You know that sleep plays an integral role to your health. Sleep restores our bodies, healing the damage we do to our bodies on a daily basis. It plays an important part in ensuring that our nerves, muscles, and bones repair and grow. For these reasons, your physical therapist in Woodbury will be particularly concerned with ensuring that you get at least seven hours of quality sleep a night.
Unfortunately, many people have a difficult time getting restful sleep. You may lay awake for hours, unable to quiet your mind long enough to fall asleep, or you may find that even if you have no trouble falling asleep, you wake throughout the night. You may find that your hands and fingers feel numb, tingly, or in pain when you are trying to sleep. If this sounds like you, it’s possible that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, and it may be directly correlated to your sleep position.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects the median nerve of the wrist and hand. The median nerve begins in the neck and crosses the upper arm and ends in the hand. This is the nerve that is responsible for activating the muscles in the hand (such as when gripping something). At the wrist level, it also supplies feeling to the fingers. The base and sides of the carpal tunnel are made of the wrist’s bones, and the roof is a fibrous band called the transverse carpal alignment. This tunnel houses the tendons responsible for bending your fingers, as well as the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndromes indicate that there is some sort of pressure on this tunnel, which in turn, puts pressure on the median nerve. This leads to numbness and tingling, as well as a loss in dexterity and strength.
How are Sleep and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Connected?
Carpal tunnel syndromes are often worst at night, as the tissue fluids of the arms are redistributed without active muscle pump. When we try to fall asleep, we aren’t moving, increasing fluids, and therefore, pressure on the carpal tunnel. One way to address this problem is to adjust sleep positioning in such a way to ease carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. How wrists are positioned during sleep can have a major impact; in fact, there has been a strong correlation established between sleeping on your side and aggravated carpal tunnel symptoms, as these people generally have their wrists bent to support their head. Therefore, a better sleep position for carpal tunnel syndrome is on your back. If you must sleep on your side, sleep gently hugging a pillow to prevent resting on your wrist.
When you have carpal tunnel syndrome, a physical therapist may be able to help you. Contact Hopkins Health and Wellness Center today, and we can help you determine what the best course of treatment is for your condition. Contact us today!