Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to a condition that frequently manifests with numb, tingly hands or arms with a feeling of progressive weakness.
It is not an uncommon condition, but can severely limit your everyday activities, especially if you are someone who spends a lot of time typing words at a computer.
What causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The median nerve, one of the major nerves supplying the muscles of the hand, when compressed in the wrist area, results in carpal tunnel syndrome. The following may be contributing factors that lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Repetitive movements with the hands (Ex: computer keyboard or piano)
- Repetitive, hand movements in sports or other similar physical activities)
- Injury to the wrist resulting in swelling, such as sprain or fracture
- Imbalance of either the pituitary gland or the thyroid gland
- Rheumatoid arthritis or other arthritic diseases
- Hormonal changes from menopause or pregnancy
- Blood sugar level issues (Ex: type 2 diabetes)
- Repeated use of vibrating hand tools
- Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause
- Development of a cyst or tumor in the canal
- Repeated sleeping on a bent wrist
- Increasing age
What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Early symptoms may include:
- Numbness in hands or fingers
- Swollen hands or fingers
- A tingling sensation or pain in the fingers (mostly at night)
Progressive symptoms may include:
- Mild to severe pain
- Tingling sensation during the day and night
- Some loss of movement in the hand
- Hand weakness ; Difficulty picking up objects
Treating and Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Evaluation and proper diagnosis by the professional precedes treatment in all cases. If detected in early stages, the aim should be to stop the progression or at least, slow it down. Physical therapy and invasive procedures like pain injections and surgery are the only ways to solve this problem once the primary remedies have failed.
Exercises that aid in the free movement of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel may help with the pain in some cases. Corticosteroid injections may be advised for relieving pain and reducing inflammation and swelling. These are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that are effective, although temporarily, in calming down a flare of symptoms.
Surgical treatment is recommended if all else fails. Surgery can be of two types: open and endoscopic. Each has its own benefits but the ultimate goal is to heal carpal tunnel syndrome.
A pain-free life is within your grasp. We can show you how. Regain control of your life by calling today and scheduling an appointment with us today!