Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Sports

blankCarpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common and well-known nerve entrapment condition, often called neuropathy, affecting and causing symptoms in your entire shoulder girdle, arms, hands, and fingers. It’s basically a pinched nerve in your extremities somewhere between your neck and hand. Often people think that carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects only the all day prolonged computer or desk worker yet that’s far from reality.

Though Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms can affect anyone, does it surprise you that it’s quite common in some of the most active people, such as athletes? Let’s look a little closer at the reasons for why carpal tunnel symptoms are so prevalent in even who we consider to be the most elite fit athletes…

Have you noticed how quite a few sports, such as baseball, cycling, tennis, and golf, require you to grip tightly for long intervals without any rest? This greatly fatigues the neck, shoulder, and forearm muscles, tendons, ligaments over time, stressing the joints, and creating muscle imbalances. These muscle imbalances create rounded shoulders and forward head posture, often put press on nerves as well as create pain landmine knots called “trigger points.” Ultimately, you’re left with pain and numbness, even tingling in your hands, arms, fingers. Additionally, any type of colliding accident in sports jamming the wrist can cause carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. The key is knowing the best carpal tunnel syndrome treatment and prevention.

In addition to therapies such as manual therapy, soft tissue therapy, massage, neuromuscular therapy, to the neck, shoulder and arm muscles along the course of the median nerve (the elbow, shoulder, neck, for example), is quite effective to carpal tunnel syndrome prevention and to provide lasting relief to CTS symptoms. Treating CTS symptoms often includes non-surgical methods such as wearing a wrist splint primarily at night and using anti-inflammatories such as ginger, turmeric, and bioflavonoids.

There’s often many modifications athletes are able to make to their sport to avoid placing stress on their wrist. They can also work with other healthcare providers to manage conditions like diabetes, hypothyroid, or certain types of arthritis that can cause or contribute to CTS symptoms.

Lastly, training the CTS sufferer in specific postural exercises they can do throughout their daily activities to improve muscle balance, is often the most effective treatment and carpal tunnel syndrome preventative solution.

Early prevention is most important for CTS as it’s often at the root cause a postural distortion and muscle imbalance issue, leading to pressure on nerves and pain causing trigger points. The more you focus on muscle balance and good posture, the more you prevent the symptoms from occurring.

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