Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Did you know that carpal tunnel syndrome affects 2 million people in the United States? Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that progresses gradually, and you will first notice a tingling sensation on your fingers or numbness. The feeling comes and goes over time, but the sensations will increase in intensity.
Soon the tingling will start to last longer, And eventually, it becomes painful, disrupting your daily activities such as driving, griping pens, typing, holding your phone, etc.
What exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a health condition that may affect your arms or hands. It causes numbness, a tingling sensation, and finally, the hands go completely weak. The carpal tunnel is a tiny passage found somewhere on the inside of your wrist. The tunnel covers the nine tendons that connect the bones of the hand and fingers and a median nerve. A couple of bones and ligaments protects the carpal tunnel.
Any swelling inside your wrist increases pressure in this tunnel and compresses the median nerve, causing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Factors that may contribute to compression of the median nerve may be underlying health problems, excessively using your hand in repeated movements, and the anatomy of your wrist.
Fortunately, if you are among the people who get carpal syndrome, you can find treatment to help eliminate the tingling, pain, and numbness while restoring proper hand and wrist function.
Who can get carpal tunnel syndrome?
Women are more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. This is because of their biological makeup. Women have inherent risks. Other people who are likely to develop the condition are people with;
- Thyroid disease
- Arthritis that’s affecting the hand or wrist
- Cysts on the wrist
- People with hand injuries such as fractures or dislocations
- Older people
What are the symptoms that indicate you have carpal tunnel syndrome?
- Sensation Issues – Due to the feeling of numbness the condition causes, you may experience some sensation issues. People often start having a sense of swelling, even though their hands are not actually swollen. Sometimes you will also have difficulty telling whether something you have touched is hot or cold.
- Feeling of weakness – the first sign you may notice if you start developing carpal tunnel is the feeling of numbness or a tingling sensation.
- Pain and a burning sensation that shoots up your arm every time you try to do something
- Trouble doing things with your hand like driving or simply holding your phone
As the condition further develops, the symptoms will worsen, and they will be more constant. In severe cases, you may even lose the feeling and function of your thumb and wrist.
What are your treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome?
The treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome will vary from one person to another. Treatment will also depend on the severity and how long you’ve had the condition. In slight numbness, shaking or moving your arm can remove numbness, and you will experience relief almost immediately.
People who are at their computer keyboards daily are at risk for this condition. If you work on your computer typing for longer periods in a day, you should avoid activities that worsen the symptoms. This is especially helpful if you suffer an underlying health condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. If your symptoms persist, both non-surgical and surgical procedures are great treatment options.
Traditional carpal tunnel treatments are usually corticosteroid injections and wrist splints from https://www.sammedical.com/products/sam-sugar-tong-splint. Other treatment options include stem cell treatments, acupuncture procedures, and chiropractic therapy.
Carpal tunnel syndrome varies and can be mild or severe. If your case is mild, we recommend sufficient rest and using a wrist splint at night to immobilize your hand. That usually calms the symptoms significantly since they typically worsen at night.
You may also be given medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin, but that is only for severe cases of pain. In cases where the treatment mentioned above fails to work, then you may need surgery. Surgery will help release the pressure on the median nerve, which is causing pain and numbness.
What happens if left untreated?
If you are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, the symptoms usually come and go. Most people typically ignore and wave it off. However, the condition will progress and become worse. You may even start to experience excruciating pain and severe numbness to the extent of losing all feeling on your hands.
The pain will eventually travel up to your arm and then the shoulder. Over time, if left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome will cause your muscles to decrease in size, and they will begin to waste away. Even with treatment, however, sensation and strength may never be the same again.
When is it time for surgery?
If you have tried the mentioned treatments, but the pain won’t disappear, carpal tunnel surgery is your only alternative. Traditional carpal tunnel surgery is best if you still experience symptoms after weeks or months of trying the other treatment options. Ideally, the doctor may recommend surgery if your severe symptoms stop you from daily activities.
The excruciating pain that disrupts sleep, poor coordination of your fingers, a persistent loss of feeling, and an inactive thumb will need surgical remedy. You should also consider surgery if you take nerve tests and they show damage to your median nerve.
How can you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?
If you want to stop suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, start by making the necessary lifestyle changes, which lower your risk of developing it. Ensure that you treat and manage health conditions such as diabetes or arthritis that may increase your risk. Additionally, you can avoid activities that overwork your wrist and perform physical therapy exercises.
We also recommend performing exercises on your wrist. Regular hand exercises may help ease the pressure on your wrist’s median nerve. You can benefit from specific activities, which allow the median nerve to move more freely within the carpal tunnel.