What you need to know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Do you ever have numbness, tingling or pain in your hands 폰배경화면 다운로드? If this happens at night, while you’re driving or when you work on your computer, it could be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)! Read on to find out more and what you should do about it.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, exactly?

CTS happens when the median nerve (one of the nerves supplying your hand) gets pressed in the carpal tunnel. What is this Carpal Tunnel? It’s a narrow passage bound by bones and ligaments in the palm side of your wrist. Through it travels the median nerve. The jobs of the median nerve, are :

  • sensation to the palm-side of your first four fingers
  • muscle movement of your thumb
  • movement to the 9 tendons that bend your fingers

When this nerve gets compressed you can get a number of symptoms:

  • tingling and numbness (in your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers)
  • pain, and/or weakness of your grip.
  • symptoms will typically wake you up at night, and shaking out the hands can bring relief. However, as the syndrome get worse, the symptoms become constant.

What causes CTS?

These are the typical features and causes of CTS:

  1. It’s more common in females
  2. It’s associated with chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes
  3. It’s associated with Fluid retention (such as during pregnancy or menopause)
  4. Being overweight can increase your risk
  5. Repetitive movements of your wrist can lead to, or worsen it.

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s time to go and see your doctor. Along with a physical examination you may be sent for other tests such as an x-ray/ ultrasound and nerve conduction studies to make the diagnosis.

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How is CTS treated?

The earlier CTS is treated, the better. At first, treatment may start with:

  • wrist splinting,
  • anti-inflammatory medication
  • possibly a steroid injection into the Carpal Tunnel.

Taking regular breaks at work (if work activities are part of the cause) and icing your wrist are other suggestions your doctor may give you. If these measures don’t help, or your symptoms get worse, then surgery may be needed. During surgery the carpal tunnel is opened to relieve the pressure on the nerve. It can take weeks to months for all the symptoms to go away after surgery – it’s all about how bad nerve compression is, which is why earlier treatment means in better recovery.

Preventing CTS isn’t always possible, but you can start to reduce stress on your wrists by doing the following:

  • let your hands take a break often
  • gently stretch and rotate your wrists regularly during the day
  • if you work at a computer for long periods make sure your keyboard is at elbow level or below when you are seated
  • sit up straight and keep your shoulders back – a good posture is important!

Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome? Speak to one of our doctors about it!