CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, & MORE
Understanding and Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition wherein the person experiences numbness and tingling in the hand which is caused by the irritation of the median nerve at the wrists. The symptoms of the condition affect the median nerve as it passes through the wrist and into the hand. It can be found on the interior, or palm side of the hand. This nerve is commonly known as the carpal tunnel.
The Purpose of the Median Nerve
The median nerve, or carpal tunnel, provides sensation to many places in the hand. Primarily sensation to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger. The nerve is also in charge of providing impulses to the muscles controlling the thumb. Overall, the condition can affect one or both hands, depending on the cause of it.
Swelling inside of the wrist caused by repetitive motion damage can cause mild to severe compression inside the carpal tunnel, causing carpel tunnel syndrome. Many patients experience numbness, weakness, or tingling in the side of their hand that radiates up their thumb.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by many factors. The symptoms of the condition are caused by excess pressure in the wrist affecting the median nerve. This can affect sensation, range of motion, and even obstruct blood flow going into and out of the hand.
The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome may be due to an underlying medical condition that causes swelling in the wrist. These conditions, include but are not limited to:
- dysfunction of the thyroid
- high blood pressure
- autoimmune conditions
- retained fluid (caused by pregnancy or menopause)
- fractures of the wrist
- trauma to the wrist
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common condition and can be made significantly worse if the wrist is overextended or overworked repeatedly. Any repeated motion that affects the wrist can contribute to the swelling and compression the median nerve. Orthopedic specialists report this causes the condition to become more prominent and potentially affect the daily activities of the person suffering from the condition.
The additional stress of the condition and subsequent flaring of the condition could be a result of any of the following, or other outside factors.
- The way you position your wrists using a keyboard or mouse.
- Extensive or prolonged use of power tools or hand tools that vibrate.
- A repeated movement that causes the muscles and the nerves to overextend. Things, like typing or playing the piano, can increase the symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are typically discovered around the path of the median nerve. According to orthopedic specialists, the first symptom patients typically experience is their hand falling asleep, or dropping items more frequently than they are used to. Other symptoms of the condition include:
- Numbness and tingling in the thumb and first three fingers.
- Pain in the thumb and first three fingers.
- Pain or burning sensations that travel up the arm toward the elbow.
- Pain in the wrist that can be intense enough to interfere with sleep.
- Muscle weakness in various muscles in the hand.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Orthopedic specialists recommend the treatment approach for carpal tunnel syndrome to depend greatly on the severity of the condition and the symptoms. As with any condition, early diagnosis and treatment is best. The treatment approach will also take into consideration whether there is weakness involved in your symptoms.
Orthopedic doctors recommends that carpal tunnel be managed without surgery if possible. The scar tissue caused by carpal tunnel surgery can increase the amount of pressure experienced on the median nerve.
- Avoid positions that cause your wrists, and their muscles to overextend.
- Over the counter pain medications may be helpful in reducing inflammation.
- Wrists splints to encourage your hands to remain in a natural position may be helpful.
- Effective treatment for underlying conditions may be extremely effective.
- Steroid injections may be necessary to reduce inflammation.
Treating the sources of carpal tunnel syndrome has proven to be a very effective approach. Surgery should always be reserved as a last resort.
Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified health care professional. The views expressed are personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mya Care. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen. Do not reproduce, copy, reformat, publish, distribute, upload, post, transmit, transfer in any manner or sell any of the materials in this blog without prior written permission from myacare.com.
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