Carpal tunnel syndrome is a weakness, numbness, or tingling sensation in your hands caused by pressure applied to the hand’s median nerve. This nerve runs the length of your arm and passes through the wrist’s carpal tunnel and ends up in the hand. The carpal tunnel controls the movement and feeling in the thumb and all the fingers, except the smallest finger.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Some of the leading causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
• Repetitive motions, including typing, strenuous wrist movements and any activities that put too much pressure on the parts after your wrists.
• Health conditions, such as obesity, hypothyroidism, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Risk Factors
Some people are predisposed to getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because they have some risk factors. They include:
• Women; who are three times more likely than men to get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because they tend to have smaller carpal tunnels.
• Those family members with small carpal tunnels.
• Those people with jobs that frequently demand wrist and hand motions, such as typing, sewing or a pianist.
• Patients who have had dislocated or fractured wrists in the past.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis
1. Imaging tests
If you suspect that you might have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, you could go in for an ultrasound, X-ray or an MRI exam to closely examine the bones and tissues affected.
In this procedure, the doctor places a thin electrode into the wrist muscle to measure its electrical activity and detect any fractures or cracks in the wrist.
3. Nerve conduction studies
In this procedure, the doctor tapes electrodes to the skin to measure the nerve signals in the hand and arm.
Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often depends on the severity of your condition. There are different approaches to consider when trying to mitigate the condition. They include:
1. Lifestyle changes
If your condition is caused by frequent repetitive motion, you would need to take breaks more often intermittently to curb the pains and discomfort.
Performing strengthening and resistance training regularly will make the pains much easier to deal with. Moreover, nerve gliding training can help the nerve move better within the carpal tunnel.
We may advise you to use a splint to keep the wrist from doing too much movement to reduce the pressure applied on the wrists’ nerves. You could also be advised to wear the splint at night to help with the numb or tingling feeling, allowing you to sleep better by resting the median nerve.
In case of severe pains or lack of sleep due to too much discomfort, you may be prescribed steroid shots or anti-inflammatory drugs by your GP to reduce the swelling and discomfort.
If none of the non-invasive attempts fails to help you, your Chiropractor or GP may recommend a carpal tunnel release operation that would increase the tunnel’s size, releasing the pressure on your nerve. This is usually the last resort mainly because most cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are mild and can be managed by strengthening exercises.
If you are suffering from pain in your wrists and hands, then please contact us on 01962 861188 to arrange a consultation and let us help reduce your pain.