What You Need to Do Before Having Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Do you have wrist pain? Were you told you could have carpal tunnel syndrome?

In this video with Dr. Derek Nielsen of Kaizen Physical Therapy, we talk about how to know whether you should really have surgery and what you can do instead.

There are multiple reasons that you could be having carpal tunnel symptoms. Traditionally, there should be some sort of tingling down the hand if you have “carpal tunnel syndrome.”

One thing you definitely want to consider is your age. If you’re someone younger and having symptoms, it’s probably not traditional carpal tunnel. If you don’t have the typical desk job, you probably don’t have it either. Sometimes, even if you are older and have the desk job, you may not have it either!

This is something we see in our clinics all the time. People come in and say they have been diagnosed, but in reality, it isn’t carpal tunnel, even though the same or similar symptoms are present.

But what really is carpal tunnel? There’s a little channel on your wrist where some nerves and tendons glide. That’s the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome is just a name for a group of signs and symptoms of pain in this area. Technically, it would be a compression of the nerve, but that’s not usually what is happening. Plus, “compression” is a really strong word as it doesn’t take much to irritate a nerve and trigger a pain response.

Everyone has two carpal tunnels. This is just the term for the space between the bones of your wrists (your carpal bones) where nerves and tendons travel. The muscles that move your fingers are actually in your forearm. When this space gets irritated and inflamed, it can cause pain and tingling in your hand. This is what people are referring to when they say “carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Many people are misdiagnosed because many of the same symptoms can be created by muscles in your arm, shoulder and/or neck. Also, too many people rely on Dr. Google and their friends for their diagnosis. So, just because you think you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or even if another medical provider has diagnosed you with this, that doesn’t mean you are at the end of the road and there is nothing that can be done to help, short of surgery.

If you have been diagnosed, there is no need for alarm. Most people who have pain in their wrist usually have a shoulder or neck problem and we can reproduce these “carpal tunnel” symptoms in the clinic, which means we can help.

If you’re concerned you have carpal tunnel syndrome or are having wrist pain and want to speak with our wrist pain specialist, click the link here to request a consult with our doctor of physical therapy so we can give you a roadmap to success and get you back to the activities and work you want to be doing!

About The Author

Aaron LeBauer

Dr. Aaron LeBauer is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist. He owns LeBauer Physical Therapy, LLC, with his wife Andra, in Greensboro, N.C. He has been helping active people stay fit, active and healthy without medications, injections or surgery since 1999. He earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Elon University in 2008. Dr. LeBauer graduated from Duke University in 1996 with a B.A. in History and moved to San Francisco where he studied Massage Therapy and Health Education at the National Holistic Institute. He has specialized in Myofascial Release since 2000 and is an Instructor with the John F. Barnes MFR Seminars. A native of Greensboro, Dr. LeBauer returned in 2005 to continue the third generation of LeBauers as health care professionals in Greensboro. Dr. LeBauer helps weekend warriors, high level athletes, desk jockeys, students, children and anyone with pain, stiffness return to the activities the love without expensive imaging, pain medications, injections or surgery. He specializes in treating people with chronic conditions, pain and injuries which have not responded to traditional treatments and therapies with the goal of helping patients have less pain, move better and feel wonderful in their bodies. Dr. LeBauer also helps other physical therapists start and grow successful cash-based physical therapy practices. He has developed an online training course that describes in detail how to start a small private practice, along with his marketing secrets and strategy. He is currently available for recorded telephone and video coaching sessions, email support, on-site visits and speaking engagements. Contact him for more information, rates and services.. Dr. LeBauer enjoys riding one of his vintage Vespa and Lambretta scooters or his bicycle to work. He has raced bicycles since high school and as a category 1 amateur throughout the United States. He was based out of Northern California and North Carolina and spent a very memorable summer racing in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. He enjoys working in his garden and has an edible landscape including pears, apples, scuppernogs (native muscadine grapes), raspberries, blueberries, figs, various seasonal vegetables and shiitake mushrooms. He has two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife.

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