In life, we take many things for granted, such as our hands used for various actions, and life without them would be tough. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of such difficulty, which is a condition that affects the hands.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs due to compression of the median nerve located on the palm and provides sensation to a part of the ring finger, thumb, index finger, and middle finger. The compression is caused by inflammation or swelling. Some conditions that cause carpal tunnel syndrome are fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, menopause, and diabetes.
Repetitive wrist movements can worsen carpal tunnel syndrome. Mainly women and people between the ages of 30 to 60 have a higher chance of having carpal tunnel syndrome.
The risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome escalate by jobs requiring repetitive wrist movement, such as construction, keyboarding, manufacturing, and assembling line work. If you have this condition, your hand might drop things occasionally as it does not have the required strength to hold objects.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are weakness in hand muscles, wrist pain that does not let you sleep at night, burning and pain that reaches the arm, tingling and numbness in the first three fingers and the thumb.
The doctor makes the diagnosis. The doctor checks carpal tunnel syndrome through physical examinations and tests called nerve conduction studies. The doctor will check for tenderness, hand strength, deformities, and any swelling.
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome divides into surgical and nonsurgical options. The nonsurgical options are injecting steroids to reduce inflammation, treating the condition that causes carpal tunnel syndrome such as arthritis and diabetes, taking medications to decrease inflammation, and wrist splints that keep the hand in a neutral position so that movement is restricted.
However, surgery may be needed if the median nerve is severely damaged. In surgery, a band of tissue crossing the median nerve is cut, decreasing the compression on the median nerve.
There are several factors that one should keep in mind before surgery. These determine the outcome of the surgery. They are weakness, diabetes mellitus, duration of the symptoms, and age of the patient. Usually, the result is good.
You can prevent Carpal tunnel syndrome by implementing lifestyle changes that reduce the risks of the condition that cause it in the first place.
Physical therapy exercises and avoiding activities that overexert your wrist are significant steps for reducing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!