All in the Wrist: 3 Things to Know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Posted On Tuesday, 14 May 2019
All in the Wrist: 3 Things to Know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is condition that affects the hand and wrist.

The “carpal tunnel” is actually a narrow passageway created by the bones and ligament that run through the wrist to the hand. The median nerve that runs through this passageway can become pinched or inflamed, leading to symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the hands.

Here are a few important facts to know about carpal tunnel syndrome.

Factors that Can Contribute
The anatomy of your wrist and hand can play a part in whether you develop carpal tunnel syndrome or not. If you have diabetes or a thyroid disorder, you are more susceptible to developing carpal tunnel problems.

Women develop carpal tunnel syndrome at three times the rate that men do, primarily because of the smaller structure of the wrist. Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause can cause greater risk to the carpal tunnel structures.

Actions that Can Cause Symptoms
Previous injury to the wrist or repetitive motions can lead to carpal tunnel problems. Repetitive movements, such as typing at a keyboard or hand movements on an assembly line can cause carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. The use of vibrating equipment can also cause the condition. Even repetitive actions such as those done in knitting can lead to carpal tunnel problems.

Treatment Options
Carpal tunnel syndrome can range from mild to severe. Conservative, non-surgical treatments are often used to relieve mild symptoms. Icing and resting the hand and wrist for a period of time is recommended. Splinting the wrist can help to relieve pressure on the median nerve.

Aspirin, ibuprofen or other over-the-counter medications can help to relieve discomfort and inflammation. Prescription corticosteroid medications may be used to relieve pain and swelling. Lidocaine can be injected into the area to reduce pain.

Surgical procedures are available for severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Open release surgery cuts the carpal ligament to make a larger space for the nerve. This type of surgery can also be done endoscopically, for smaller incisions and faster recovery times.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can start as a minor problem that worsens over time. If you regularly engage in activities associated with the onset of this condition, you can take steps to reduce the risk of wrist and hand injury. Simple actions such as exercising the hands, supporting the wrist and wearing gloves to keep hands and wrists flexible can help to avoid carpal tunnel issues.

Carpal tunnel syndrome may seem like an unfortunate diagnosis but don’t give up hope! There are plenty of ways to treat the condition and relieve pain with the help of a qualified medical professional. Commit yourself to your carpal tunnel syndrome treatment and follow your doctor’s orders and you can continue to enjoy an active life.

Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, home, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

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