A disorder that is caused from the compression or swelling in the median nerve of the wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome cause tingling, numbness and pain. These symptoms are often felt in the palm of the hand, thumb and first three fingers. It is a gradually developing disorder and the cause is not fully understood. Carpal tunnel syndrome has been linked to diabetes, arthritis, bone enlargement, reduced thyroid function, pregnancy, uremia, tendon inflammation and amyloidosis.
It is also believed that carpal tunnel syndrome may be caused or aggravated by repetitive motions. The condition is often found in those who regularly use their wrists in a repetitive manner, like assembly line workers, writers, data entry workers, carpenters, and people who use vibrating machinery. Additionally, those who have hobbies like knitting, gardening and rowing may also see carpal tunnel symptoms.
You may want to see a doctor is you start feeling tingling, numbness or pain in your hand or wrist. When you get checked the doctor will look for inflammation and the range of movement of your wrist. The doctor may also use Phalen’s test which tries to get symptoms to occur by recreating the flexing of your wrists. Another test that may be done is Tinel’s test which checks for sensitivity of the median nerve. The doctor will likely prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling in the nerve. It is not clear if this has an adequate solution, but patients have reported some relief when using anti-inflammatory medicines.
The wrist brace will help keep your wrist in a neutral position in an attempt to relieve the pressure on your median nerve. Some patients respond well to injections of corticosteroids to relieve the pain.
In the event of a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery may be required. If other treatments fail to work then surgery is usually the last option. An incision is made in the palm and wrist to cut the ligament that runs over the median nerve. Cutting this ligament helps to relieve pressure on the nerve. If no permanent damage has been done to the nerve then this can help relieve symptoms.
After the surgery a person will be on light duty for about 6 weeks when they can then return to normal work duties. The surgery is an outpatient surgery that is done under a local anesthetic.
An alternative to surgery is physical therapy where a therapist will work with a patient to tech them at home exercises as well as exercise that will be done during therapy. Therapy is most effective when a patient takes the time to learn about the exercises and complete them correctly.
People who develop carpal tunnel syndrome usually experience the symptoms gradually. It begins with burning, tingling or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and fingers, especially the thumb, index and middle fingers.If you begin to experience these symptoms, take action immediately, as CTS will worsen unless habits are changed. Check this link easy carpal tunnel exercises that will help ease the pain of CTS.