Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by the median nerve becoming compressed at the wrist.
This nerve is responsible for controlling sensations to the palm part of the fingers and the thumb and also controls various other nerve impulses to the muscles in the hand.
The carpal tunnel houses the median nerve as well as tendons. When tendons become inflated or irrigated, the median nerve becomes compressed, resulting in a variety of consequences, including pain in the hand that runs up the arm, weakness in the arm and numbness in the hand.
The condition is the most commonly diagnosed cause of hand and wrist pain in the U.S.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a number of different factors that increase the median nerve and tendon pressure.
It is suspected that, for most suffers, the condition is caused by smaller than normal carpal tunnel.
Trauma and injury to the hand or arm, over activity in the pituitary gland, arthritis, repeated use of the hand with a wrist motion and fluid retained during pregnancy are other factors that cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
Sometimes there is no exact reason for the syndrome. Women are far more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome than men.
This is due, in part, to the fact that a woman’s carpal tunnel is smaller than a man.
Although carpal tunnel syndrome is not entirely preventable, there are a number of methods which you can use to minimize your risks of developing the condition.
It is in your best interest to put as many of these prevention methods to work for you as possible.
At work, take frequent breaks if it is possible, and remember that stretching is vital. Reform various hand an arm exercises before he day begins.
Use ergonomic products at home and in the workplace as well.
These specially designed products are easier to grip and hold without stressing the carpal tunnel or the tendons, further reducing your risk.
For most sufferers, the symptoms of carpal tunnel begin gradually and increase as time progresses.
Initially those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome may experience a burning sensation in the hand and the fingers, tingling and/ or itching.
Sometimes people report that their fingers feel as if they are swollen when they are actually not.
As symptoms of the condition progress, tingling sensations in the hands and fingers may be felt throughout the day.
Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate hot and cold when you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
It may be more difficult for the person suffering to grip things and forming a fist may also be difficult.
If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome may cause the muscle base at the thumb to waste away.
Luckily there are a number of treatment options available for those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.
The treatment best for your needs varies, with factors such as the severity of the condition determining which you should use.
It is best to talk to your doctor about the potential treatments available. Together you can determine which is most suitable to your particular case, allowing treatment and peace of mind to occur much sooner than before.
Remember, do not put off that visit to the doctor if you suspect that you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
The sooner that treatment begins the better results you will enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of the different treatment options that your doctor might recommend for carpal tunnel syndrome.
One of the most common treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome is medications. Your doctor may prescribe one of several different medications for the disease.
He might also recommend the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin.
Pain relievers are also often times recommended for use over period of short time.
Sometimes diuretics are prescribed to patients, which work as a way to decrease swelling. Sometimes Corticosteroids are used, or Lidocaine injections given.
It is imperative that you stretch your muscles each and every day. This is important to prevent carpal tunnel as well as to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort associated with the condition.
Talk to a physical therapist who can recommend the best exercises to use of the prevention and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you are someone that does not want to use medications to treat their condition, consider the use of alternative treatments.
Alternative treatments are safe for most people and most of the time are considered very effective.
Popular types of alternative therapy best for carpal tunnel syndrome include care from a chiropractor as well as acupuncture.
Surgery is sometimes required in order to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Before recommending surgery, however, your doctor will try treatment with medications and other choices first.
Believe it or not, surgery to correct carpal tunnel syndrome is performed regularly in the U.S.
It is recommended that you opt for surgery is the other treatments are not showing any improvement after a period of six months or more.
When surgery is performed for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, the band of tissues that surround the wrist are severed, thus reducing the amount of pressure that is resting on the median nerve.
Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is quick and effective. Some of the different types of surgery available for carpal tunnel include:
Open Release Surgery
For most people, Open Release Surgery is chosen for correction of carpal tunnel syndrome.
With this surgery, the doctor will make a 2-inch incision in the wrist and then remove the carpal ligament. This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.
This is a type of surgery that provides less discomfort and a faster haling time than the Open Release Surgery.
The doctor makes two ½ inch incisions in the wrist and the palm, and then uses a camera with an attached tube to observe, on a screen, the inside of the tissue. The carpal ligament is then cut.
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome is available for anyone suffering from the condition. The best treatments for the condition are listed above.
If you are suffering from this condition, talk to your doctor and get the treatment that you need.