Interdisciplinary Network of Researchers in Touch
Thursday 25th July, 2019
|18:00-18:00: Posters & wine in Social Space, A22||Impaired proprioceptive sense of hand opening in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome|
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is caused by chronic median-nerve compression and results in diminished touch sensitivity and impaired fine motor skills. We investigated whether digit proprioception is also impaired in CTS. Proprioception is relatively neglected in CTS research, and clinical tests of digit proprioception lack sensitivity. Proprioception was measured using a two-interval, forced-choice size-discrimination task. Participants used the index finger and thumb to feel two objects sequentially, without seeing the hand, and reported which felt larger. Size differences were varied to generate discrimination thresholds, which reflect sensitivity to hand opening from proprioception. CTS patients had higher thresholds than controls, indicating that CTS causes reduced proprioceptive sensitivity to the posture of affected digits. Proprioception may therefore contribute to the difficulties CTS patients experience manipulating objects. Our results have implications for improving assessment and rehabilitation strategies in CTS, and in a wider range of conditions in which proprioception may also be impaired.