Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition which causes numbness, tingling and pain in the hand and arm. When the median nerve which is the one of the major nerves of the hand compresses or squeezed it results in carpal tunnel syndrome. In most of the patients, carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse over time so it’s necessary that it diagnose at early stage so the treatment can be started.
What are the symptoms?
Carpal tunnel syndrome has following major symptoms;
- Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain particularly in the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers
- Occasional shock like sensations that diverge to the thumb and index, middle, and ring fingers
- Pain or tingling which might travel up the forearm toward the shoulder
- Weakness and clumsiness in the hand and this may make it difficult to perform fine movements such as buttoning your clothes, cooking, typing etc.
- Things dropping due to weakness, numbness, or a loss of proprioception
Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome:
Usual causes of carpal tunnel syndrome may include;
- Health conditions; such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance
- Obesity; crucial cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is being obese
- Heredity; carpal tunnel syndrome can run in families
- Hand and wrist position; extreme extension of the hand and wrist for a prolonged period while doing certain activities can increase the risk because it put more pressure on the nerve
- Sex; more common in women maybe because the carpal tunnel area is relatively smaller in women than in men
- Pregnancy; hormonal changes during pregnancy may also be the reason
- Anatomic factors; a wrist fracture, dislocation, or arthritis can alter the space within the carpal tunnel and put pressure on the median nerve.
Treatments of carpal tunnel syndrome:
There could be non-surgical or surgical treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Non-surgical treatments may include;
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; it can help relieve swelling and pain.
- Steroid injections; Corticosteroid; a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can be injected into the carpal tunnel. It may help to relieve painful symptoms.
- Activity changes; change or modify your activities that require your hand to be in a particular position for so long can reduce the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Bracing; wearing a brace at night will keep you from bending your wrist while you sleep. It keeps your wrist in a straight position so protecting you from pain.
Surgical treatments include;
- Open carpal tunnel release; doctor makes a small incision in the palm of your hand and will divide the transverse carpal ligament which eventually increases the size of the tunnel and decreases pressure on the median nerve.
- Endoscopic carpal tunnel release; in this procedure special knife is used to divide the transverse carpal ligament.
Pain management institute is helping people to cure acute and chronic long term pain to resume a normal life style. PMI has provided many treatments like stem cell therapy and many others.
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