On the inner side of your wrist there is a narrow tunnel surrounded by ligaments and bones. This passageway is the conduit for your median nerve and several tendons that operate the movement of your fingers. Repeated or continuous pinching or pressing of that nerve can trigger carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition which, as it progresses, makes it increasingly difficult to use your hand and arm.
What are the common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome begins gradually. At first, you may be aware of an indistinct aching. Or you’ll start to feel numbness or tingling in your hand or in or all of your fingers. Your little finger is an exception as it is not affected by carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Often this sensation occurs when you are holding the steering wheel, a newspaper or a telephone, or as you wake up in the morning. Most people shake their hands, hoping to relieve the symptoms. As time passes, the numbness may become constant. A gradual weakening in your hands is another common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. If you find your dropping things more often than usual, this may be an early symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.
What is the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome?
The median nerve travels from your forearm through a narrow tunnel in your wrist up to your hand. This nerve makes sensation possible on the inner side of all of your fingers except your little finger. The median nerve also is responsible for sending signals to operate the muscles at the base of your thumb. Any activity that pinches, compresses, or irritates the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel can bring on carpal tunnel syndrome.
You might feel pain that extends or radiates from your wrist up to your shoulder or down into the palm of your hand or fingers; often it’s triggered by repetitive or forceful use.
Usually, this painful symptom is felt on the inner side of your forearm. A fractured wrist maybe the cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome. The fracture may have narrowed the carpal tunnel and is irritating your median nerve. Common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including inflammation and swelling, are also common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. For the most part, one definitive cause is hard to identify. Many doctors believe that several factors combined trigger the syndrome’s development.
Is carpal tunnel syndrome dangerous?
The majority of people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome can relieve their numbness and pain with proper treatment. Frequently, proper treatment restores normal use of the hands and wrists.
What factors increase the likelihood of your experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome?
Several factors are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Individually, they don’t cause Carpal Tunnel Treatment Orange Countythe condition; however, combined they may increase the odds of your aggravating the situation or damaging to the median nerve. These factors include:
work which demands repetitive or prolonged flexing of your wrist, or work that puts harmful pressure on the median nerve or that aggravates pre-existing nerve damage
inflammation caused by an infection or by rheumatoid arthritis
retention of excess body fluids which increases pressure inside the carpal tunnel and irritates your median nerve
conditions that result in nerve damage including several chronic illnesses like alcoholism and diabetes
dislocating or fracturing your wrist in such a way inside diameter of the carpal tunnel is reduced and results in abnormal pressure on your median nerve
How is carpal tunnel syndrome tested?
There are several ways to identify carpal tunnel syndrome accurately. Among these are:
a study of the pattern of your symptoms and the timing of their occurrence
X-rays to eliminate alternative causes of wrist pain, including a fracture or arthritis
testing the feelings in your hand and fingers and measuring muscle strength
measuring the minute electrical discharges generated by your muscles
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
The easiest way to treat mild carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms is to take breaks more Carpal tunnel wrist bracingfrequently when you work to let your hands and wrists rest.
Also, you can bring down occasional swelling by applying cold packs. If these steps fail to provide relief after a couple of weeks, other treatments may include wrist splinting, medications, or surgery.
How common is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is quite common, but precisely how often it occurs is not known. In most cases, it is women, age 30 to 50, who are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. It is estimated that nearly one out of every 20 people may experience the condition during their lifetime, with women diagnosed with it three times more frequently than men.