Have you heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Chances are you haven’t. Don’t worry, this article is all you need.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a painful condition of the hand and fingers caused by compression of a major nerve where it passes over the carpal bones through a passage at the front of the wrist. It may be caused by continual repetitive movements or by fluid retention.
In simple words, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist.
Things you should know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is very common in India with more than 10 million cases per year.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also known as Median Nerve Compression.
- One should not confuse Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (associated with the feet)
- The median nerve does not affect the little finger and therefore in most cases, pain in the little finger cannot be linked with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
What are the causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused mainly due to excess pressure in the wrist and the median nerve. It occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed and the compression occurs due to swelling of the nerves and inflammation of the tendons.
In some cases, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused due to some underlying medical conditions. These medical conditions are linked to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Fractures or any form of excess pressure on the wrist.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Thyroid dysfunction.
- High blood pressure.
- Fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause.
In some cases, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is associated with the repeated or overextended motion of the wrist while using the keyboard, hand tools, playing the piano or guitar, bowling, etc.
What are the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are:
- Excess numbness or tingling in your hand and arm.
- A sensation of pain in the fingers, thumb, wrist, forearms and muscles.
- Weakness in the muscles.
- Burning sensation on the palm.
Unexpected pain while sleeping.
How can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome be treated?
The treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome depends on the severity of the pain associated with it. The treatment options can be divided into surgical treatment and non-surgical treatment.
Surgical treatment has certain risks attached to it so it is best to have a detailed discussion with your doctor regarding the pros and cons of surgery. Surgical treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be done in two ways:
- Endoscopic Surgery.
Non-surgical treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be done in various ways:
Medication to reduce inflammation.
- Painkillers to reduce pain.
- Hand therapy or ultrasound therapy.
- Treatment of the underlying cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Injecting medicine in the Carpal Tunnel area.
- Wrist splints to hold your hand in a fixed and comfortable position.
That’s enough knowledge about something that didn’t even exist to you till yesterday. However, if you need to know more, you can directly chat with a specialist using the chat window on your right.
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