Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

By: moneyworks
If you've ever felt numbness in your hand and wrist and then a sharp rising pain into your arm - you could have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a painful, progressive condition caused by the compression of your median nerve in your wrist and is common among people who perform repetitive motions with their hand and wrist such as typing.

A proper explanation of the cause of this condition from Wikipedia is:

"It is caused by pressure exerted on the median nerve at the point where it passes through the wrist. The median nerve supplies sensation to the thumb-side of the palm, and to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb-side of the ring finger. It also supplies movement to part of the hand."

Numbness and sharp rising pains are common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, but there are also some others that will help you to diagnose if you or a friend has this condition. These symptoms are:

- Weakness in one or both hands
- Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers of one or both hands
- Numbness or tingling of the palm of the hand
- Wrist or hand pain in one or both hands
- Pain extending to the elbow
- Impaired fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands
- Weak grip or difficulty carrying bags (a common complaint)
- Atrophy of the muscular bulge under the thumb (in advanced or chronic cases

If you are showing any signs of the symptoms mentioned above then we recommend that you consult a professional - whether it be your local doctor or physician.

The good news is that carpal tunnel CAN be treated and there are surgical and non-surgical methods. The two surgical methods which can be used to treat carpal tunnel are:

Open Release Surgery - This is the most common surgical procedure and is when the patient is anesthetised and given a small 2 inch incision to the wrist to cut the carpal tunnel ligament. Full recovery from this type of surgery can take up to a few months.

Endoscopic surgery - This is when incisions are made to the wrist and palm so the carpal tunnel ligament can be cut. As with open release surgery, the patient is anesthetised before any incisions are made. However, Endoscopic surgery may allow faster recovery and limit the risk of scars.

Some of the non-surgerical treatments include drugs, exercise and alternative therapies:

Drugs - In special circumstances, various drugs can ease the pain and swelling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonprescription pain relievers, may ease symptoms that have been present for a short time or have been caused by strenuous activity. Orally administered diuretics ("water pills") can decrease swelling. Corticosteroids (such as prednisone) or the drug lidocaine can be injected directly into the wrist or taken by mouth (in the case of prednisone) to relieve pressure on the median nerve and provide immediate, temporary relief to persons with mild or intermittent symptoms. (Caution: persons with diabetes and those who may be predisposed to diabetes should note that prolonged use of corticosteroids can make it difficult to regulate insulin levels. Corticosterioids should not be taken without a doctor's prescription.) Additionally, some studies show that vitamin B 6 (pyridoxine) supplements may ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Exercise - Stretching and strengthening exercises can be helpful in people whose symptoms have abated. These exercises may be supervised by a physical therapist, who is trained to use exercises to treat physical impairments, or an occupational therapist, who is trained in evaluating people with physical impairments and helping them build skills to improve their health and well-being.

Alternative therapies - Acupuncture and chiropractic care have benefited some patients but their effectiveness remains unproved. An exception is yoga, which has been shown to reduce pain and improve grip strength among patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.
To seek clarification on health problems, a professional doctor can offer more advice.
Medical Conditions
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Medical Conditions
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles