Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is characterized by symptoms caused by compression of the median
nerve travelling through the carpal tunnel. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects the hands since it is an
upper limb neuropathy that results in motor and sensory disturbance of the median nerve.
This condition affects individuals by causing pain, paresthesias, and sometimes weakness in the median nerve distribution. Those diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may experience pain, numbness and tingling sensations in the arm, which may extend to the shoulder and neck area; these feelings are more prevalent at night due to various sleeping positions. To aid in the prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, stretching exercises of the wrist, hand, and fingers have been used to combat the pain and numbness caused by repetitive actions. Other than using recommended stretches and exercises, useful treatments for CTS include use of night splints, corticosteroid injections and ultimately surgery.
Most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome have been found to be without a specific cause and certain individuals may be genetically predisposed to this condition.
Trigger finger is a painful condition that affects the tendons in the fingers or thumb. It causes one or more
fingers to snap or lock when the hands are opened or closed. A trigger finger is difficult to straighten
out. While the causes of trigger finger are unknown, it is thought that inflammation causes the tendon
and tendon sheath to swell, resulting in the condition.
Once diagnosed by a doctor, immediate treatments for trigger finger may include stretching the fingers, putting ice on the affected fingers, getting a splint, and anti-inflammation medications. Oral medications that help fight inflammation include naproxen, ibuprofen and diclofenac. For the fastest and most effective treatment, local cortisone injections are administered into the tendon sheath around the affected tendon or thumb to reduce inflammation. In very serious cases where none of the above treatments work, surgery may be necessary.
Congenital Abnormalities of the Hand
Congenital anomalies are deformities that are present at birth and may become a challenge for the child as he or she grows. Hand deformities can be mostly restricting as the child learns to interact and relate with the environment while using his or her hands. There are many degrees and classifications of deformities, including:
- duplication or undergrowth of digits
- failure of part of the hand to develop properly or at all while the baby is in the womb (e.g. missing part of the arm bone)
- failure of parts of the hands to separate (e.g. fusion of two or more fingers)
- congenital constriction band syndrome, which happens when a band forms around a finger or arm and affects blood flow and normal growth
It is important to seek help early with a hand surgeon or specialist in order to determine the appropriate treatment process needed for a child born with a hand deformity. Depending on the specific deformity and the degree of the deformity, there are many treatment options available.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-lasting disease. It is estimated that 1% of the population throughout the
world have rheumatoid arthritis. Women are three times more likely than men to have rheumatoid
arthritis. The development of rheumatoid arthritis slows with age.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects many parts of the body, but mainly the joints. The body's immune system,
which normally protects the body, begins to produce substances that attack the body. In rheumatoid
arthritis, the joint lining swells, invading surrounding tissues. Chemical substances are produced that
attack and destroy the joint surface.
Rheumatoid arthritis may affect both large and small joints in the body and also the spine. Swelling, pain, and stiffness usually develop, even when the joint is not used. In some circumstances, juvenile arthritis may cause similar symptoms in children. Proper treatment for rheumatoid arthritis will help to relieve the pain caused by the disease and help restore the patient's ability to function.
Provided by D1 Therapy
Garrett Welch, OTR is a Registered Occupational Therapist who moved to the Waco area in 2013. Graduating from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (in 2012,) he provides a patient centered and comprehensive service aiming to promote the wellbeing of each patient which may include any of the following:
- Therapeutic Activities
- Therapeutic Exercises
- Scar Management
- Pain Management
- Work Conditioning / Hardening
- Custom Orthotic (Splint) Design, Fabrication and Fitting
- Joint Protection or Energy Modification
- Training in Adaptive and Assistive Devices
- Patient Education for Post-Surgical Safety
- Sensory Re-education
- Physical Agent Modalities
- Wound Care