Two types of post-carpal tunnel surgery physical therapy

Physical Therapy After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common work injury, and it can cause pain in the wrist, hand and forearm. In some cases, surgery can be used to treat the root cause of this condition. However, it can take three to four months to recover after carpal tunnel surgery, it might even take a whole year before you regain all or most of your hand strength. Taking part in physical therapy after carpal tunnel surgery can help speed up your recovery. There are two therapy techniques in particular that can help after this type of surgery. 

1.   Soft tissue mobilization

As your wrist heals after carpal tunnel surgery, it’s likely that scar tissue will develop. Also called adhesions, these areas of scar tissue can make it harder to move your wrist and hand. They can also slow down your recovery process. Soft tissue mobilization is a type of post-carpal tunnel surgery physical therapy that can help break down adhesions. 

This type of therapy falls into a category called manual therapy, and therapists perform it with their hands. During soft tissue mobilization, a therapist will place deep pressure on adhesions in the wrist and hand. They’ll also use their hands to perform rhythmic stretching movements. The combination of pressure and movement can help break down the adhesions. By doing so, they can also help reduce your pain and speed up your recovery after surgery. 

2.   Therapeutic exercises

Another physical therapy method that’s often used after carpal tunnel surgery is therapeutic exercises. There are two types of exercises your therapists can have you do, and the first type is range-of-motion exercises. 

Range of motion is how much you can normally move a body part in any direction. After carpal tunnel surgery, range of motion is typically restricted, but this restriction can slow your recovery speed if it lasts for too long. To counteract range-of-motion restrictions, physical therapists will show you gentle exercises designed to keep your wrist and hand limber. 

The second type of therapeutic exercises that your therapist is likely to have you do is strengthening exercises. These exercises are typically used later in the recovery process than range-of-motion exercises, and they’re intended to increase the strength of the muscles supporting the wrist. They can also be geared toward improving the strength of hand muscles affected by your surgery. 

Get help with your physical therapy after carpal tunnel surgery at Holland Physical Therapy

At Holland Physical Therapy, we have the experience to help you find the most effective post-carpal tunnel surgery physical therapy. To begin your recovery process, we’ll have you come into our Holland, Michigan, clinic for a complimentary screening. This one-on-one screening gives us the opportunity to find out how your surgery has affected your hand and wrist. Once the screening is complete, our team will then build you a personalized recovery plan, and this plan can make use of therapy techniques like: 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment to start your post-surgery rehab.