Where Does it Hurt Series
* Please Note: Below is a listing of some but not all conditions that physical therapists treat. This page is intended for informational purposes only. The information below should in no way be considered complete and in no way should be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your physician, physical therapist or other healthcare provider for more information on the condition that concerns you.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the wrist. Passing through this tunnel is the median nerve and the tendons that connect the fingers to the muscles of the forearm. CTS occurs when this median nerve is pinched because of swelling of the nerve, tendons, or both.
CTS can be caused by sports like racquetball or handball, daily activities like sewing, typing, writing, driving, painting, etc. It is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist. It is most common in women aged 30-50.
- Pain in the hand and wrist
- Tingling and numbness
- Typically, patients will wake at night with a burning or aching pain with numbness and tingling and will shake their hands to obtain relief and restore sensation.
Trigger finger is a condition in which your finger or thumb locks or catches in a bent position. The finger or thumb may straighten with a snap (like a trigger being pulled and released). In a severe case, the finger may lock in the bent position.
This is caused by inflammation of the tendons in the finger. The tendon is covered by a protective sheath, which is lined with a lubricating fluid. When the tendon becomes inflamed, bending the finger or thumb may pull the inflamed portion through a narrowed tendon sheath, creating the snap or pop.
- Soreness at the base of the afflicted finger or thumb
- Painful clicking or snapping when attempting to flex or extend
- Catching worsens after inactivity
- In a more severe case, the finger may lock in either the extended or flexed position and must be gently straightened with the opposite hand.