A painful thumb is not uncommon and can begin at any age. It is more common in women than men and usually starts at the base of the thumb. It can begin suddenly from trauma, such as walking the dog and getting the leash wrapped around your thumb. It can begin gradually from overuse, such as squeezing tools too hard or too long, or squeezing a pen or pencil too hard or too long. Now we can add text messaging to the mix, because so many use their thumbs for texting a lot. Overuse is a more common cause of thumb pain than trauma. Overuse can occur as a result of using the
thumb for the same activity over a long period of time, like texting. It can occur from doing these things
repetitively over a period of years.
Physical therapy treatment for carpal tunnel first depends on whether you have had surgery or not.
If you have not had surgery, the first thing a physical therapist will do is determine if all your symptoms are coming from the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel symptoms are usually numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, middle, and sometimes the ring finger. Other common complaints are hand swelling, sensation of pins and needles, pain at night, hand clumsiness, and hand weakness. It is also possible that the median nerve, the nerve that is compressed with carpal tunnel, is compressed at another
location in the arm. This can be determined through a physical therapist’s exam as well.
Once it is determined that your symptoms are related to carpal tunnel, the therapist can take some
baseline measurements of your sensation and strength to track progress and to make sure your
symptoms of nerve compression are not worsening. This also allows the therapist to screen and
determine if or when you need to be further evaluated by a surgeon.
DEFINITION: Osteoarthritis (or O/A) of the knee is most commonly referred to the “wear and tear” of the knee. This wear and tear process can occur at any joint, however most often seen at the knee joint. Osteoarthritis is basic degeneration or breaking down of the joint surfaces of the knee. The smooth cartilage lining of the knee begins to wear away over time causing bone on bone contact at the knee joint. This diagnosis is made by physical examination and X-rays by your physician.
You may have seen dry needling on the internet or heard about it from your doctor, but what is it? Dry needling is often a very effective means to alleviate pain and improve function when applied appropriately to tight muscles and taut muscle bands, or “trigger points.” A monofilament needle, the same used in acupuncture, is inserted into the trigger point, relaxing the muscle and resetting the nerve that’s causing spasms. Here are 5 reasons to try dry needling:
Proper arm care is a must for baseball players and, specifically, pitchers. If you are not doing anything in the off season to prepare your shoulder for the rigors of the season, you are doing yourself a disservice. Let’s break the preparation for baseball season into 3 phases.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.