Are You Feeling The Pain Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Pressure on the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome. Hands have a narrow passageway called the carpal tunnel, which is surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side. A compressed median nerve can cause symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm. A number of factors, including wrist anatomy, health problems, and repetitive hand motions, may contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Usually, the tingling and numbness can be relieved and wrist and hand function can be restored with proper treatment.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that can cause pain and numbness in the hand and fingers. The condition is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. The median nerve is responsible for sensation in the thumb and first three fingers. The condition is often caused by repetitive motion of the wrist, such as typing.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located deep inside the palm side of the wrist. It contains many tendons and ligaments that help move the fingers and thumb. When the carpal tunnel becomes compressed, the surrounding structures become irritated and inflamed. This causes swelling, inflammation, and eventually scarring. As the scarring continues, the area becomes stiffer and less flexible. This results in increased pressure on the median nerve, causing the symptoms associated with CTS.
Quick fact: CTS is a common condition, affecting about 3% of adults in the United States.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The cause
There is no definite answer to this question as the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is still unknown. However, some possible causes include:
- Inactivity – Some people may experience CTS if they are not active enough, such as when they are not working out as much as they should.
- Stroke – Someone who has a stroke may also experience CTS. This is because the stroke can cause nerve damage and inflammation in the hands and arms.
The cause is a floater in the median nerve, which travels from the hand to the arm. The condition can be caused by any type of repetitive motion, such as working with your hands in a lot of different directions or using your hands a lot when you’re not using them. CTS is often treated with medication and physical therapy.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The symptoms
A person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome will usually experience the following symptoms gradually:
- A feeling of tingling or numbness: In the fingers or hand, you may experience tingling or numbness. In most cases, thumbs, index, middle, and ring fingers are affected, but not little fingers. In these fingers, there may be a sensation similar to an electric shock. Depending on the angle of the wrist, the sensation may be felt up the arm. You may awaken with these symptoms if you are holding a steering wheel, using a phone, or reading a newspaper. The act of shaking out your hands is often used to relieve symptoms. It is possible to develop a constant numb feeling over time.
- Weakness: There may be a weakness in your hand and you may drop objects. In this case, the thumb’s pinching muscles may be weak due to numbness in the hand.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Treatment
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome typically includes rest, splinting, and anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery is also an option for severe cases. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be wondering what treatments are available to you. Here are some options to consider:
Rest: One of the most important things you can do for carpal tunnel syndrome is to give your hands a break. If you work at a computer all day, take frequent breaks to stretch your hands and wrists. You may also want to avoid activities that require repetitive motion of the wrist, such as typing or knitting.
Splinting: Wearing a splint at night can help to keep your wrist in a neutral position and relieve pressure on the median nerve. Anti-inflammatory medications: Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, can help to reduce inflammation and pain
There are a number of treatment options available for CTS, ranging from conservative measures to surgery. The goal of treatment is to relieve the symptoms of CTS and prevent the condition from getting worse. Conservative measures for CTS include splinting, ergonomic modifications, and steroid injections. These measures can often relieve the symptoms of CTS and are often the first line of treatment. If conservative measures do not relieve the symptoms of CTS, surgery may be an option. Surgery for CTS involves releasing pressure on the median nerve by cutting the ligament that runs through the carpal tunnel. This is carpal tunnel release. There are a number of different surgical techniques to do a carpal tunnel release.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The prevention
How do I prevent carpal tunnel?
There’s no way to completely avoid CTS, but there are some things you can do to minimize its effects.
- Take breaks while working. If you’re sitting down typing for hours, get up and walk around every hour or two.
- Keep your wrists straight. Wrist flexion is the primary cause of CTS, so keep your hands straight and don’t bend them forward.
- Use proper ergonomics. Make sure you have good posture and use a keyboard tray if you need to type for extended periods of time.
- Stretch out your fingers before starting work. Hold each finger individually and stretch it out until it feels loose.
- Avoid using vibrating devices. Vibrating keyboards and mice can lead to CTS.
- Don’t overuse your hands. Try not to perform tasks that require excessive force, like hammering nails or lifting heavy objects.
- Get regular checkups. Your doctor may recommend certain exercises to help strengthen your muscles and improve circulation.
Risk Factors of CTS
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of developing CTS. These include: (Ref: NIH)
- Age – Older people have a higher chance of developing CTS than younger people.
- Gender – Women are more likely to develop CTS than men.
- Genetics – People who have family members who suffer from CTS have a higher chance of getting it themselves.
- Body weight – Overweight people are more likely to experience CTS than those who are not overweight.
- Repetitive motion – Occupations that require repetitive motions, such as computer programmers, assembly line workers, and musicians, are more prone to CTS.
- Work environment – Jobs that involve long hours sitting at a desk, working with heavy machinery, or using vibrating tools may put you at greater risk of developing CTS.
- Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, can make you more susceptible to CTS.
The bottom line,
If you experience pain, numbness, or tingling in your hands or wrists, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand. Symptoms include pain in the wrist and hand, numbness in the fingers, and tingling. Carpal tunnel syndrome happens by repetitive motions, such as typing, or by conditions such as arthritis. Treatment options include wearing a splint, taking breaks during activities that worsen symptoms, and, in severe cases, surgery.
If you think you might have CTS, contact your doctor immediately. He or she can perform tests to determine if you do indeed have CTS. Your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve the pressure on the median nerve. However, surgery does not always work. In some cases, medication may reduce swelling and inflammation.