Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a compression of the median nerve as it passes in your hand. The median nerve runs through your forearm to your hand through a small space called the carpal tunnel. This nerve provides sensation and movement to your thumb, index finger, and long finger. It supplies the impulse to the muscle going to your thumb. This condition can occur in one or both hands.
Swelling inside the wrists causes the compression and condition. This can lead to numbness, tingling, and weakness on the side of your hand.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
The pain is usually caused by excess pressure in the nerve and in the wrist. Sometimes, obstructed blood flow can cause the inflammation and swelling. Some of the conditions associated with carpal tunnel syndrome are:
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Fluid retention from pregnancy or menopause
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Fractures or trauma in the area
Carpal Tunnel syndrome can worse if the wrist is always overextended. These problems include:
- Poor positioning of your wrists while using your keyboard or mouse
- Prolonged exposure to vibrations from using hand tools or power tools
- Any repeated movement that overextends your wrist, such as playing the piano or typing
What are the possible treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome?
Treatment for this condition depends on the severity of the pain and if there is significant weakness. Non-surgical treatments include:
- avoiding positions that overextend your wrist
- wrist splints that hold your hand in a neutral position, especially at night
- mild pain medication and medications to reduce inflammation
- treatment of any underlying conditions you may have, such as diabetes or arthritis
- steroid injections into your carpal tunnel area to reduce inflammation
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery may be necessary if the pain is significant in your area and if there’s severe damage to the nerve involved. Surgery involves cutting the tissue associated with the median nerve in the wrist to lessen the compression and pressure. Outcome is usually positive; however, risk factors include: age, duration of symptoms, diabetes, significance of weakness.
If you are worried about your condition, you might want to have it check by your doctor to explore all your options.