Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common condition that occurs among people who have jobs that involve a lot of typing and repetitive hand strokes.
It involves the inflammation of the median nerve that is in the wrist or the carpal tunnel.
The syndrome develops when the nerve is squeezed or pressed excessively, causing it to become irritated.
People who have medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, trauma, or pregnancy are also at greater risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
The first signs of carpal tunnel syndrome involve numbness or tingling in the median nerve that resides in the wrist, extending all the way to the thumb, middle, and index fingers.
These fingers are usually the first ones that show signs of CTS. The little finger doesn’t show any signs, which is a good indicator for identifying signs of CTS. In severe cases, the feeling is accompanied by pain and weakness in the fingers and hand, which sometimes extends to the arm and the elbow.
Major Risk Factors for CTS
While health conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis definitely increase the risk of developing CTS, other factors include:
- Performing repetitive hand motions
- A small carpal tunnel
- Metabolic disorders that target the nerves of the body, increasing the risk of compression
- Wrist fractures and dislocations
- Occupational factors such as excessive usage of keyboards, working at an assembly line, and other skills-based jobs
Once carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed, the sooner you start treatment, the better your chances of preventing long-term damage. In mild cases of CTS, the problem can be treated with home remedies such as:
- Resting the wrist and avoiding activities that cause pain and numbness
- Icing the wrist regularly for 10 to 15 minutes multiple times a day.
- Using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and relieve pain
- Taking the pressure off your carpal tunnel or median nerve by wearing wrist splints at night
- Getting chiropractic treatment or acupuncture to help the flow of the blood to the nerves.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery
If home treatments and non-surgical treatments don’t relieve the pain in your wrist, a surgical option becomes necessary. The surgical procedure involves relieving pressure on the median nerve by severing a ring of tissue around the wrist.
Recovery from CTS surgery can take up to three months or longer in some cases, in case there is excessive swelling. In most cases, physiotherapy can manage the pain and speed up the recovery process.
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