal tunnel syndrome and its symptoms is an inconvenience where you will experience tingling, numbness and even electric shock surrounding your fingers. As the median nerve has some affected issues, they might suffer from hand weakness. Finding the best solution to carpal tunnel syndrome with physical therapy can be good. 

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 24th May 2022.

Improving Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With Physical Therapy

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you know how difficult it is to perform many of your favourite activities because of the discomfort, numbness, and tingling it produces. The good news is that there are many options for alleviating your pain. Physical therapy is one of these options to try and improve your living quality which can worsen overnight. 

What Can a Physical Therapist Provide?

A physical therapist is a healthcare practitioner who can help you relieve discomfort and recover strength and mobility. If they specialise in hand physical therapy, they may suggest “gliding" exercises. Nerves and tendons are the focus of these. The aim is to assist in the reduction of discomfort and the improvement of mobility.

Your therapist may also recommend a brace. This is something you’ll wear at night to keep your wrist straight. You may also wear it throughout the day if you’re doing things that aggravate your symptoms.

Your physical therapist may also recommend the following:

  • Changes you may make at work, at home, and in your own time to help decrease your symptoms.
  • Ultrasound treatment that uses high-frequency vibrations to alleviate symptoms.
  • A unique hand traction device that helps you stretch your carpal tunnel to make it wider.

Will Physical Therapy Work for Me?

That depends on how well you react to treatment and if physical therapy can help you achieve your pain-relieving and hand-functioning objectives.

However, research is encouraging.

In recent studies, doctors in Spain split 120 women with carpal tunnel syndrome into two groups. One of the groups had surgery. Physical therapy was used on the other group. The therapists concentrated their efforts on the soft tissue in their arms and hands. The aim was to stop the irritation of the median nerve, which was causing the problem.

Over a year, researchers followed up with both groups of women. They discovered that physical therapy and surgery might assist but that physical therapy had superior short-term results. Compared to those who underwent surgery, the women who got treatment experienced less pain and improved function far sooner.

Is physical therapy a viable option for you if you have carpal tunnel syndrome? Consult with your doctor. If you decide to pursue treatment, your physical therapist will meet with your doctor to discuss your progress and offer further suggestions.

What About Physical Therapy After Surgery?

Doctors suggest it help you strengthen your wrist.

However, the advantages don’t end there: your therapist may also assist you in managing your surgical scar to avoid problems. They may also suggest particular exercises to aid in your recovery of mobility and flexibility after surgery.


  2. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”
  3. Mayo Clinic: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. “I’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Would regular hand and wrist exercises help me avoid surgery?”
  4. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Carpal Tunnel Fact Sheet.”
  5. International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: “Current options for nonsurgical management of carpal tunnel syndrome.”
  6. American Society of Hand Therapists: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”
  7. News release, American Pain Society.
  8. The Journal of Pain: “Manual Physical Therapy Versus Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Randomized Parallel-Group Trial.”
  9. American Physical Therapy Association: “Move Forward, “Physical Therapist’s Guide to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”

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