This injury results from the compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. As discussed previously, the carpal tunnel is a narrow, rigid structure composed of a transverse ligament and carpal bones at the base of the hand. The tunnel surrounds the median nerve, which enters the hand between the carpal bones and innervates the palm side of the thumb and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by excessive wrist movements such as repetitive flexion and extension of the wrist (as in cycling, throwing, racket sports, and gymnastics), which result in squeezing or compression of the median nerve in the tunnel at the wrist. Trauma or injury, including fracture or sprain, wrist swelling, arthritis, or hypertrophy of the bone, can also produce carpal tunnel syndrome.
Other symptoms of this injury include burning sensation, numbness, tingling sensation, itching in the palm of the hand and fingers, wrist swelling, decreased grip strength, and pain that can wake a person.
Dry needling is effective in relieving pain from this injury. The treatment should be started as early as possible. Needles are applied to the top of the ligament and into the carpal tunnel, the recurrent nerve point on the thenar muscles, and both the extensor and flexor muscles on the forearm. Two sessions per week should be offered.
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